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For First-Time Homebuyers: 5 Major Costs of Owning Your Home

For First-Time Homebuyers: 5 Major Costs of Owning Your Home

This one is for the first-time homebuyers who want to buy or build a home that is truly theirs, but are a little unsure of what they are fully getting into from a financial standpoint. We all know that there are definite financial considerations to buying a home, regardless of whether you buy an existing home or build a brand new home to fit your needs. However, there's more to it than simply making sure you can cover the mortgage.

In the following paragraphs, we'll cover 5 major costs of owning your own home - aside from the mortgage. Ready to dive in? Let's go!

1. Taxes

Maybe the biggest expense aside from your actual mortgage is taxes. Here in West Virginia, we pay tax for just about everything, and home ownership is no different. A general rule of thumb for West Virginia real estate tax is about 0.49% of a property's total value, though it may differ depending on where you buy or build.

In most cases, real estate taxes are "baked in" to your mortgage payment. Be sure to talk to your lender about this as you move forward.

2. Utilities

Utilities can range in price depending on many different variables, including:

  • How efficient your home is
  • Who your provider is
  • Where you are located, and
  • What kind of bargaining power you have.

Common utilities in our region generally include electric, gas/propane, water, trash, and cable/internet service. Many of these companies use standard rates for the region, but you may be able to shop around for alternative (and cheaper) services.

3. Insurance

If you have a mortgage on your home, you are required to have homeowners insurance. However, this coverage is still a good idea regardless of whether or not you are required to have it. Imagine losing everything in your home due to a fire or a severe storm - homeowners insurance will cover the cost to replace or repair what has been damaged or lost.

This is another cost that is usually included with a mortgage, so be sure to speak to your lender about what - if any - coverage you will be paying for.

4. Maintenance & Repairs

Keeping up your property is a fact of life when you own your own home, and regardless of whether you're a "DIY" person or prefer to hire a professional, you're going to have to spend some money to keep your place looking great. A good rule of thumb is to estimate 1% of your property's value per year for maintenance. For example, if your home is worth $250,000, estimate at least $2,500 per year to maintain it. This should cover all the little things that need attention throughout the year like a fresh coat of paint, new caulking around the bathtub, or fixing a stubborn garage door opener.

5. Emergencies & Big Projects

Small repairs aside, things will eventually break in your home. Even with brand-new, well-built homes something will eventually wear out. Water heaters, furnaces, and roofs all have a shelf life of a few decades and will eventually need replaced sometime in the (hopefully) distant future. For these reasons, it's always a good idea to have an emergency house fund to cover the costs of any repairs that will need performed down the road.

Putting It All Together

These are 5 of the major costs to consider when buying or building your home. It may sound a little daunting, but there's no reason to be nervous about taking the leap into home ownership - it's just good to be prepared. If you'd like to learn more about how much building your dream home would actually cost, give one of our experts a call and we can talk about your needs, tastes, and budget.

If you're ready to talk about designing a new home for your family, stop by Paradise Homes to chat with one of our experts. We have a variety of model homes at our sales center that you can tour, all with different options, floorplans, square footage, and styles. You can walk through our models and discuss what features are important to you, where you'd like to build, and what your home will cost. We'll customize a floorpan just for you, and walk you through every step of the home buying process.

Just CONTACT US or give us a call at 304-291-0072...or better yet, stop by our office in Morgantown!

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