9 Expenses to Budget For in the First-Year of Homeownership
If you are a first-time homebuyer, you're likely looking forward to having a place to call your own. And in this competitive real estate market, you are focusing all your energy on navigating the ins and outs of getting your offer accepted while saving for the downpayment and closing costs.
However, it's essential not to overlook the items you'll need for the move, to maintain and to live in your new home. In this blog, we'll discuss nine unexpected expenses first-time homeowners face and why they should budget for them.
Moving and Living Costs
1. Moving Expenses
Moving can be an expensive endeavor, whether you're hiring professional movers or doing it yourself. Be sure to budget for boxes, packing materials, and any other supplies you'll need to make your move a success.
If your new home doesn't come with all appliances, you'll need to budget for them. The most common appliances to consider are a washer, dryer, and refrigerator. Many first-time homeowners also enjoy purchasing grills or smokers. Let's face it--every first-time homebuyer dreams of weekend BBQs with friends!
If you are moving to a bigger home, it's important to consider setting aside some money for purchasing new furniture to accommodate the extra space. First-time home buyer tip: There is no need to fill every room right away with furniture. Grow into your home, and take time to shop for great deals. Consider second-hand furniture as well!
Maintaining your home is crucial for safeguarding your investment. Since your home is probably the most substantial investment you'll ever make, it's essential to budget funds for its upkeep. The remaining expenses first-time homeowners face are associated with maintaining your new home:
4. Blinds and Shades
Especially if you've purchased a new construction home, you'll need to budget for blinds and shades. This is an expense that is often overlooked, but it's important to have window coverings for privacy and to block out sunlight, as it can be potentially harmful to your home's hardwood flooring and furniture. Sunlight can cause fading, cracking, and discoloration of these items, which can be costly to repair or replace. To prevent damage from the sun's harmful rays, consider investing in window coverings that block out UV light. In addition to protecting your flooring and furniture, window coverings can also help you save on energy costs by reducing heat gain during the summer months.
5. Fire Extinguisher
Safety should always be a top priority in your new home. Be sure to budget for a fire extinguisher for your kitchen or garage. While this is the LEAST expensive item on our list, it can also save you a lot of money in the case of an unexpected emergency.
Regular vacuuming is important for maintaining the cleanliness and longevity of carpets in your new home. Carpets can accumulate dust, dirt, and other debris over time, which can lead to staining, discoloration, and even the growth of harmful bacteria and allergens. Vacuuming on a regular basis helps to remove these particles from the carpet fibers, preventing them from causing damage. Additionally, vacuuming can help to extend the life of your carpets by removing dirt and debris that can wear down the fibers over time, leading to premature aging and degradation of the carpet. Therefore, investing in a quality vacuum and using it regularly can help keep your carpets looking clean and new for years to come. Be sure to budget for this essential cleaning tool.
7. Toolbox and Various DIY Tools
As a homeowner, you'll encounter a variety of small repairs and projects around the house. A toolbox with basic tools such as a hammer, screwdriver, and pliers will come in handy. Consider also a quality cordless drill. Most experts estimate that you will spend 1-4 % of the home’s value on home maintenance each year. Having a proper set of tools will help you perform some of this necessary maintenance yourself.
8. Lawn Maintenance Equipment
If you have a lawn, you'll need to budget for lawn maintenance expenses. This includes purchasing a lawn mower and trimmers, as well as a rake or leaf blower for leaves and debris. If you don't want to do the work yourself, budget for hiring a lawn service for fertilization, weed control, and mowing.
If you've purchased a new construction home, you may need to budget for landscaping expenses like trees, shrubs and hardscapes. Not all builders offer landscaping, and some only offer basic landscaping plans. Therefore, you'll need to budget accordingly.
Beyond the First Year
Whether you have purchased new construction or an existing resale home, most likely you will want to make changes to it to make it your own. If you want to finish the basement, add a fence, or completely renovate the kitchen or primary bathroom, understand what needs to be done now, and what can wait, and then plan your budget accordingly.
In conclusion, becoming a homeowner is an exciting time, but it's important to remember that it comes with a new set of responsibilities and expenses in order to protect your real estate investment by staying on top of maintenance. By budgeting and saving for these nine homeowner expenses before buying your home, you can avoid financial stress and enjoy your new home to the fullest. Remember, proper planning is key to making your dream of homeownership a reality.