So you’ve found your dream home, congrats! Whether you are a first time home buyer or a veteran of the game, this is (hopefully) a very exciting time for you and, whether you stuck to your budget or not, there are a few things you should think about when planning financially for your new adventure.
- Closing Costs – If you’ve done this before, you are aware that there are significant costs that come with a home purchase. If you’re new here, we’ll break it down for you. You should anticipate paying several thousand dollars for things like title fees, property taxes, mortgage insurance, etc. If you are concerned about these, you can ask your agent or lender to obtain a copy of an estimated closing statement or net sheet, even before you make an offer, to get an idea of what these look like.
- HOA fees – if you live in an area with a Home Owners Association (HOA), any related fees should be disclosed in the listing, but ask your agent if you have any questions. These fees are billed monthly, quarterly, or yearly, so it’s something that should be accounted for in your budget when purchasing. They generally cover things like road maintenance, taking care of common areas, and other neighborhood specific amenities – but these vary, so just make sure you get clear answers.
- Home Owners Insurance is something every home owner needs and can vary house to house. This is in place to make sure you are covered in the event something happens on or to your property. The cost is generally not terribly high, but a good agent or lender can help you get an estimate well before a purchase.
- Utilities – This may seem like a no brainer, but it’s something that can easily get lost in the details when buying a home. If possible, have your agent reach out to the current owner and ask for an estimate (or better yet, copies) of what they are currently paying for utilities at the property in question. This is especially a good idea if you are “upsizing” from a smaller home, larger homes take more to maintain.
- Appliances – Be sure to have your agent look over the listing agreement carefully to check and see if the seller plans on taking any of the existing appliances with them, as replacing appliances can quickly add up. Additionally, you’ll want to go over the seller disclosures and home inspection report to look for any issues with the existing appliances and major systems that may need to be addressed. Tip: Ask about a Home Warranty
- Home Improvement – Depending on your budget, you may or may not be considering some upgrades to your new home. When doing your walkthrough or viewing properties online, be sure to pay attention to things like lighting, hardware, appliances, flooring, paint color, etc. If the current finishes are dated or in rough shape, consider making those a budget item as well, so you can ensure you have the money to customize your home to fit your needs. Also pay attention to things like whether or not the home is wired for cable, has a functioning sprinkler system, RV hookups, etc, as these services can be costly to install.
We know this is a lot to take in, but a good agent will be by your side every step of the way to help you navigate this exciting time! If you have any questions or real estate needs, we are just a phone call away: 541-312-9449.