October 6, 2021

First Year of Owning a Home: What to Expect

Buying your first home is an exciting milestone in life, but do you know everything that comes with that? You have probably heard many great things about buying a house and maybe many not-so-great things. If you go into the process prepared, owning a home can be a fun, easy, and enjoyable experience. 

It’s important to learn how to budget, know what you’ll be paying, and be sure to have money set aside for unexpected expenses. Throughout the whole process, be sure to use every resource you can to help you learn and prepare. Below are listed many of the expenses and unexpected costs that can be expected in the first year of homeownership.

  • Maintenance and repair costs: Something is always bound to happen after you buy a home. Whether it is the roof leaking or the dishwasher breaking. Whatever it is that needs repairing, if you’re doing it yourself or have a professional do it, you can be certain in knowing that you will have to spend some money. It’s important to know the average cost of certain repairs and to make sure that money is set aside and ready. Some people call this “the first-year curse”, if it can go wrong, it will. 
  • Tools: You are now on your own and you now own your home. That’s a scary thought when you start to think about no longer having dad’s toolbox in the shed or his drills and screws in the laundry room. There will always be small things that need to be done around the house from hanging shelves or picture frames to assembling new furniture.Trust us, you’re going to need that screwdriver, so begin accumulating your own basic tools.
  • Furniture: A lot of people talk about that first year of homeownership and “sitting on the floor.” Which makes total sense when you furniture shop. Furniture is expensive. Buying a few pieces of furniture at a time helps cut costs down. Focus on the most important furniture first; beds, dresser, couch(es), kitchen table. While you’re doing this, keep in mind you’re going to need kitchen plates, bowls, silverware, and pots and pans!
  • Payments: When buying and planning out that first year, keep in mind one of the most important expenses…BILLS. Property taxes and HOA fees can slip up on you if you don’t budget for them.  Utilities will fluctuate throughout the year and can catch you by surprise.  You should expect higher usage during extremely hot and cold temperatures.  The best way to ensure a consistent utility bill is to take advantage of “budget billing.” Utility companies usually offer the option of spreading out your yearly bill into even increments every month. This helps you know exactly what will be due every month and helps you stay within budget! Pest control, specifically termites, needs to be addressed every year at a minimum. If your home has a termite bond, you will need to budget for that yearly renewal.  Many homeowners create a spreadsheet or other master list of these payments so they can make sure to work them into their annual budget. 
  • Lawn Care: Whether you are doing the lawn care yourself or hiring professionals, you’re going to have to pay. Doing it yourself is a much cheaper route, but even then, you’ll be buying a lawnmower, maybe an edger, and all the maintenance tools that come along with that. If you are pressed for time and not worried about letting others take care of your yard, you can always hire a lawn care business which of course costs money. Whatever fits your budget and your preference best.

Buying a home is an expensive purchase and there will always be unexpected costs popping up, but being prepared will help make that first year of owning a home as enjoyable as possible. Don’t let these expenses make you fearful of buying! The feeling of owning a home is like no other!  Take your time and don’t feel like you have to rush into it. Method Mortgage is here to help you through every step before purchasing a home.  There’s a reason why we call ourselves “The Smartest Way Home.”  If you’re ready to take the leap into homeownership, give us a call!