Before buying a home, consider these “extra” expenses

It’s funny; Buying a house feels a lot like giving birth to me – no matter how traumatic it is at the time, there’s a sweet amnesia that sets in after signing that mortgage. I’m always (always) surprised at how many extra expenses we have when we buy a home. There are small costs, like the tip of the team that delivers our furniture, and large expenses, like closing costs, property taxes, and home insurance. Here, we’ll discuss some of the other reasons you might need to break out your wallet, even if you haven’t planned on spending more.

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Exterior maintenance

If you have a garden, you will need to decide how you are going to take care of it. Will you hire someone to mow and prune, or do you plan to do it yourself? If you don’t already have the lawn equipment you need, go ahead and budget for them. Don’t forget a snow blower if you’ve moved to an area with a lot of snow. There is also the cost of maintaining the aisle to consider. Depending on the type of driveway, yours may require rut filling, waterproofing or grading.

There are also plants, flowers, and new garden hoses to purchase. If the property is on a septic tank, maintenance will be part of your budget. You can also plan for expenses such as:

  • Deck cleaning
  • Pool or spa maintenance
  • Powerful wash
  • Tree maintenance
  • Pest control

Even if the exterior paint has not yet chipped, faded, or chipped, it’s a good idea to set some money aside each month for the possible need to paint. The average cost in the United States to have a 2,400 square foot home painted is between $ 1,800 and $ 5,000, according to HomeGuide. Putting some money aside each month for big projects like this can avoid paying for them when the time comes.

Indoor costs

You have so much to think about when you move. Here are some of the expenses that are easy to forget.

  • Moving expenses : Depending on how far you’re moving and how many possessions you own, you’ll pay between $ 900 and $ 10,500 to leave the state, according to HomeAdvisor.
  • House warranty: Not everyone has (or wants) a home warranty, but ours paid off easily, and I can’t imagine without it. Covering our house costs $ 63 per month, but over the past three years we’ve had two furnaces and a water heater replaced. Best of all, we don’t have to worry about whether the stove, dishwasher, or washing machine will break because we know we’re covered.
  • Deep cleaning: I swore a few moves back to never move into a house that hasn’t been cleaned from top to bottom. The move is time consuming and exhausting – and for me, it’s worth paying a crew of $ 300 to $ 400 to deep clean every square inch of a house before our first box hits the front door. . If you like deep cleaning yourself, this is money you can keep in your savings account or spend on something fun around the house.
  • New locks: Since there is no way of knowing how many people have a key to the house, your best bet is to change the locks.
  • Window coverings: I generally underestimate how much it will cost to cover the windows. The next time I move there will be a special fund for window treatments.
  • The essentials of the kitchen: Depending on how far you travel and how long you store your belongings, some foods may need to be replaced, such as spices, condiments, sugar, and flour.
  • Domestic products: Movers may not want to pack cleaning products, aerosols, or gas cylinders. The best thing you can do is leave anything that could be dangerous and buy it back when you get to your new home. If something is too dangerous for a professional moving company to transport, it is just as dangerous for you to move.


I’m continually surprised at how much more (or less) things cost depending on where you set up shop. For example, it’s easy to pay $ 200-400 a month for water in Kansas City, while water in St. Louis costs a tenth the price. Here are some of the other miscellaneous costs you should know about (and budget for).

  • Trash can: Check if garbage collection is free citywide or if you have to pay a private waste management company.
  • Association of owners: If you are moving to a property that is part of a Homeowners Association (HOA), check what you might have to pay, such as running HOA fees, storing your classic car, or special materials for a home. HOA approved fence. Ask what’s going on if there’s a significant problem in your neighborhood (like a sinkhole swallowing the tennis court) or if there are times when you’ll need to shell out more money for the HOA.
  • School transport service rate: If you have children in school, check to see if the public schools in your area charge for school bus service. While this was once unknown, more and more districts are charging for bus services to cover budget deficits.

As exciting as moving to a new place is, it can be stressful. The best thing any of us can do is plan for any eventuality, and that includes spending more than expected once you’ve closed the house.

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