Thursday, February 20, 2014

The costs of owning a home

Owning your home is a liberating experience, particularly for first-time homeowners. Compared to renting, having your own house has many advantages such as financial stability and freedom in choosing the style of your home. However, these benefits also come with costs which should be kept in mind when assessing what property you can afford to purchase.

A larger home will need more furnishings to fill it and will generally require more of an investment than a compact property.

Upkeep

Homes suffer wear and tear from regular use and natural causes such as weather and pests. The upkeep and maintenance of your house will inevitably incur extra expenses which may range from annual termite treatments and monthly air-conditioner cleaning. Before you decide to buy a home, consider the size of the house and how much you will potentially spend on its upkeep. 

Home renovation

Having your own home gives you the freedom to make home improvements as you please. Whether you want to convert an extra bedroom into that library you’ve been dreaming of or expand your garden, these renovations can be costly. The good news is you’ll be able to enjoy these renovations and if planned well, they can increase the value of your property when the time comes to sell.  

Home furnishings

When you consider buying a new home, also consider how much it will cost to furnish it. Home furniture and furnishing vary greatly in price depending on the brand, material and style. A larger home will need more furnishings to fill it and will generally require more of an investment than a compact property.

Utilities and fees

If your home is part of a subdivision with a homeowner’s association, you'll have to pay monthly dues to cover the maintenance of common areas. Other monthly bills include the water and electricity bills. If you’ve acquired other services such as cable television and Internet services, these are added expenses too.

Taxes

Homeownership requires you to pay real property tax (RPT) to the government. The amount you need to pay is dependent on the assessed value of your home. It is best to check the property tax rate of a home before you commit to a purchase.


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