3 Big Expenses to Expect After You Close on a Home
05-27-2021 • MHS Lending
Buying a house is one of the most expensive purchases you’ll ever make. When you first meet with a loan officer like those at MHS Lending to find out what you’re pre-approved for, it may surprise you to start learning all about the numbers involved in the home buying process. If you’re using a VA Loan, you may be able to skip a down payment but for other traditional loans you’ll need to put a percentage down on the price of your new home.
While it may make sense to put as much money as you can down at closing, you’ll want to make sure you have enough left over for the inevitable expenses that come after you sign your closing documents. We know it can be stressful to navigate this huge financial purchase, so we put together the top three biggest expenses to expect after you close on a home.
Upgrades and Repairs
Unless your house is a brand-new construction, you’ll likely have a few things you want to change or upgrade to fit your aesthetic and lifestyle once you move in. Towards the end of the home buying process, you’ll likely do a walk through with a home inspector and it is then that you can request specific repairs or other help from the sellers based on their findings. In a perfect world, the sellers will fix everything on the list from the home inspection. If instead they do not fix everything on the list or you choose to forego a home inspection prior to closing, you’ll likely want to make a few upgrades or repairs when you move in.
These can be big changes like upgrading a bathroom, finishing a basement, or replacing the windows or doors or they can be small changes like painting a room or swapping out some lighting. Either way, you’ll likely want to start making your house a cozy home that’s fit for your personality and with this comes expenses that you’ll need some cash to cover. If you’re planning to stay in the home for a long time, you can start small and fix problem areas first to help you budget and pay overtime.
New Furniture and Appliances
Especially when you’re upgrading to a larger house, filling the new home with furniture can be expensive. Couches, tables, and rugs can be cheap or pricey depending on your preferences, but they do tend to add up, particularly when you’re looking to furnish a whole new room. Add in new wall paint, some artwork, and appliances and the costs can get high quickly. You’ll want to have some money set aside for the rooms you want to furnish first before you move in, especially bedrooms and living spaces. Making sure you have some cash in savings to cover these new expenses can help you get the furnishings you want.
Even though every homeowner has to pay utilities, it’s hard to determine just how much these are going to be when you move into a new house. According to move.org, the US average cost of utilities per month is $240 for apartments and $400 for single family homes. This amount includes electricity, water, gas, internet, streaming services, and trash / recycling and is a generic number that can change drastically based on location.
Upgrading to a Larger Home
When you upgrade to a larger home, it’s naturally going to cost more to heat or cool the space. If you’re moving from a home without an HOA to a complex that includes monthly HOA fees, you may find yourself with an added expense you’ve never experienced before. Looking to build a pool in your new backyard? This can make your water bill skyrocket (but may also help you save on a pool membership!) Try to estimate these extra expenses before you purchase a home so you can feel confident when setting a monthly budget and strategically planning for the future.
In addition to the expenses above you may also choose to pay for professional movers or need small household items to fill new bathrooms and a larger kitchen. It’s important to focus on what matters most to you first and don’t fall under the pressure of making all big purchases or renovations on day one. Buying a house is a big financial decision and having a safety net for the expenses that come after will give you security and help set you up for a successful and comfortable move!