Everyone dreams of owning a home at some point – it will ultimately be your private sanctuary. You can design it any way you want, design rooms as you wish, and be in control of your own place. With home listings in Hudson Valley, NY, steadily rising, you may think that now is the best time to swoop in and snatch a deal, especially while interest rates are still low. It’s even harder to resist buying a home when your friends’ mortgage payments are similar to your monthly rent.
However, it’s important to note that there’s more to homeownership than meets the eye. Apart from mortgage payments, you’ll also have to take care of other recurring expenses that aren’t always obvious. You’ll have to make sure you get to stay in the house and pay off additional costs associated with it. Here are seven expenses to consider before taking the plunge into a new home:
1. Mortgage Payments
Unless you have enough resources to pay the property’s entire purchase price right off the bat, you’ll need to take on a mortgage to pay it over time. If you go this route, your monthly mortgage payment will be part of your principal, the amount you initially borrowed, and the resulting interest. How much you will pay ultimately depends on how much you borrow, the interest rate on your mortgage, and the mortgage term. You may also have other expenses that can impact your cash flow and your ability to pay your mortgage, so it’s essential to take a good look at your finances and figure out if you can afford a home.
2. Homeowners Insurance
It may be tempting to skip on homeowners insurance to cut your costs, but it is crucial in ensuring you can pay for rebuilding, replacing, or repairing anything in your home. For instance, in the event of a natural disaster or theft, you’ll have reserves to pay for what you’ve lost. If you take a home loan from a lender, you’ll also have to buy homeowners insurance, and premium costs are around $900 a year.
3. Private Mortgage Insurance Policies
Meanwhile, if your down payment is less than 20 percent of the property’s purchase price, you’ll have to purchase a private mortgage insurance policy. It will protect you if you can no longer pay your mortgage and have to default on it. The closer your down payment is to 20 percent, the lower your private mortgage insurance monthly cost will be. You can remove the insurance once you attain 20 percent equity.
4. Property Taxes
Local governments usually charge property taxes to help fund public expenses like schools, sidewalks, and parks. You’ll have to account for these expenses when purchasing a home, and you can coordinate with the seller or their real estate agent to find out how much the current annual tax is on a property.
5. Utility Bills
Once you’ve found a house that you love, be sure to ask the seller for a record of utility bills from the past year. It will give you an idea of how much you should expect to spend on heating, cooling, electricity, and water expenses. You’ll also need to consider differences in family size, as one person will most likely consume less water and electricity than a family of three.
Owning a home means you don’t have a landlord to call if something breaks – which also means you’ll need to factor in the costs of maintaining a property. Be sure to contact a qualified home inspector to survey the condition of a property, as they will give you a good idea of the life expectancy of the home’s major components. Other maintenance costs like landscaping, replacing filters, refinishing decks, and lawn maintenance may also add up on your total bill.
Lastly, you’ll need to consider how much you’ll spend on decorating your home and making it a place to call your own. Even if you have furniture to bring with you, it might not fit with the property. You might also prefer wood or tiled flooring in a particular room that is currently carpeted. If you’re not careful about your expenses, you can quickly end up with thousands of dollars worth of furniture and decoration, so it’s crucial to consider remodeling costs as well.
There are many costs involved with being a homeowner that are vital to consider when preparing to buy a property. Owning a home is incredibly rewarding, but it’s often expensive, especially if you aren’t prepared. By considering these costs, you can lay out a property budget that works best for your situation.
If you have any questions about home buying in Hudson Valley, NY, be sure to let us know at Hudson Valley Realty Center! We are a real estate brokerage offering full concierge real estate services. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you find your dream home!