5 Expenses to Anticipate as a New Home Owner
Whether you recently closed on a new home, you are about to close, or you are still looking, the process of purchasing a new home is exciting and fun. You know to expect the cost of the home itself, as well as the closing costs, but there are other costs to consider as well. If you’re lucky, the previous owner left the appliances and window furnishings, but if you are buying a new house, or a house without these items, you will have to buy them yourself. Even if you are renting you might need to provide some of these items. Purchasing a new home or putting down a lot of money for a deposit for a rental can leave you feeling that your financial situation is as tight as it can get, but don’t forget to include the following five expenses into your budget, or you might end up with expenses that you can’t pay for.
1. Moving expenses
Moving expenses can add up, especially if you have a lot of stuff or you are moving to a different city or state. Even if you are moving within the same city or town, moving expenses can get expensive. If possible, do as much as possible yourself. Get boxes from local retailers who recycle them. Pack everything yourself, or ask for help from friends. If you can get away with using your truck or borrowing one from a friend, make multiple trips across town instead of renting or hiring a moving truck. If you are in healthy shape and can move the items yourself or with friends, do it. It will certainly be a hassle, but doing more by yourself will save you money.
If you need to hire professional help, still try to do as much as you can on your own first. One of the biggest expenses that people forget about is travel expenses, which might come up if you are moving to a different state. Hopefully if you are relocating for a job, you can ask for relocation costs to be included in your job offer. Otherwise you might be facing packing, shipping, moving, and other expenses, including gas and hotel.
Furniture is an expense that almost every new home owner will have to deal with because when you move into a different space, your old furniture might not fit the same way as it did in your old home. Many home owners enjoy picking out new furniture to go in their new house; it is almost a right of passage. If your space is bigger, you might need additional furniture to fill it, but even it it isn’t bigger, you still might find that your previous furniture doesn’t fit correctly, or isn’t the right color. According to Moving.com, you should first make a list of the colors, patterns, and textures that you like. Also, decide how much you want to spend before you start shopping, and be sure to think about who will be living in the home: if you have a large pet, or multiple kids, you may not want to splurge on gorgeous furniture that isn’t very durable.
3. Utility payments
The fees for connecting utilities are usually pretty low, but you also might have to pay a deposit. You also might find that the utility costs in your new area are more expensive, which will affect your budget. Also remember that if you are still financially responsible for your previous home (whether you are trying to sell it or have a little bit of time left on your rental lease), you will actually be paying for double utilities, which can get very expensive very quickly.
Another item to factor in is your monthly rent or mortgage from before; if you still own your previous home or have a lease, you will now be paying for two mortgages in addition to two sets of utilities. If you do need to pay for two mortgages at once, make it a priority to sell your old home quickly, or consider renting out your old home. If you do decide to rent out your previous home, remember that you will then be in charge of fixing any issues that come up, in addition to working with renters.
4. Decorating costs
Window treatments can get expensive. Even if the previous owner leaves the window treatments, they may not match your style. If you have multiple windows in your home, and you have to replace most of them (or even a few) the costs can mount quickly. If you do choose to purchase window treatments, think carefully before you start shopping. According to HGTV, set a budget first, and make sure you research the costs first (window treatments can cost a few hundred dollars), set priorities, think about what your lifestyle dictates, and measure and fit the treatments appropriately.
Other design costs can add up quickly as well; if you want a table cloth that matches your curtains, and paint colors that compliment a certain wood stain, and so on, the costs will definitely add up. Make sure you set a budget and stick to it.
5. Regular costs
If you’ve owned a home previously, you probably know to expect taxes. However, the cost of taxes will depend on where you live, so be sure to factor in the taxes for your new home when you consider your budget. If possible, you should really do this before you purchase a home, but even if you have already bought your home, you still need to consider how much your taxes will cost you. Your home insurance also might change if you move to a more dangerous area, or an area that is prone to natural disasters. You can compare home insurance rates and costs here.
If you haven’t already put in an offer for a home, make sure you ask your home inspector about the ages of different appliances. In addition to regular maintenance costs, if you have to repair or replace an appliance soon after moving in, the cost can devastate a budget. Also be sure to consider the cost of landscaping your yard, which can also add up.