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Written By Ellie BrooksPublished 08/07/23
Owning a home brings a sense of pride and security, but it also comes with demanding and sometimes overwhelming financial responsibilities. To maintain and protect your investment, it’s crucial to anticipate and budget for various home ownership expenses. In this article, we will highlight 10 of the biggest home maintenance expenses that every homeowner should consider when creating a budget. By understanding these expenses upfront, you can more effectively manage your finances and ensure the long-term well-being of your home.
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1. Mortgage Payments
For most homeowners, the most significant of the monthly house expenses is their monthly mortgage payment. This payment includes the principal and interest on the home loan, as well as any required private mortgage insurance (PMI). It is essential to factor in this recurring cost when creating your budget.
If your mortgage payment is especially steep, consider that one effective way to reduce it is by refinancing your home loan. If interest rates have dropped since you initially obtained your mortgage, refinancing at a lower rate can potentially lower your monthly payment. Additionally, making extra principal payments or exploring loan modification options with your lender can help you reduce the overall loan balance and potentially decrease your monthly payment as well.
2. Property Taxes
Property taxes are levied by local governments and vary based on where you live and the assessed value of your home. These taxes fund various municipal services such as schools, infrastructure, and emergency services. Researching the property tax rates in your area and accounting for them in your budget is crucial to avoid any unwelcome surprises.
3. Homeowner’s Insurance
Protecting your home against unexpected events is essential, which is why homeowner’s insurance is indispensable essential. Insurance is very often a precondition of a mortgage as well. Homeowner’s insurance coverage provides financial protection in the event of damage caused by fires, storms, theft, and other covered perils. Premiums for homeowner’s insurance should be included in your budget to ensure continuous coverage.
4. Home Maintenance and Repairs
Regular home maintenance is essential for preserving the value and integrity of your property. Budgeting for ongoing maintenance tasks, such as HVAC servicing, gutter cleaning, and landscaping, is necessary. Additionally, unexpected repairs, such as plumbing leaks or roof damage, can occur, so it’s prudent to set aside funds for these contingencies.
Admittedly, unexpected maintenance is a little more difficult to budget for precisely. While many home expenses, such as insurance and mortgage payments, are fixed, maintenance costs can vary wildly from month to month and year to year. A home warranty is an effective way around this problem. You can pay a fixed monthly premium for reassurance that your home appliances and systems can be repaired when something goes wrong.
Monthly utility bills, including electricity, water, gas, and trash services, are things every homeowner needs to budget for. Monitoring energy consumption and exploring ways to reduce utility costs can help you manage these expenses effectively.
6. Homeowners Association (HOA) Fees
If your property is part of a homeowner’s association, you will likely have HOA dues and other fees to pay. These fees contribute to the maintenance and management of shared community amenities and common areas. Understanding the HOA fee structure and incorporating it into your budget is essential for seamless financial planning.
7. Landscaping and Yard Maintenance
Caring for your yard and landscaping adds to the aesthetic appeal of your home, but it also can serve more practical purposes. Adequate lawn maintenance can prevent water from pooling near your home’s foundation, for instance. Budgeting for landscaping services, lawn care, fertilizers, and gardening supplies ensures that your outdoor spaces remain well-maintained throughout the year.
8. Pest Control
Pest control is an often overlooked yet essential expense for homeowners. Regular inspections and treatments can help prevent infestations and protect your home from damage. Being proactive will pay in the long run. Preventative measures like setting traps, sealing openings in the basement or attic, or spraying for nuisance insects may set you back a few hundred dollars, but that’s much cheaper than dealing with a full-fledged infestation of rodents or insects. Including pest control costs in your budget will help maintain a pest-free and comfortable living environment.
Bear in mind that home warranties can help you with these expenses too. Some warranty providers offer various home services, such as pest control, as additional coverage options.
9. Home Improvement Projects
Over time, you may want to undertake home improvement projects to enhance your living space or increase your home’s value. Whether it’s a kitchen renovation, bathroom upgrade, or basement remodeling, budgeting for these projects is crucial to avoid financial strain. Set aside a little bit of money each month to steadily accumulate an improvement project fund.
10. Emergency Fund
Building an emergency fund specifically designated for homeownership-related expenses is wise. This fund can be used to cover unexpected repairs, deductibles for insurance claims, or any other unforeseen costs that may arise.
Being a responsible homeowner involves planning and budgeting for various expenses beyond the mortgage payment. By anticipating and budgeting for new homeowner expenses such as property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, maintenance, repairs, and so on, you can effectively manage your finances and ensure that your home will be safe and comfortable for many years to come.
Take proactive steps. Set aside a fixed amount of money from month to month. Maintain a spreadsheet that itemizes all of your expenses. Set aside plenty of cash reserves to pay for those more unpredictable or variable costs. And remember that there are services out there that can help. A home warranty, for example, can save you money on appliance and system repair and maintenance. It can also provide essential home services, including pest control, gutter cleaning, septic tank pumping, and more.
To find a home warranty tailored to your home, needs, and budget, call Liberty Home Guard at (866)-432-1283. You can also get a free quote in minutes right here on our website.