When you buy a home, it’s important to look beyond the sale price and mortgage payment to set your budget. First-time homebuyers are sometimes caught off guard by overlooked expenses, which can create an uncomfortable finance pinch. Be sure you consider these one-time and ongoing expenses:
- Home Inspection. Before you close on your home, you’ll want to have it thoroughly inspected by a professional. Your lender may even require it. For a few hundred dollars, an inspection can uncover potential trouble such as structural problems or asbestos. If problems are found, you may need to pay another expert to provide an assessment. A good inspector can also tell you what to expect in terms of…
- Home maintenance. Experts recommend setting aside 1 to 3 percent of the home’s purchase price for annual maintenance. You may need to buy lawn care equipment or replace the roof, furnace or water heater.
- Taxes and insurance. Property taxes and homeowners insurance aren’t always included in mortgage payment calculators. Costs vary widely, depending on the value of your home and its location, but taxes and insurance together can easily total a few hundred dollars a month.
- Extra cash at closing. Your lender should give you a detailed estimate of closing costs. But beyond those, you may have to pay additional expenses, such as a prorated portion of property taxes or homeowners association fees that the seller has already paid.
- The move. Whether you hire professional movers for a few thousand dollars or rent a truck, buy boxes and recruit friends to help, moving costs money.
- Settling in. You may have to pay utility connection fees when you move in, plus utility costs may be higher than you were used to as a renter. You’ll probably want to replace the locks on all the doors. And you may need new window coverings, rugs and furniture.
Find the Right Mortgage
The experienced mortgage specialist at Navigator Credit Union can help you understand the true costs of homeownership so you don’t encounter any unpleasant surprises. We’ll help you find the right mortgage for your circumstances and budget. Contact a mortgage professional by calling 228-475-7300 or 800-344-3281, option #5; emailing Mortgage@navigatorcu.org ; or click here.