Moving from a rental apartment to a new home is a huge mental and monetary investment. Most renters are used to paying their monthly rent bill, and maybe a utility bill, without forgoing any other extra costs. The financial burden that is taken up when one buys a house can have a lot of hidden costs that may not be factored in by a new homeowner. Buying a home is not just a mortgage and property tax payment, you also have many unexpected expenses that appear the moment you step in the door. Here are a few things that are often overlooked when one purchases their first home.
Paint and Carpeting
Landlords usually paint and install new carpet in rentals before a new tenant moves in. When you walk into your new home with all of the previous owner’s furniture gone, you see the carpet and walls in a whole new light. Dingy areas and stains mark the walls and carpet. Your first unexpected expense is either a thorough professional cleaning, or paint job and new carpeting. If possible, keep your rental for another month after escrow closes on your new home to simply clean and repair small items before moving all of your belongings.
Homeowner’s insurance is another unexpected expense that can cost several hundred dollars a month, depending on the size of home and location. It is critical to have this insurance though because there are a number of large unexpected expenses that can arise when owning a home. Most home insurance will cover, or at least subsidize, unexpected damage to your house in the event of extreme weather or fire, and in the event of theft. Read over your insurance coverage to check if it covers all the necessary appliances, such as laundry systems, air conditioners and dishwashers. Don’t be afraid to shop around for new home insurance quotes if your renter’s insurance provider doesn’t offer a satisfactory plan.
Debris in a garbage disposal and rusted bathroom fixtures are just some of the plumbing issues that you may encounter with a new home purchase. Some of these repairs are doable while others may require the expertise of a certified plumber. A faulty fixture may lead to other plumbing problems, creating other do-it-yourself projects. These expenses are part of being a homeowner, so save your money wisely for any hidden issues that arise.
New homes do not typically come with major appliances, unless you negotiated with the previous owners to leave certain items behind. You must purchase or rent appliances as part of your move-in process. Take this monetary investment into account when you’re budgeting as well.
Curtains and Blinds
Another new home expense blind spot is window treatments. When you walk into your new home and notice blinding sunlight piercing through the wide windows, you no longer think that the natural sunlight is a feature you wish to endure at all times. Window treatments are often taken from the home by the previous owners. Prepare yourself with basic curtain rods and drapes temporarily until you decide on a treatment style.
In an apartment, you probably never needed a lawnmower or electric drill before, but you’ll find that they are key tools to have around the house. Don’t buy all the tools at once. Make your purchases as you need them; this is ensures you don’t overspend on an air compressor nail gun that you only will use once in a lifetime.
Unexpected costs do accrue as a homeowner, but careful saving allows you to budget for certain tools and materials. Enjoy your new home and repair any issues as they arise.