Sometimes, new homeowners are surprised by unexpected expenses that come their way after buying the home. Your expenses don’t end at the mortgage and utilities; there are lots of other costs to think about, some of them you might not even know existed.
If you are planning to buy your first home and you don’t want to drain your savings on unexpected costs, here are some hidden expenses that you need to prepare for:
1. Property taxes
Property taxes are a significant cost that you need to factor in your home buying decision. In addition to your mortgage payment, property taxes can eat up a sizeable chunk of your budget, especially if you buy a house on the more expensive side. Hence, it’s crucial to find out how much your taxes will be before you buy a house.
2. Home insurance
Most mortgage lenders in Salt Lake City and other places require borrowers to have home insurance before they can get approved. And the bigger your house is, the more you need to spend on home insurance, especially if the house you’re going to buy is high-risk (e.g. electrical issues, flood-prone area, old plumbing, etc.).
If you’re going to buy an older house, you should set aside a hefty emergency fund in case something breaks and it’s not covered by your insurance. At the same time, you should make tune-ups as soon as you move into the house to reduce the risk of something breaking, which is going to cost you quite a bit.
4. New locks
This is an expense that a lot of new homeowners don’t consider, but the cost of high-quality locks can quickly add up. Changing your locks isn’t something that all homeowners do, but it can give you peace of mind knowing that people with copies of the old keys (e.g. contractors, guests, relatives, etc.) can’t get into your house.
The cost of moving is another big expense that will set you back a few thousand dollars at best. Although it’s quite an expected expense, most homeowners aren’t always aware of how high the prices of moving services are.
6. Lawn maintenance
Even if you take care of the lawn by yourself, tools, weed killer, fertilizer, and pest control materials are going to cost you more than you think. And if you want someone else to maintain your lawn, the average cost of lawn maintenance is $100-200 a month, depending on the size of your property.
7. Safety devices
Unless you already have these things from your old house, an alarm system, motion-detector lights, CCTV cameras, and other safety equipment can add a big chunk to your initial house expenses.
8. Utility and service fees
When you move into a new house, you might have to pay fees to relocate your cable and utility installations. If you don’t relocate your connections, you might have to pay for relocation fees.
Aside from the mortgage itself, there are many expenses that go with new homeownership. And if you don’t want to stress yourself about the bills as soon as you move into your new house, it’s best to prepare for these hidden costs.