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The Hidden Costs of Home Ownership

The Hidden Costs of Home Ownership

The dream of owning a home doesn’t come cheap to anyone, but what you may not be aware of is the string of extra expenses lurking behind the deposit. Savings will soften the blow when the time comes to pay up, as will understanding the extra costs which could stack up after your deposit is paid. These are some of the most common expenses you can expect.

Home inspection 

Regrettably, many real estate agents are masters at concealing potential issues within the property in order to extract the highest possible sale price from unwitting buyers. At the point before sale, having an inspection completed by a professional is an invaluable tool for protecting yourself against undisclosed problems like structural issues, leaks, and the general condition of the house. The inspection itself might cost a few hundred dollars, but it pales in comparison to repairing the damages weeks or months down the track. 

Mortgage fees

Your mortgage lender will almost certainly attach certain conditions to the loan, which could potentially include extra fees for mortgage arrangement and valuation of the property. If you choose to go through a mortgage broker before selecting a lender, this will also cost you extra, although the potential savings make it an expense worth budgeting for – finding the best available deal from lenders will pay dividends for the life of your mortgage. The lowering of interest rates along with a reduction in monthly repayments is by far the most common reason people consider refinancing and you should not shy away from researching all available options with reputable mortgage brokers.  

Repair costs

Like all material things, houses deteriorate over time, and you can expect to foot the bill for repairs on a semi-regular basis. Whether the roof is dire straits, the carpet is mouldy, or the plumbing is leaking, it might feel like the list of expenses never gets shorter. That’s why it’s worth putting money aside in advance to cover any unexpected costs, as delaying repairs will inevitably lead to more trouble and a more expensive bill down the track. 

Pest control 

It’s no longer the property manager’s responsibility to arrange for your apartment to be sprayed for cockroaches or treated for a potential termite infestation, and hiring a professional pest control service can cost up to a few hundred dollars. Whether your pest situation is an inconvenience or a threat to the stability of your home, taking care of the situation as quickly as possible is the only way to minimise damage to the property and furniture. 

Appearance 

Making the house look nice may not be an immediate priority when you have bills to pay, but eventually, you’ll probably want to spruce up the paint job, replace the ageing curtains, and grow a nice garden. For those who have never owned a home, mowing the lawn may be an entirely foreign experience, but if you want to keep the grass looking healthy, it’s just another thing you’ll need to do. Lawn care starts with a quality mower, but it doesn’t end there – mowers, like most machines, require maintenance on the engine and the blades, and other lawn products like fertiliser and weed killer aren’t free. 

Taxes

If you’re paying a sizeable sum in rent each month, it might be tempting to think you could afford to own your own home – the only thing getting in the way is property taxes. Before you sign any contracts, make sure you research the annual property tax amount in your area and factor the amount into your monthly budget.

Insurance

Once you put a down payment on a home, insuring it is the next logical step, but it isn’t cheap. The cost of insuring your property will vary depending on its age and location, particularly if you live in an area prone to natural disasters. Your credit score can also affect the amount you’re required to pay.

The commitment that comes with buying a home is much bigger than the initial struggle to scrape together a deposit, but the long-term benefits of ownership far outweigh the few concessions afforded to renters. If you’re planning on buying, just make sure your mindset and your wallet are both in the right place. 

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