No one ever said that owning a home was inexpensive. If they did, it was because they hadn’t owned one long enough to know better. Almost everything about a home is more expensive than apartment living.
If you are buying your first home, just know that there are things you will need to pay for that you are used to getting for free. There are other things you were responsible for in the apartment. But it was a lot less expensive.
In a house, your utilities are generally more expensive. Apartments sometimes pay for some of the utilities such as water, sewage, and garbage. You are on the hook for all of that in a house. Also, the bill is usually higher because you use more of the service. It generally costs a lot more to heat, cool, and light up a house than it does an apartment.
So when you get ready to buy a house, you need to make sure you budget for more than the mortgage payment. Your recurring bills should include the following:
In your own home, you can’t just call the rental office and tell them to send the exterminator by to deal with those California creepers. You will need to source a San Diego exterminator yourself for those San Diego pests.
Every region has its own brand of creepy crawly. The roaches in the South are the size of small cars. And you will get them no matter how clean you keep your house. The first time you see a snake or scorpion in the basement of your Arizona getaway, you will understand why you need an exterminator on speed-dial.
For the best results, you need an exterminator to come in every month just to keep things up to standard. There is no such thing as a single treatment that gets rid of the problem forever. Pest control is an ongoing need, and an ongoing expense.
It doesn’t matter if you have floors or carpets, you will eventually reach the end of what you can do to keep them maintained. A cheap vacuum is not going to get the job done. Your toddler spends as much time on the floor as the dog. The pad under that carpet gets dirty in ways that are difficult to clean without professional equipment and know-how.
Not only do you need to keep your carpet clean, you need to keep it safe. You might want to consider using a professional, organic cleaning service.
Hardwood floors will need to be buffed from time to time. Tile presents challenges when it comes to keeping the grout clean and maintained. You can do a lot with daily cleaning. But you are going to have to periodically hire a professional to come in for the highest level of cleanliness.
You need the fastest broadband service you can afford when you move into your home. There are a lot of new smart home devices you will be tempted to try that might not have made as much sense in a small apartment.
You are going to want those smart lights inside and out. Now that the front door belongs to you, consider one of those smart doorbells, door locks, and door cameras.
All of these new smart devices need a ubiquitous connection to the internet. So there is a good chance that whatever you were using in the apartment will not be sufficient for your new home. Just wait till you have kids who all have smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles, smart watches, etc. All of that has to be connected at the same time. Whatever level broadband you had in your apartment has to be leveled up for the home.
You are also going to have to invest in some type of mesh router network. The bad news is that the new trend in routers is subscription pricing for the service. It is not just a matter of paying once for the hardware. You have to pay yearly for the updates and security patches.
When buying a house, your mortgage payment is just the beginning. Be sure to leave room in the budget for the exterminator, floor maintenance, and high-speed internet.