Dreaming of a New Home in 2024? Hidden Costs and Maintaining Your Investment
You’ve been saving – and searching – for some time. 2024 is your year to buy a new home. Don’t let hidden costs or the upkeep of your home get in the way of your dreams. Here are some tips for making sure you can maintain your new property.
Check (and double-check) HOA fees and rules. For a fee, homeowners associations or HOAs take care of common spaces like parks, landscaping, and roads in your neighborhood or housing community. Ensure you know the annual dues before signing on the dotted line on your new home. HOAs usually have rules surrounding things like the type of mailbox, the color of the roof or shutters, or the type of fencing you are allowed to install as well. Some of these rules come with a heftier price tag. For example, a metal fence can cost thousands more to put up compared with a wooden fence, but they also have lower long-term maintenance fees.
Consider property size and landscaping. Will mowing your yard require a push mower or a riding lawnmower? Does the home you have your sights set on have a lot of trees that will require leaf cleanup in the fall? Are there dead bushes or other landscaping that needs to be removed or replaced? Consider your lifestyle and ability to pay vendors to complete these tasks if you don’t have the proper equipment – or time.
Understand your property taxes. If you have a loan on your new home, your property taxes will be rolled into your monthly payment. But it’s still important to have a general understanding of where your tax dollars are going – whether it’s to the township or city, which maintains your roads and provides fire and police services, or to your local schools, library system or senior services. This information can be found on the county auditor’s website.
Prepare for utility costs. Those purchasing a new home are often upgrading from a smaller home, or maybe even an apartment where some utility costs are included in the monthly rent. This can result in sticker shock when it comes to utility bills, which include water, gas, electricity and waste removal. Your REALTOR® can request a record of utility costs from the past year from the seller so you can budget accordingly.
No matter the age of your new home, there are bound to be minor breakdowns, so it’s recommended that you set aside between three and six months of living expenses so your home stays in tip-top shape, even when something goes awry.
If you’re ready to take the next step in your homeowner journey, contact Ring Real Estate at 937-378-3800.