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Understanding the Price Breakdown of Your Home

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By Mikkie Mills

Understanding the price breakdown of a home can be difficult. Most homeowners don't anticipate the costs associated with owning a home. There are hidden costs associated with home ownership, such as insurance and maintenance fees.

Most homeowners are unprepared for the unexpected, such as power outages and repairs. To help you prepare for your new home, here are six of the biggest costs of owning a home...

Property Taxes

You might think it's cheaper to own it is home than it is to rent one, you're kind of right. But if you're only taking the interest rate and principal rate into consideration, then you're missing out on property taxes. Before buying a home, you need to know which taxes you're going to pay. Divide those taxes by 12 months and you'll have your estimated monthly payment.

Those property taxes are going to go up every year or so. You may even receive a tax increase within a year of owning your home. Make sure you have enough room in your budget to pay those property taxes.

Insurance

You'll find that it costs more to insure a home than an apartment. If you already own renters' insurance, you might be surprised when that goes up as well. There are so many factors to keep in mind when choosing the right insurance. It costs more to insure an old house than it is to insure a new home.

If you fell behind on your credit card payments, then your insurer will notice that on your credit history and raise your rates based on this assessment. It doesn't matter if you already paid off your mortgage. You'll still get penalized for falling behind on your payments. In addition, if you live in an earthquake zone, flood zone, hurricane zone, tsunami zone, or volcano zone, then you may pay more for disaster insurance.

Maintenance

There are so many maintenance costs associated with homes. You may have to clean the gutters, repair or replace the roof, reseal the driveway, or restain the deck. When it comes to the indoors, you might have to clean the chimney, drain the water heather, fix the plumbing, repair the appliances, replace filters, and seal your doors and windows.

Some of these costs don't include patching the ceilings and walls, repainting your home, regrouting the bathroom, replacing the toilets, replacing the carpets, and restaining the floors. There's always something to do in the home and some of those costs can add up.

Cleaning Costs

Any homeowner knows that cleaning the house is a lot of work. Cleaning is emotionally, mentally, and physically draining, especially if you have other tasks to tend to. You'll have to buy several sets of cleaning equipment and supplies so you don't have to bring them up and down the stairs. If you hire a cleaning company, that's going to set you back $100 or more per visit.

Energy Costs

If you purchase a house and find out that the furnace has lasted a decade, then it's time for a new one since repairs won't be as effective. Your furnace isn't as energy efficient as you'd hope it would be. Instead of replacing your furnace, it's time to consider an air conditioning unit or solar panel cost. Determine what you need before you invest it in it.

DIY Expenses

Thanks to home improvement channels, it seems like everyone wants to do it themselves. They have no issue with wanting to knock down a wall, stripping a bathroom, or adding a new room. It's not as affordable and easy as it may look on television. No matter how many hours of HGTV you've watched, you still don't know a thing about electricity, plumbing, support beams, or cutting granite.

When you think you're saving money by doing it yourself, it could end up costing you more money in the long run. You may waste money on buying the wrong materials. Maybe you didn't buy enough and you have to buy more or you have to hire a professional to do it for you.

Before you buy a new home, it's important to know if you can afford these costs. Don't spend too much on additional expenses such as clothing, tech gadgets, and vacations during the first years of owning a home. See how much you can save for emergencies and unexpected situations and see how it pans out within a year or two.

About Mikkie Mills: “I’m a Chicago native who loves to share her expertise about personal development and growth. When I’m not writing, I’m chasing the little ones around or rock climbing at the local climbing gym.” More articles by Mikkie.

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