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Expenses of Home Ownership

Hopefully all goes smoothly when you purchase your home. In your anxiousness to become an owner it may not have crossed your mind and no one tells you, your'e not done spending money on this transaction. It may not be soon and it may not be much, but you will need to have a comfortable income above your expenses.

Why didn't they tell you? Shouldn't a good real estate agent prepare you for everything they can think of, neighborhood analysis, schools, crime, child molesters, stigmas...? All of us who have been out here in the business have seen it too many times. Too many buyers spend what they are qualified for and many times that is too much. They may not have thought about buying a car in a couple of years, or how much it costs to raise children, how much furniture is going to cost....

The best thing to do is not buy the most expensive house you can afford. Secondly, hire a reputable home inspector. Ask around, call different agents for suggestions. A good home inspection will turn up so many things on an average house that it would startle almost everyone. Most things are minor and some aren't even worthy of mention, but if an inspector quickly walks through the house and says it's fine, chances are you got the wrong guy. Keep in mind if you contract the service,(you can request the fee be paid by the seller in your written agreement) the inspector has no reason to deceive you. However many times an agent will use the same company repeatedly who doesn't present any problems.

Don't expect problems but be prepared for them. Things do happen. Water heaters break, usually dumping out all the water in the tank. Plumbing gets stopped up and leaks. Appliances fail. Carpet, padding, vinyl, paint and roofs wear out. Even slate roofs need repairs and that is heavy on the wallet. A good idea is to have money only for your emergency home expenses, not for the wants. That comes out of checking or your pocket.

Suzie is a licensed real estate broker and residential real estate appraiser with twenty years experience. Other professionals in the industry have contributed as well, including agents, brokers, appraisers and educators.


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