Homeownership is a life goal that many people shoot towards. This bucket list accomplishment means you own the place where you live. You don’t have to wake up at all hours of the night as your neighbor practices the latest TikTok routine at 1 a.m. You don’t have to worry about rent being raised by a landlord whenever they feel like it. Homeownership means a lot of things for many people, so the reasons for wanting to own a home are endless.
However, the thing to remember is that owning a home comes with a host of new responsibilities. You are now your own landlord, so there are things which you’ll need to take care of. It’s best to know what you’re getting yourself into when it comes to any expenses you’ll be responsible for. Check out the top four biggest home expenses which you might not have considered when buying a home.
Air-conditioning and Furnace
One of the few good things about living in an apartment is having a maintenance team employed by the apartment complex. On the off chance that any of your appliances weren’t functioning well, or completely shut down, you could submit a maintenance request for the devices to be repaired. If a maintenance worker couldn’t repair the covered device, then a licensed technician or contactor could be called on to conduct the repairs.
This is not the case when you become a homeowner. The costs of any repairs will fall on your shoulders, so you have to be prepared for this extra expense. When you purchase a home a realtor might inform you that you have a certain amount of time left on the life of a furnace or air conditioner, and repairs aren’t immediately. Though not suggesting that the realtor is dishonest with their insight, you don’t take their advice at face value. They aren’t trained HVAC technicians, so you don’t take their word for HVAC related questions.
Your goal is to avoid paying an extra expense on an A/C unit or furnace that might need to be replaced or repaired. Many furnaces or air conditioning units have a shelf life of 10 years, while some people will argue you can get up to 20 years out of a device. You don’t want to chance it by assuming the time period is higher. Have a licensed HVAC technician inspect your unit, and let you know exactly how much life your unit has left. You don’t want to assume that everything is okay and wind up having to figure out the cost of repairing your air conditioner or furnace if either the furnace or air conditioner stops. Play it safe, and try to find ways to save up for this home expense if needed.
Electrical wiring related issues are some of the most common unexpected home expenses which you’ll come across. Since many of the problems associated with electrical wiring happen out of sight, you don’t know you have an issue until one presents itself. Most people aren’t going to search the public records for the property that they’ve purchased, so they can see the construction, and utility records associated with the installation of electrical wiring.
Electrical-related problems will present themselves often out of the blue, requiring you to bring in a technician to take care of an issue you didn’t know exist. Maybe the wiring is too old. Maybe your home experiences frequent electrical surges. Or maybe your circuit breaker trips a little too frequently. Either way, these issues all rack up a lot of money which will need to be spent on a possibly expensive repair.
Pests of any sort are a nuisance. When you lived in an apartment or rental home, they were a problem that your landlord could deal with. They’d schedule a day and a time for an exterminator to head out to your apartment, spray some insecticide or lay some rat traps, and you were set.
That’s not the case when you become a homeowner. You are now responsible for conducting pest control yourself or spending a couple of hundred dollars to have this type of maintenance done by a licensed professional. Homes tend to attract all sorts of pests including termites, ants, cockroaches, mice, bats, and in some cases, raccoons. It’s best to tackle this extra expense earlier rather than later so that you won’t have unwanted guests making your house their new home.
Kids break stuff. It’s a fact of life. When you buy a new home, this will continue to be the case still. At least with an apartment, your security deposit could cover such damages.
That’s not the case when it comes to the house which you own. You’ll handle the payment for any damages which your child creates. Whether it’s the writing on the walls, running into a screen door, spilling juice on the rug, or running into another screen door, the cost of repairs is all on you. Maybe think about creating a “Kid’s Fund” to offset any child-related damages to your new home.