Part of the American dream is becoming a homeowner. While renting an apartment, condo, or even a home may seem like a cheaper option than investing in a home, many factors can affect the pricing differences, and the benefits of owning a home often outweigh the risks.
First-time homebuyers are generally excited about the opportunity to own their own homes once they make that transition. Each monthly payment goes toward building equity that will profit them later as opposed to being spent on rent. Additionally, you have more freedom to make changes to the property to suit your tastes.
However, some unexpected costs catch many new homeowners by surprise. Some of these costs are just part of the reality when you become a homeowner, while others may come up because of inexperience or a lack of knowledge. If you are about to become a homeowner in Bird in Hand, PA, here are some costs that you may encounter.
When you buy a home with a yard, your responsibilities increase. Many communities have local codes that dictate a certain level of upkeep for the yard, such as mowing grass and trimming weeds. Ignoring these responsibilities could even lead to a fine, depending on where you live. While you may have planned to purchase a lawn mower, weed whacker, and other yard equipment, other costs can come up as well. If your mower breaks down, then you’ll need to have a lawn mower service repair the machine so you can keep up with lawn maintenance.
You might have to pay for grass seed or weed killer if your lawn is having trouble with healthy grass growth. These costs may have never crossed your mind until it comes time to pony up some money.
Properties in most communities will have to pay taxes, many of which will go toward the local school’s budget. Often, this can be an unexpected tax bill once or twice a year. It might be helpful to look up what the property and school taxes are in Bird in Hand, PA, before you move there to get a sense of this extra cost for homeownership. Fortunately, if you purchase your home using an Escrow account, many of these tax payments become automated, and your monthly mortgage payments take them into account.
.Unless you move into a completely new construction, there are probably going to be some repairs needed when you buy a home. Even newer homes could have maintenance issues when the next owner moves in. There could be issues with plumbing, electricity, HVAC systems, lighting, fixtures, or even physical deterioration that must be corrected soon. While it can feel discouraging to spend even more money on these repairs immediately after spending so much money on the purchase, it is something that happens to most buyers, either at move-in or not long after.
Real estate agents help homes sell in competitive markets by highlighting the positives and downplaying the negatives, so be prepared to encounter some repair needs based on the inspection or your own living experience.
Some neighborhoods or communities in Bird in Hand may be connected to a homeowner’s association. These organizations require monthly or annual fees to have access to their amenities. In return, you agree to follow the community rules that the association enforces and pay the fees. HOAs have both pros and cons, and the total cost ranges depending on the location of your home and the type of services offered by the association, so make sure you know what those fees are, or they could surprise you at closing and when the first mortgage bill arrives.
If you aren’t going to bring your waste to the local landfill or dump, then you will need to pay for trash services to pick up your garbage/recycling regularly. While this may not be a surprise to new homeowners, it is an extra cost that is worth considering when searching for a home. Many of these services will provide you with containers once you have signed up and paid for the first month or quarter of pickup services.
Leave Wiggle Room in Your Budget
More informed buyers help improve the condition of the real estate market in Bird in Hand, PA. When people move into a home without knowing about all the extra costs, they could find out that they cannot afford the monthly payments. While the draw toward homeownership is strong, it should only happen when you are in a positive financial situation that will allow you to cover mortgage payments and some of these unexpected costs. Leave some wiggle room in your budget after the home purchase is complete to deal with costs like repairs, lawn upkeep, property taxes, association fees, and trash removal services. If you have planned and done the research, there will be no surprises during your first months of homeownership.