No matter how much you research and prepare for buying your first home, you might not be prepared for these occurrences when they happen. Here are a few things to expect as a homeowner.
In the whirlwind of buying a home: getting a pre-approval for a mortgage, finding the perfect property, putting in an offer, getting a home inspection, and keeping up with the paperwork, it is all too easy to forget about closing costs. Sellers sometimes pay for them, but more often, they are the buyer’s responsibility. Even if you are paying cash, in which case your closing costs will be minimized, there will still be fees.
Talk to your real estate agent and title company to estimate closing costs so you will have an idea of what to expect financially. Always bring your checkbook to the closing so you can settle anything that is owed before the deal is finalized.
As a Homeowner, You Should Expect Major Repairs
Major repairs may become necessary at any time. This is even true for appliances and systems that were inspected at the time of purchase. Repairs are simply a reality of homeownership, but you may not know to plan for them as a new homeowner.
To be ready for tackling needed repairs, make sure you have enough money in savings to cover unexpected costs. Opt for adequate warranties and insurance coverage when you have the choice.
New homeowners may fall into the trap of focusing on the big issues and not paying attention to the small details. But know that small maintenance concerns can grow into bigger problems.
For example, older electrical systems might be grandfathered in and therefore meet code even though they are not especially safe. Drainage issues in the yard could be a sign that water collects too close to the house, resulting in flooded basements and foundation damage.
Hire a home inspector to visit the property. You’ll get a full inspection report with these details and can use it to negotiate a lower price or plan for future repairs.
Other Things to Expect as a Homeowner
Other costs you might not expect as a new homeowner include property taxes, homeowners insurance, HOA fees, and the true costs of utilities. Ask the sellers, look up property assessment information, and request a history of average costs from the utility companies to help you budget for your home.
Many unexpected surprises for new homeowners are cost-related, meaning you should make sure to put away extra money to cover these events. Don’t make major renovations until you are settled in, have enough saved for emergencies, and better understand your monthly budget. Paying attention to small details now will save you headaches and stress in the future.