Buying a new home can be a very exciting process (and sometimes overwhelming.) Many “soon to-be” home owners do not realize how difficult it can be for them to remain within their stipulated budget once they close on their new home. That is because many unexpected costs can incur during the process of shifting and settling into the new house.
To make sure that you are aware of what to expect during this process, we have compiled a list of some of the most common, surprise expenses that you may come across once you become a homeowner.
- Surprise Maintenance costs
When you buy a new home, most of the time you end up cleaning everything from the kitchen to bathroom floors. Also, rooms are empty and you are free to furnish the house however you want.
However, some of the things are not visible on the surface and may require some extra cash such as drainage pipes, patios, and lawns. Unless it’s a brand-new property, you never know when these items were cleaned or cleared by the last owners.
Once you have them inspected, you might be surprised to find out that you need to clear the drain pipes, refurbish the patio and cut out some extra branches from the trees that express a danger to the roof of your house.
- New Door Locks
When you buy a house, and all the paperwork is complete, the best part comes when you get the keys. Although, you should not get too carried away by the thought of it as you may need to change the lock and get a new set of house keys.
Reason being, you never know if you are the only one who owns the keys to the current lock which could have been rented or owned by multiple occupants.
To be a 100% sure that you are the only owner of the house keys, it is best to change the lock and remain safe. While you are at it, you can upgrade the lock as well, in case you are not satisfied with the current type. (There are some pretty cool electronic locks out there, I just ordered a smart lock handle-set for my house 🙂 )
- Property Tax
You will be surprised to know how much property tax can vary across different states and even counties. Many new homeowners are surprised when they receive their first property tax after purchase which is above their expectations.
It is important while buying a new home you get all the information you need about the future property taxes and add that in your expected expense to avoid any late surprises.
- TV, Phone, and Internet
You might be surprised to know that some new homes may have a ‘leaking’ wire for communication devices such as TV, Phone, and the Internet.
It may distort your landline or create a loss of channels or data on TV and Internet. When you call the phone company, they tell you that the in-house wiring is your responsibility and you end up paying for new wiring in the house. (This actually has happened to me, but I was able to get the cable provider to pay rewiring.)
If there is a problem with the Utility Company you don’t have to pay a penny, but you will lose time and effort for calling and waiting for them while they make the fix.
- Pest Control
Pest control is an issue which sometimes might get missed by home inspection agencies, and the current occupants may not be too forthcoming about it as well.
When buying a new home, you need to make sure there is no pest infestation in the house. You have to remember that you will not be living as a tenant, where you can call your landlord to fix the problem.
In fact, you will have to pay for everything that comes with the house out of your pocket. Hence, you have to make sure that the house you are buying is clean and there is no sign of pest-infestation. (Typically the home inspection will has some verbiage on any visible signs of pest infestations – also you can look for a home with a termite bond)
- Adding Safety
Adding security to your new house is an important addition that you will likely want to make. Security enhancements do add up though, from security alarm system, security cameras, smoke detectors, carbon dioxide detectors, and fire alarms.
When buying a house, you should make your choice with security considerations in mind. It will help in managing your budget and minimizing any unexpected expenses on your new property.
When you decide you are in the market for buying a new house, it is important that you spend a significant amount of time research all the implications of purchasing the new home, beyond the purchase price and mortgage interest rate.
Without ample research, you risk making a decision that could cause you to go over your budget with surprise expenses and in debt. Spend a few extra hours on the front end to help save some trouble after closing the deal, you’ll thank yourself. 🙂
Happy House Hunting! What other surprise expenses have you experienced??
Certified Public Accountant, Masters of Business Administration, Masters of Science in Accounting, Chartered Global Management Accountant, Family Man