Be more confident in your budget by understanding what ongoing expenses — such as homeowner association dues and regular maintenance — you may have as a homeowner.
A homeowner’s budget is similar to a renter’s; instead of paying rent each month, you simply make a monthly mortgage payment. However, owning a home means budgeting for expenses that renters might not be responsible for. From mowing the lawn to repainting, from property taxes to homeowner association dues, those costs will be yours now, not a landlord’s.
Understanding these costs may help you feel more confident about your budget as a homeowner. It may even influence other financial decisions related to buying your home, like how much you borrow or make as a downpayment. This video breaks out some of the important additional expenses to budget for when you’re considering buying a home.
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[Video title text: Planning for additional homeownership expenses]
[Stacked bar graph titled Monthly costs. Bottom section, which is larger, is labeled Mortgage; top section is labeled Other costs. Text under the graphic says For illustrative purposes only]
It’s important to remember that the costs of homeownership go beyond the monthly mortgage payments. It helps to plan for home-upkeep expenses early on in the buying process.
Depending on what kind of home you buy, the expenses you encounter may vary quite a bit.
To maintain the home itself, you’ll have a number of expenses to factor in. Depending on the type of exterior, your home may need painting, siding repair, or masonry work.
[Photo of house with title text Planning for additional expenses. Photo of a hand painting a wall with text under it that says Exterior/Siding; painting photo is replaced by a photo of someone smoothing cement with text underneath that says Foundation]
You’ll need to look after the foundation, too. Houses shift and settle after construction. Both old and new houses can have cracks.
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For the roof, finding and correcting minor deterioration in its early stages can often prevent problems later on.
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And don’t forget that drafty windows result in higher energy bills.
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If you have a yard to care for, you’ll probably want to buy items to enhance and maintain the landscaping, such as plants and mulch, as well as lawn mowers and other tools.
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Inside, you’ll want to check your furnace and air conditioner seasonally for proper functioning, and keep your kitchen appliances in good working order.
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When it comes to utility bills, bear in mind that water, electricity, and gas costs will vary depending on where you live, the size of your home, and the season.
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Other expenses include home furnishings, such as new furniture, beds, lamps, and window coverings.
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Also, some neighborhood developments require homeowner association dues to help pay for common areas.
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Finally, there’s a home insurance deductible to consider. Unexpected damages covered under your homeowners insurance often require an out-of-pocket expense.
So the bottom line is, remember to consider all the expenses you’re likely to incur when you estimate the total monthly cost of homeownership. The principal, interest, taxes, and insurance, as well as the home-upkeep costs, are realistic expenses to take into account.