Hidden Costs Your Realtor Didn’t Tell You About
Most folks know that when buying a home, you’ll need funds for down payment, closing costs and home inspections but there are some hidden costs that your Realtor didn’t tell you about and need to be part of your planning process.
There are hidden costs in your mortgage payment. If you are using a basic loan calculator to calculate what payment you can afford you are missing essential “additions” your principal and interest payment. You can trust a quality mortgage company to fully disclose all costs but here’s the things a simple payment calculator doesn’t include.
The additional cost are for property taxes, property insurance and mortgage insurance. In most cases the mortgage company will include a monthly contribution to an escrow account for your property taxes and insurance. Essentially, it’s a forced savings account which allows your mortgage company to pay your property taxes and insurance payments when they are due annually.
Mortgage insurance is another cost added on to your payment. For borrowers putting less than 20% down mortgage insurance is added to the monthly payment. Mortgage insurance protects the lender or lien holder in the event that the borrow defaults on the loan. Typically, this and can add anywhere between 0.5% to 1% of the cost of your loan.
The next two costs are not so much hidden costs but ones that you may not have thought about if you are a first-time home buyer. These are utility bills and maintenance for your new home.
When deciding on what you can afford be sure to increase your budget for utilities. If you’re moving from a small apartment or home into a nice, three-bedroom home with lots of room, you should plan on your utility bills being higher.
Additionally, think about the utility cost that you here your landlord or apartment complex may have picked up for you such as trash and water. You’ll be surprised by how much water your new vegetable garden will drink!
Maintenance & Repairs
Finally, be sure you budget for maintenance and repairs. The days where you could call your landlord when your air conditioner stops cooling, when your disposal jams or your faucets leaks, are far behind you. The cost of maintain a home is something that catches first-time buyers off guard. Plan on building a home maintenance fund from day 1. Every home need ongoing maintenance to maintain value. Home repair experts say the annual maintenance cost of a home is somewhere between 1% and 3.6%.
Being a homeowner is great, but the greatest homeowners are the ones that are prepared for the real cost of home ownership.