The real, perhaps unexpected, cost of home ownership
As you likely know, when you become a homeowner, your monthly payment includes the principal, interest, insurance, and taxes.
You must also factor in the energy bills, cable, utilities and perhaps an HOA fee. All of these factors combined equate to the first part of home ownership. The next part, and what's commonly overlooked, are unforeseen future expenses. All of the major components in your house have a specific lifespan, and they all vary. A roof, for example, can last approximately 20-25 years, but that's dependent on the shingles, ventilation, winter conditions, storms, and insulation. A standard HVAC system maybe 7-10 years, water heaters around 5-7 years, paint on a house between 5-8 years, and these are just a few examples. There are still additional components within the home that must be maintained throughout the years of ownership.
This is why it's important to work with an experienced agent, one who can guide you and help you to understand all of the upfront, ongoing and future costs. My Real Estate experience includes oversight of many capital projects such as these and I can use this knowledge when working with my clients to help protect them. However, an agent is not qualified to tell you exactly what the cost will be or the exact lifespan of a system. What I can do is help you budget/plan to ensure you're not spreading yourself too thin or buying beyond your means. Unfortunately, often times people purchase a home without taking into account the cost of maintenance. And if you don't properly maintain your home, your biggest asset, it can end up costing you a lot more in the long run. For instance, paint on the exterior is a lot more than an aesthetic component, it forms a moisture barrier to keep your siding dry. Wet siding attracts insects such as termites and will also cause rot. If it goes on long enough, the rot can cause mold and will also start to rot the support beams.
Home ownership is amazing, a part of the American Dream. It is one of the best feelings when you purchase a home. In order to maintain that feeling though, it's critical to properly plan for the future. Take the time to thoroughly examine your budget and your funds and try to expect the unexpected; you'll be thankful you did.
Contact us to learn more or to have us help.