Unexpected First-Time Homebuyer Expenses to Plan For

First-time homebuyer expenses quickly add up and if you’re not prepared for them, it can become a case of buyer’s remorse. The truth is, you need to actually understand the home buying process and all that’s involved. For instance, you should know some basic home inspection facts. Additionally, it’s good to know things about the appraisal process, how to negotiate price, and what’s in the typical purchase offer contract. It’s also quite helpful to plan for unexpected first-time homebuyer expenses.

Unexpected First-Time Homebuyer Expenses to Plan For

Many would-be homeowners do save for several costs, which include down payments, earnest money deposits, inspections, moving expenses, and closing costs. But, that list doesn’t include some other costs which seeming come out of nowhere. Examples include new dinnerware, toiletries, miscellaneous items, and more. Other expenses can come in the form of a short-term self storage lease (particularly when going from a bigger to a slightly smaller place).

“If you’re considering becoming a homeowner, even years from now, recognize that there’s a lot more to purchasing a house than saving enough money for a down payment. Additional expenses come up throughout the home-buying process. Some of these are upfront, out-of-pocket costs that are non-refundable even if you end up not closing the deal. Others will hit your wallet after the home is in your possession. Experienced buyers probably are familiar with these charges, but first-time buyers can be caught off-guard.” —Kiplinger.com

And, it’s possible to buy a home that needs a little TLC or just needs a few updates. So, it’s best to avoid home improvement mistakes if this is the case. But now is the time to really focus on the future. Doing this will be a great help and provide some preventions. You definitely should not max-out lines of credit, open new credit lines, make large cash withdrawals, or make big purchases. All are red flags to lenders. In addition, be prepared to run into a few costs which catch many by surprise. Here are the most common first-time homebuyer expenses to plan for:

  • New door locks. There’s no way to really know how many duplicate keys are floating around out there, especially if you’re buying new construction. So, do yourself a favor and change the door locks to secure the house. Be sure to make duplicates to give to family and to hide for the inevitable lock out.
  • Window treatments. Just because you fell in love with the Roman shades or wood blinds when you saw the house, doesn’t mean those will remain with the home. Check to see if those window treatments are part of the sale. If not, you’ll have to buy new window treatments.
  • Major kitchen appliances. Aside from recently built properties, new construction, and renovations, there’s a good chance you’ll want new kitchen appliances. Put some money aside if this even has the potential to be the case so you don’t take a big financial hit.
  • Landscaping tools and materials. Like new kitchen appliances, the landscape might also need some refreshing. If you’re not buying new construction or a home with nice landscaping, you’ll definitely want to spruce up the curb appeal. The good news is, this doesn’t cost very much and you can do a lot of it (if not all) on your own.
  • Fire extinguishers and smoke alarms. Testing the smoke alarms is a must and replacing them is not optional. Also, you should have the fire extinguishers inspected at the nearby fire department or buy new ones, if necessary. And, if there is one or more carbon monoxide detectors, test those as well.

If you are considering buying or selling a home in Orlando, contact us for the latest market information. We’ll also provide you with the right advice about the local real estate market so you make the best decisions.