First Time Home Owner – If you have never owned a home before and have now purchased your first home, we want to say “congratulations”. It is SO exciting to come home at the end of the day to your very own home.
It’s fun to find just the right dining room table, even if it’s at a consignment store, and just the right wall color. Planing flowers and shrubs in the front yard, making your house look like a home.
Before you get carried away with spending money on all the fun stuff, there are some things you should know, and save money for. When you are in the process of purchasing your home, all anyone talks about is what the mortgage payment, taxes and insurance will cost. But they don’t always remember to let you know about the continuing costs of home ownership.
Realtor.com had a great post about the 9 Hidden Home Maintenance Costs which most homeowners will encounter. Not all of them will pertain to Florida Homeowners, but I thought it might be useful to post an excerpt here:
Cost: $100 to $350, plus installation
1. New locks
“I don’t think people are thinking about who else has a key: the babysitter, dog walker, mother-in law,” says Elizabeth Samti, a real estate agent for Weichert Realtors in Cherry Hill, NJ. “People aren’t conscious about how many keys could be floating around out there.”
Once you’ve signed on the dotted line, you get to take the keys to your new home—but before moving in with all your stuff, you should get those locks changed ASAP.
3. HVAC maintenance
Cost: $70 to $100 twice a year
Twice-a-year maintenance on your HVAC system can prevent expensive emergency repairs in the future. Even brand-new systems need check-ups, as most warranties require regular maintenance.
The cost of HVAC maintenance depends on the payment plan you select. If you choose to pay a technician each time he comes to your home, you can wind up paying up to $100 per visit. Instead, Samti recommends signing up for a yearly service contract. These contracts typically include two check-ups a year, and may also offer perks like priority emergency service or a small discount if repairs are needed. The price of a year-long contract depends on its terms, but tends to run around $150.
8. Pest control
Cost: $50 to $250 for initial treatment
Even if you paid for a pest inspection before purchasing, you can still end up with an army of ants marching across your kitchen counter in the spring. An initial treatment to exterminate ants can cost $50 to $75, and your exterminator will typically charge around $40 for each additional month he needs to continue treatment, according to Ed McGettigan of Exterminating Company of America in Audubon, NJ.
As for rodents, the cost depends on how many critters are crawling around your home.
“Since there are various methods of removing rodents, the fees for each method will vary, but expect to pay at least $75 for an initial visit from any pest control company,” McGettigan says.”
These are just a few of the 9 Hidden Home Maintenance Costs listed in the Realtor.com post. I think I would also include a Lawn Service and Lawn Maintenance, hurricane prep and pool maintenance in this list for my Indian River County first time buyers.