Buying your first home is a very exciting time filled with possibilities, but you don’t want to end up swimming in debt just after closing. To keep your financial head on straight, let’s go over the costs you’ll face as a homeowner for first-time buyers in Metro Atlanta.
The most obvious expense you’ll face is getting your personal belongings from one place to the other.
This can mean depending on friends and family to make trips back and forth or needing a professional moving service to come in and get the job done. Whatever the case may be, you want to know what it’s going to cost you ahead of time and plan accordingly.
If you’re going to hire a moving service, make an effort to research the company a bit and read through customer reviews before settling on one.
PROPERTY TAXES AND INSURANCE
If your mortgage lender is not putting money away in an escrow account that you pay into every month, you’re going to need to plan ahead for property taxes.
Having the most recent tax assessment provided for you will go a long way to help you save the correct amount of money, and it will also let you know any deadlines for those tax payments. Of course, remember that if you’re taking out a conventional mortgage and did not put down 20%, you will be on the hook for PMI, which is included in your monthly mortgage payment. Any PMI should be added in with the final explanation of your payments, provided by your mortgage lender to prevent any nasty surprises.
You will also need to factor in paying homeowners insurance into the costs you’ll face as a homeowner, the cost of which will vary based on a whole list of variables your selected insurance agency determines.
It would do you some good to get quotes and shop around for homeowners insurance since these prices can be quite different from one agency to the next.
Definitely do not forget that you will have monthly or quarterly payments due to your utility companies when drawing up your list of costs you’ll face as a homeowner.
These include power, water, and garbage and recycling services. Hopefully, you were able to get your utility start dates synchronized correctly with your move-in, and you’ll quickly get an idea of what to expect from these after your first month in your new home. It’s even better if your agent or the previous owners are able to give you an exact figure to expect to pay on a monthly basis for each of these utilities.
MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS
Once you’re moved into your home, you’ll eventually start to notice things need a bit of help to keep going or just need to be repaired entirely. Most homeowners move into a property and discover something that needs to be dealt with and having a bit of money saved away to deal with these unexpected negatives can help a lot.
Owning a home is more than mowing the lawn and vacuuming occasionally, but it’s well worth the time and effort to have the privacy of your own space.
Depending on where you live, you may be part of an HOA or homeowners association.
These organizations are often tasked with creating and upholding a certain level of decorum in a neighborhood. Sometimes this includes maintaining the roads and public spaces in the neighborhood, and this requires money you’ll have to factor into the costs you’ll face as a homeowner.
If you’re part of an HOA, the previous owner will have to notify you of this and provide you with any important information about the HOA. Part of that information packet will include any HOA dues and a budget for the HOA.