If you’re looking for somewhere to live, you have two main choices, you can decide to rent or you can decide to make a purchase and own your own home. Choosing the latter is not without its problems, though it seems like the most sensible option for many. Here are the four most overlooked home ownership costs that might make you consider your options more carefully before you take the plunge and buy.
When you own your own home, one of the main overlooked home ownership costs are the maintenance and upkeep of the property and the fact that this will have a considerable effect on your time, too. If you rent, any problems fall to your landlord to fix – in your own home it’s up to you and it might not always be affordable or easy to find the time to do it. How often do you talk to friends and family and find that they’re busy doing DIY or other tasks? It’s food for thought if you want more free time.
If you own a property for a good number of years the chances are during that time one of the biggest overlooked home ownership costs will be keeping on top of the exterior of the building – you might have to replace all the windows, or even the roof, if you’ve chosen to live in a particularly old property or one that needed a lot of renovation. Chances are, if you’re renovating the inside you’ll choose “only the best” and might end up with more outlay than you intended – if you go for expensive decorations, furnishings and appliances.
You’ll of course be liable for many financial aspects of the house such as the mortgage and all the bills, but you’ll also need to factor in property taxes as another one of those overlooked home ownership costs. These are state by the state you live in and can, in some cases work out at up to $1000 a month extra. All worth thinking about before you commit to buy.
Risks to Others
If you’re in a rented apartment block and someone has an accident in your property or near it, it isn’t your fault and the responsibility falls to the company who own the property to pay out any compensation or answer any queries about the safety and maintenance of the building. If you own your own home and the same thing happens, the onus falls to you. This can sometimes make your home insurance premiums rocket and become unmanageable. Again, another factor worth considering if you’re wanting to own your own place and wondering if you can afford it.
Are there ways to minimise overlooked home ownership costs if you still want to own your own place?
Yes, there are ways you can avoid some of the many overlooked home ownership costs if you’re still adamant it is the right thing to do, to invest in your future and put down roots somewhere.
1.) Think about what you’ll like now and in the future, but something that suits you now and you know will not date, or that can be easily decorated or renovated if you change your mind. Looking to buy somewhere that is already renovated to your taste and style or as close to it as possible is another way forward, this can keep your own costs lower as you can just move straight in without worrying too much.
2.) Do as much of the DIY as you can, yourself. Obviously within reason – but there aren’t many people who can’t put a lick of paint on a wall to brighten a room up. Real heavy chores and anything to do with plumbing or electric should be left to a professional, but minor changes can be done by you to save a fortune on other unnecessary expenses.
3.) Look for areas that charge low taxes – whilst you never know what will happen down the road it pays to look for somewhere to live that at that moment in time had relatively low taxes compared to other areas, you can save quite a lot of money that way and even if there are hikes, you may still end up saving more compared to if you were living in another area with higher prices still.
4.) Think about investing in a condominium. It might not be the most attractive option, but in terms of running costs and maintenance you’re onto a winner as they need relatively little doing to them. You’ll also have to spend less time on maintenance too as there are laws forbidding any structural changes being made to them.
Think twice about all the overlooked home ownership costs there are before you invest – it’s everyone’s dream to own their own home, but in the long run it can be much easier and hassle free to simply rent.