If you’ve lived in apartments all your life, the move to home ownership can be an intimidating one. And it’s not just about mortgages. Whether you’re building a new home, purchasing a previously owned home, or delving into the world of real estate foreclosures, it’s helpful to know the real costs associated with ownership.
Utilities. As an apartment dweller, it’s likely that you split the cost of utilities with your landlord as part of your lease agreement (they pay heat, you pay electricity, etc.). However, your landlord also paid for things that you might not even be aware of — things that, as a new homeowner, you now need to take care of yourself. This can include gas, water, garbage pickup, and sewer. Your agent can walk you through these new costs, as well as get you the contact information for your local providers.
Property Taxes. As owner of your apartment building, your landlord also paid property taxes. And now you get to share in the fun. Each county in each state has its own rules and deadlines for property taxes, so be sure you know what to expect before the bill comes due. If no installment plan is available, take your total annual property tax amount, divide it by twelve, and be sure to set aside that amount every month when you pay your mortgage, so that you’re not left scrambling at the due date.
Maintenance and Upkeep. If you’ve lived in an apartment your whole life, you may never have had to mow a single lawn or fix a single faucet. Well, get ready to roll your up your sleeves. Not only will you need to shell out initial money for a few moderately large purchases (lawnmower, basic tool set, ladder, etc.), but you’ll need to either learn a few basic repair techniques or be willing to pay professionals to do it for you.
Mortgages are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the true cost of owning your own home. But don’t be afraid: with just a little foresight and planning, you can make the transition from renter to owner with barely a hiccup in your overall financial picture. Read this website for more information.