Purchasing a home can take a toll on your bank account, both on the day of closing and every month that follows with recurring home expenses. Many first-time homeowners think that once they’ve put a down payment on their home, the only thing they’ll have to worry about is a mortgage payment every month. Although a monthly mortgage payment is a regular cost, there are many other expenses that make up home ownership. The trick to home ownership is to create a budget that you can follow each month and actually make ends meet. For those who are looking into purchasing a home, it may be a good idea to create a sample budget before purchasing a home just so you know what you can and cannot afford. With this infographic, Landmark Home Warranty has created an idea of what items to include in your monthly budget that you may not have factored into your current renter’s budget. For homeowners who have already purchased a home, use this infographic as a way to check what you’re spending each month and see if there’s any way you can reduce your expenses. Sometimes feeling in control of your finances means just writing down where your money goes and how much you spend each month.
Begin your budget by writing down how much things like groceries, vehicle payments, and vehicle insurance cost you each month. Then go onto the rest of your home’s expenses.
The first, and most obvious part of your homeowner budget is your mortgage payment. This monthly cost depends on your bank and loan. A longer loan means lower payments, but usually means a higher amount of interest you have to pay back to the bank. That’s why it’s a smart idea to put a larger amount down for closing — but only if you can afford it. If you end up spending all of your savings on the down payment of a home and you have nothing left for the rest of these expenses, it could spell financial trouble. Discuss with your real estate professional what homes you can afford, and talk with your bank on what you can afford for your mortgage payment.
Many homeowners forget that with a home comes property tax. Usually property tax is paid bi-annually, and the taxes themselves vary from state to state. The tax almost never remains constant either; it’s usually increased each year. Thus, this is a place in a homeowner’s budget to include some flexibility. Save an amount of money each month that will be greater than what you paid last time for property taxes. If you have to pay more money than normal, it’s better to plan ahead and save money than scramble to pay something you weren’t expecting.
If you have a mortgage, you’re required by law to have home insurance. If you don’t have a mortgage, and your home is paid off, it is still a great idea to have home insurance to protect your investment. Home insurance protects your home from natural disasters or burglary. You can see if you can get a decrease on your monthly premium by including car insurance on your premium or installing smoke detectors in your home.
Most renters are aware of utility payments – water, electricity, or gas. However, when you own a home the utilities increase. You’ll have to pay for sewer and trash removal costs. Homeowners should also factor in phone payments, internet payments and cable payments, which may have been included in their rental property for free. Some homeowner’s associations may also charge a utility fee, depending on where you live. This may be used to pay for security, pool cleaning or road maintenance.
ROUTINE MAINTENANCE AND EMERGENCIES
Your home’s systems and appliances can and will break down. According to the National Builder’s Association, a homeowner will spend between 1-4% of their home’s value in repairs each year. Set aside some money for repairing systems, but you should also save money just in case an appliance fails. Money Wise tells homeowners a good way to expect and save for repairs is to keep track of how old your systems and appliances are in a notebook. That way, homeowners will know when their appliances will most likely break down. Putting an extra $60 a month into a savings account for maintenance can help you budget your money for unexpected repairs. Getting a home warranty on your house can also help to save money.
A HOME WARRANTY CAN HELP YOUR BUDGET
Home warranties save homeowners thousands of dollars each year. When your systems and appliances are properly maintained, a home warranty will cover them when they fail. If your appliances or systems have failed, call your home warranty company and let them know. As long as the system or appliance is covered with your home warranty plan, the home warranty company will send a service contractor to your home to repair or replace the appliance or system for a $60 service call fee. Home warranties protect your home and your budget.
For more information about home warranties, go to www.LandmarkHW.com. Landmark’s home page can show you quotes for home warranty plans, let you read satisfied customers’ home warranty reviews and learn more about the best home warranty company.