If you are thinking of buying a new home, you may only take into consideration the money you have in your bank accounts as it would apply to covering the down payment and your mortgage loan. However, first-time homeowners are often not aware of the hidden costs that end up increasing the total amount they had configured in their heads.
Don’t be caught off guard when you see just how pricey homeownership can be. Here are 4 additional costs you should be aware of before you delve headfirst into the excitement of owning your own home for the first time:
1. Homeowner’s Insurance
It is crucial that you invest in homeowner’s insurance. This coverage will not only protect the items you have inside your home, it also protects the roof over your head. You may not be surprised that you need to purchase this insurance, but many first-time homebuyers don’t realize that insurance companies often demand a portion of payment upfront.
In California, the average annual cost of homeowner’s insurance is around $1,000. If it is your first time purchasing homeowner’s insurance through a company, that could be a significant amount to pay upfront in addition to all your other costs.
2. Lawn Care
A beautiful lawn may be one of the deciding factors for whether you purchase a certain home, but are you thinking about what it will cost to maintain that lawn once it’s yours? If you don’t want to care for it yourself, you could look at paying a lawn maintenance company around $214-$322 for the year. If you think that is too costly and are planning to do it yourself, you still need to take into consideration the cost of buying a lawnmower and lawn care products that will keep your lawn in tip-top shape.
3. Increase In Utility Bills
You already pay utility bills for your current place, but those numbers will grow once you are officially living in a larger space – even if you are frugal with how often you use your electricity or water.
Also, if you are currently renting, you most likely don’t have to pay for your garbage service, which will change once you move into your new home. $12-$20 per month is the average cost for these services, which may not seem substantial, but they add up over the course of a year.
4. Homeowner’s Association
If your new home is in a neighborhood that is part of the homeowner’s association (HOA), you are automatically looking at monthly costs of around $200-$400. And if a special project would need to be completed in your neighborhood, you can expect to pay for those special costs as well. Unfortunately, even if you disagree with the reasoning behind these costs, you will still have to pay them.