Unexpected Expenses for First-Time Homebuyers

Buying your first home is exciting.  After getting approved for a mortgage loan, working with a professional realtor and finding your dream home, it’s time to settle in and start enjoying your new digs.  Then BAM!  The shock of an unexpected expense slaps you in the face.  Don’t let that happen to you.  Being informed about the possible expenses of being a homeowner will not make spending the money any more fun, but at least you will be prepared.  Here are some ancillary costs of homeownership that you should be aware of:

CLOSING COSTS – When closing on your mortgage you will be presented with a long list of costs: mortgage taxes, lender application fees, title insurance, recording fees, and any potential real estate tax reimbursements (such as HOA and/or CDD fees)  if the seller has paid them up front.  Altogether, closing costs are an average of 3 to 5 percent of the total cost of the home.  They will vary state to state.  Closing Costs in Florida

HOME MAINTENANCE – Now that you are a homeowner, you are solely responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of your property.  Everything from yardwork to cleaning; pressure washing to clearing the gutters…it’s all in your hands and on your dime.  Oh…and fixing things. When the AC isn’t working or there is a leaky faucet, you will be footing the bill for repairs.  This all sounds a bit scary, but the key is to be prepared.  Go into your home purchase knowing that you will likely be spending about 1% of the purchase price of your home on maintenance annually.  Ask your Realtor to explain a home warranty.

PROPERTY TAXES – Property taxes vary by state and can also vary based on city, ordinance, and even specific house.  You can utilize a property tax calculator to get an idea of what your taxes will be when planning for your expenses. Florida Property Tax Calculator

UTILITIES – If you’re coming from a rental where your utilities were included with the rent, you may not have considered how much you will need to set aside to pay for electricity, gas, water and sewage costs.  Added to internet, cable and phone bills, it can be quite a chunk of change.  Planning for utility costs is crucial to making sure you can afford to live in a home of your own.

HOMEOWNER’S INSURANCE – When you get a mortgage, you must get homeowner’s insurance as well.  Be sure to do your homework and shop around for the best possible price.  You can get discounts for things like security systems, working from home or bundling coverage for your home with your auto insurance policy.  Educate yourself on what your insurance policy covers so that you’re not left disappointed when you have to pay for something you thought would be taken care of.

Don’t let these expenses scare you off from purchasing a home.  Again, the key is to be aware of them going in so that you won’t be surprised when they come up.

If you’re looking to buy a home in Tampa, check out the homes we have for sale.

Are you ready to SELL your home?  Call the TAMPA BAY real estate professionals, Linda & Craig Nowicke at Inside Tampa Homes with RE/MAX ACR ELITE and let them assist you in getting your home STAGED, PHOTOGRAPHED and SOLD for the highest possible price!  CALL THEM TODAY at 813-728-3880 or 813-675-5030.

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