5 Often Overlooked Aspects of Home Ownership

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In 2019 there were 5.34 million homes sold in the United States with first-time homebuyers purchasing 1.66 million of these homes.

Purchasing a home is a goal for many people. Freedom from landlords affords individuals with greater flexibility. They don’t have to follow arbitrary rules, can have pets, and are free to redecorate and remodel as they see fit. Homeowners also get a chance to invest in a property they can resell in the future. Although there are many benefits, these are five critical aspects of homeownership that many new buyers overlook.

1. Home Maintenance Costs

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Landlords are typically responsible for the cost of repairs when you rent a property. Most apartments and homes come equipped with appliances and structural components, such as plumbing and heating, the property’s owner must maintain.

Once you own your own home, you’re responsible for routine maintenance. It’s common to spend 1% of your home’s cost when you purchased it on maintenance. This is a ballpark figure, and several factors can affect your actual spending amount. In addition, it costs less money to maintain newer homes so if you buy a brand-new home, it may be five years before you need to restain your deck or replace sealants.

The climate can also have a significant impact on home maintenance costs. Local bylaws may require you to have your sidewalks cleared within a preset number of hours after snow. If you’re unable to do this yourself, you may need to hire someone to shovel your sidewalks and clear your driveway.

Other typical home maintenance costs include changing the filters on your air conditioning and heating system, replacing batteries in your alarms, and clearing your gutters to prevent water from seeping through your roof.

2. Home Repair Costs

It’s important to restain your wood siding every four years and repaint already painted wood siding every three to seven years.

A leaking roof can cause mold growth and water damage, which can affect your home’s structural supports, floors, and ceilings. Make a habit of routinely checking your roof for damage, particularly if you’ve experienced high winds. If you see signs of water damage inside your home or missing shingles, google “Denver roofer” to locate expert roofers in your area who can evaluate your roof’s condition. Find a roofing company that’s comfortable working with insurance claims to ensure you receive the appropriate compensation if your roof was damaged in a storm.

If you buy an older home, you may need to repair or replace pipes made of clay. Clay pipes break down over time. If this happens, sewage will leak into the ground around your home. If your pipes are blocked, sewage may back up into your home and cause property damage. One way to catch plumbing issues before they become a severe problem is to inspect your pipes regularly. If water drains slowly, it can be a sign of a severe issue.

3. Insurance Needs

Homeowners need insurance to protect their home and their possessions. You may also need mortgage insurance. Some lenders require homebuyers to pay for mortgage insurance, which compensates them for the loan cost if you aren’t able to pay your mortgage. Another type of insurance you may want to consider is mortgage life insurance — your mortgage is paid off by mortgage life insurance in the case of your death, protecting your spouse and dependents from losing the home.

4. HOA Costs

Homes located in a homeowner’s association (HOA) areas must comply with HOA rules. Rules can govern how often you need to mow your lawn, what types of flowers you can plant in your garden, and what color your front door can be. HOAs charge quarterly fees and issue fines to residents who don’t comply with their rules.

5. Transportation and Parking

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You may be required to pay for permits to park on the street in front of your house or may not be allowed to park there during certain times of the day. Your parking and access to public transportation may have an impact on friends and family members who want to visit and cause frustration if you’re unable to find a parking spot when you get home from a long day at work. Ensure you have enough parking to meet your essential needs or budget for parking costs if you have to use a neighborhood garage.

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