Some Unexpected Costs of Home Ownership
First-time home buyers likely know that they should budget for home maintenance, but it’s difficult to plan ahead for every expense. All home maintenance costs aren’t immediately apparent to first-time homebuyers. Some unexpected costs of home ownership are listed below.
Home Ownership Includes Yard Care
Many new homeowners are prepared to mow the lawn or pay someone to do it. Unexpected costs of home ownership are expenses associated with landscaping the property. Existing trees may need to be trimmed or removed. Tree trimming costs vary, from as little as $75 or as much as $1,000 for maintenance of a single tree.
The flowers that were blooming when the home was purchased may be annuals that need to be replanted every year or else replaced with perennials. Homeowners may want to plan for a fence on their new property. Even if they will be doing their own landscaping, a homeowner often finds the job requires more tools and equipment than they budgeted for.
Typical first-time homebuyers are excited to receive the keys to their new house. However, the previous homeowner may have given keys to friends, relatives, sitters, or dog walkers. The best course of action is to change the locks on every exterior door. Locksmith fees are expensive. Changing the locks can be a do-it-yourself project, however, there’s still a cost for purchasing the locks.
After first-time homeowners move in, they sometimes find the home doesn’t offer the level of security they expected. Installing motion-sensor lighting and a security system can be unexpected costs of home ownership. A monitored security system becomes a new monthly expense.
First-time homeowners generally don’t budget for house cleaning because they intend to do the work themselves. Keeping the entire home clean might be a bigger chore than you expected. To jump-start spring cleaning or to tackle a large cleaning project, a homeowner may hire a cleaning service.
Yearly maintenance on the home’s siding can be another one of the unexpected costs of home ownership. To keep the siding clean and looking good, power wash your home at least once a year.
Pest Control is an Unexpected Cost of Home Ownership
An infestation of termites or other wood-destroying insects isn’t something most first-time homebuyers expect. For homeowners dealing with termites, it’s necessary to hire a professional for help. If termites are not properly exterminated, they can cause structural damage that’s not covered by insurance. Dealing with pests contributes to the unexpected costs of homeownership.
Spring is the most popular season for home buying and first-time homeowners often don’t realize what it takes to maintain a home through the winter. Drafty windows and door seals that need to be repaired aren’t usually obvious until the temperature drops.
As winter approaches, the fireplace should be prepared for use by first ordering an inspection and having the chimney cleaned. The HVAC system also should undergo annual service before the heat is turned on for the season.