So you think you’re ready to purchase your first home? Lots of people reach a point where they want to be homeowners, but many end up failing at it because they simply weren’t prepared. You see, there’s a lot that goes into owning a house that you may not have been aware of. Beyond making payments to the mortgage company, you’ll also be responsible for a lot of other expenses. If you haven’t effectively planned for those expenses, your dream home can quickly become the start of your financial demise.
How does one know when they’re financially prepared to purchase a property? Start by learning what it costs to own a home (beyond the basics) and compare it to your budget. If the costs are greater than your income, you’re better off waiting. If, however, your income exceeds your household expenses, then you’re ready to embark on the process of buying your new house.
Below is a look at some of the common expenses you’ll need to determine the true cost of homeownership:
When you make a purchase as large as a house you have to protect it at all costs. Part of doing this means securing a property insurance policy. Depending on where you live, the company you choose, and how much insurance you’d like, it could add up to several thousand dollars a year. Fortunately, most homeowners insurance companies offer the option to pay the insurance in monthly installments for easier budgeting.
Property taxes are mandated by most states. If you own a real estate property, you’ll be required to pay several thousand dollars per year in taxes. This bill is generally required on a bi-annual or annual basis.
You can talk to any homeowner and they’ll tell you that household emergencies always tend to pop up. If it’s not one thing that needs to be fixed, it’s another. Plumbing leaks, electrical problems, HVAC malfunctions, and more could set you back several hundred dollars if not more. It is best to create emergency savings to cover these costs, but if you’re really in a bind there are also opportunities like Maxlend fast cash personal loans to tide you over. You can apply online and receive as much as $1250 to handle your emergency and then repay the loan within the required time frame.
Maintenance and Repairs
Not every household problem will be an emergency, but if you want your house to remain intact, safe, and comfortable, you’ll need to budget for routine maintenance and periodic repairs. Some service providers you may need to call on include the plumber, electrician, HVAC technician, home appliance repairman, landscaper, pest control, and more. Many contractors offer annual service contracts to help you save a bit of money.
You can’t very well live safely in a home without clean water, gas, and electricity so don’t forget to factor these into your household costs.
Solutions to Help Cover the Cost of Homeownership
Quite a bit of things you’ll need to afford huh? Fortunately, there are solutions to make owning a home a lot more affordable:
Buy within your means – You should never spend more on a home than you have. In fact, experts say that housing should only account for approximately 30% of your income. Anything beyond that is beyond your means.
Create a budget – Budgeting can help you get a real understanding as to what’s going on with your finances. It can help you to reduce spending, cut down on debt, increase your savings, and more importantly, stretch your income further so you have the money you need to afford the above-mentioned expenses.
Build emergency savings – Whether you can afford to buy a home right now or not, you need a nest egg to fall back on. A rainy day account or emergency savings provide you with the cushion you need. How much you save is up to you, but having at least 3 to 6 months worth of monthly expenses in an account can really come in handy.
Borrow as needed – Sometimes, there are things going on in your house that you simply can’t afford to deal with on your own. In those instances, borrowing from a trusted lender is your best bet.
A lot of money goes into owning a home. Likely more than you imagined. Before you decide to buy your first home, be sure that you’re financially prepared. If it turns out you have to wait, it’s a lot better than investing in something you can’t afford and ruining your finances in the process. Start working to boost your savings, build your credit, and increasing your income so that in a few years you’ll be ready to buy the home you want.