It is exciting to move into a new home. First-time homebuyers often spend most of their savings on the down payment and the move. Some additional expenses are likely to come up as you get your new house in order. Here are five home maintenance costs to be prepared for.
1. Tools and Equipment
As you get settled into your home, you will find that you need some equipment to maintain the house. A basic tool kit consisting of a hammer, various screwdrivers, and an assortment of nails and screws will come in handy. You will likely need a tape measure, duct tape, and several other tools.
Some larger and more expensive pieces of equipment that you may need to add to your home maintenance costs are a ladder, a lawnmower, and a weed eater. Depending on your property, you may also need shovels, rakes, and hoes.
2. Home Maintenance Costs: Utilities
Homebuyers often get an idea of how much the utilities will cost, but once they move in they find that the bill is higher than expected. You can help control or reduce these home maintenance costs.
Some free things you can do to lower your utility bills are turning down the thermostat and reducing shower time. To help reduce your bill even further, use all LED light bulbs and put new weather stripping around the doors and windows. Install a smart thermometer and program it to adjust at night and when you are away from home so your system doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain a comfortable temperature.
3. Emergency Repairs
Every homeowner experiences emergency repairs. It is just a fact of life when you own a piece of property. If possible, have some money set aside or establish an emergency credit card for these unexpected events.
The best ways to ward off or minimize these costs are to maintain the structure, the mechanical components, and the landscaping. Set up a calendar to change your heating and air conditioning filter as the manufacturer recommends, keep major appliances clean, and trim brush and tree branches away from the siding, gutters, and roof.
4. Pest Control
When you had the house inspected before you moved in, there may not have been any pest issues. But once you start using the property, pests might be drawn to it. Ants can find their way into your kitchen, spiders build webs inside and out, and mice might start creeping around the attic.
Fresh landscaping, flowers, and gardens can also attract outdoor pests, like gophers and moles. To repel these critters, you will need to purchase special devices or call in a professional. It can take some time and money to eradicate pest problems. Some methods to keep bugs out are to keep the house tidy, routinely sweep the cobwebs off outside, and seal up any holes in the siding and eaves.
You can call an exterminator or attempt to handle the problem yourself to try and save money. If you do opt to take care of it to yourself, make sure to study all of the products and get plenty of advice before using them around your house and near your family and pets.
5. Property Taxes and Insurance: Indirect Home Maintenance Costs
Some of these home maintenance costs do not directly affect the property but still affect your budget. From time to time, the area you live in may add bonds to your property tax. Some other things that can increase your property taxes are any home improvements. The tax assessor’s office might reevaluate your property at a new higher level after any upgrades, which in turn will increase your overall fee.
Your insurance company could raise your rates and change your premium. If this happens, set aside time to contact other carriers and get some new quotes in writing. Make sure you understand any alternate insurance policy before switching plans.