As a homeowner, you’ll be responsible for several costs. It is important to be aware of these 4 homeowner expenditures:
1. Property Taxes – As a homeowner, you are responsible for paying annual taxes on the property you own. Often, these taxes are bundled into your monthly mortgage payment and held in an escrow account, and the mortgage company pays them for you each year. If you choose to pay taxes this way, be prepared for your mortgage payment to be a little higher each month to cover taxes.
2. Home Insurance – As a renter, you may have purchased renters insurance to cover the cost of your belongings inside the home, but as a homeowner, you must pay to insure your entire home from fire or other damages. If you live near water, you may be required to pay extra for flood insurance. This expense is also frequently included in your monthly mortgage payment and held in escrow until annual premiums are due.
3. Ongoing Maintenance – When a homeowner wakes up to a broken water heater and a cold shower, you can’t call the landlord or the maintenance department for help. You must find a plumber, pay the bill, and purchase a new water heater or whatever is needed. As a homeowner, it’s important to have a cash fund available for emergencies – you never know when you may need to fix a leaky faucet, a broken lawn mower or buy a new refrigerator.
4. Utility Bills – Some landlords cover water and sewer bills, and others include cable or Internet access with a lease agreement. As a homeowner, you won’t benefit from any such perks; you’ll be responsible for paying all the monthly bills, including some that you might not even think of as a new homeowner such as electricity, gas or oil, water, sewer, trash pickup landscaping and/or snow removal.
If you are financially prepared for the costs associated with owning a home, it may be the best choice, as it will allow you to build equity that you can benefit from for years to come.