Don't miss these hidden homeownership costs

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February 27, 2012


Buying a home can be an exciting endeavor, and once new owners have signed all the paperwork and collected the keys to their dream home, they may think the process is over with. However, the truth is, there are a number of additional costs that come with homeownership, and being aware of these expenses and incorporating them into a budget can help first-time homeowners manage these additions.

Some of these expenses can be planned for in advance, while others may require homeowners to set aside funds each month to cover their needs.

Furniture

Homes can appear smaller than they actually are when individuals are visiting an open house. This is primarily because the house is full of furniture, accent pieces and accessories. But when first-time homeowners relocate from a one or two-bedroom apartment to a home, they may find that they don't have enough furniture to fill the place, according to U.S. News and World Report.
 
Owners can keep their costs low by picking up accent pieces here and there, rather than all at once. In addition, purchasing furniture from warehouse factories, collecting trinkets and accessories from yard sales and shopping for used items online can help buyers find pieces that appeal to their tastes without breaking the bank.

Property insurance

Purchasing a home can be expensive, and new homeowners will want to protect their investment by providing sufficient insurance coverage. It's crucial to shop around for an affordable plan that adequately covers all of a homeowner's needs. Experts urge owners to choose a policy that covers rebuilding costs, rather than the initial purchase price or value of their home. In addition, homeowners should read the policy carefully to make a determination about purchasing additional coverage for disasters or scenarios their standard policy may not cover.

Maintenance

Properly maintaining a home, such as cleaning the roof, ensuring the wiring and structure is sound and replacing appliances can be expensive over the years. It is important to realize that maintenance can be financially rewarding in the long run, as it can help avoid structural, water and electrical damage.

Utility Bills

The costs of electric bills, water, heat and air conditioning can run 
significantly higher in a home than an apartment. It may take homeowners some time to determine how often to actually run the heat and air conditioning and get into the practice of turning off lights and appliances when they are not in use to keep costs low.