Sandi Boucini & Michelle Granger - RE/MAX Executive Realty

Posted by Sandi Boucini & Michelle Granger on 10/11/2017

When you budget to buy a home, you sit down, do the math, and try to estimate what all of your monthly costs will be. There are so many monthly costs that come with being a homeowner that can make the whole process complicated. Sure, you have taken the standard costs into account like home insurance, property taxes, and even utilities. But there are a few out-of-the-box costs that youíll need to consider for your house hunt.

Flood Or Other Natural Disaster Insurance

Natural disasters are costly and devastating. Many homeowners who live in areas that are affected by natural disasters like floods and earthquakes often opt for additional coverage for their homes. Premiums for earthquake and flood insurance often end up being very high. As a natural disaster strikes, these premiums can go up even more. If you live in one of the high-risk areas for natural disasters, youíll want to check with your insurance agent ahead of time to plan for the additional costs that these special kinds of insurance will incur.

Water Costs During A Drought

There are many areas across the US that suffer drought conditions from time to time. Your water bill can skyrocket during these times. Itís best to continue conserving water and watch your bill closely in order to try and save some costs. Thereís not a whole lot you can do otherwise to control your bill. Youíll need to stay prepared with some extra cash on hand in case of these emergencies and know that costs can rise due to different environmental conditions.  

Tax Hikes And Special Assessments 

As a homeowner, youíll need to prepare for different kinds of assessments and tax increases. If your condominium complex needs significant repairs then youíll probably end up paying an assessment to help offset the costs. This is what comes with belonging to a homeownerís association. 

You canít prevent that the town is building a brand new school that requires a tax increase, nor can you prevent roof damage on one of the buildings in your complex. Financially, this is a hidden cost of homeownership that you should be prepared for. 

Unexpected Maintenance Costs And Home Furnishings

Once you move into a home, youíll need to prepare for the unexpected. The dishwasher may need to be replaced. The roof may need repair. The walls may need some paint. 

When you buy a home you may also need a bunch of things to furnish the home. These could include dishes, pots and pans, sofas, beds, and more. You donít want to leave your new home completely empty! You also donít want to be without vital appliances like an oven or a sink for too long if they are outdated or in disrepair. This is why itís a good idea to have extra money on hand to deal with any of these costs.

The best rule of thumb to follow when buying a home is to always be prepared with a but of extra cash on hand to avoid major issues down the road.           

Posted by Sandi Boucini & Michelle Granger on 7/6/2016

A house is the largest purchase that you may ever make. The rewards of buying a house are plenty. Lives are joined, futures forged and incredible memories are created inside a house, especially if it's a house that you love and end up living in for decades. Coming up with the money to buy a house then fund repairs and upgrades can be a challenge. Fortunately, you don't have to keep struggling. Following are 10 money saving tips that could help lower, if not remove, financial pressures associated with homeownership. Test outlets before you call an appliance repair professional. Your refrigerator, microwave or television may have stopped working because one or more electrical outlets are out. Hit the reset button on outlets that have them. You'll generally find these outlets in the kitchen and bathroom. If that doesn't work, check the breaker. Then, plug a lamp into the outlet. If the lamp works, call a repair professional to come and check out the appliance. Keep heat in during winter / out during summer. Do this by filling gaps beneath windows and doors during cold months. For example, you could place a rug beneath exterior doors. You could also self-adhesive foam to the bottom of windows and to gaps at the sides of doors and place plastic window frame covers on windows during cold months. Inspect and clean gutters to keep your roof healthy. Remove leaves and other debris from down sprouts. Flush gutters clean with a water hose. It's recommended that you clean your gutters twice a year. Stay clear of power lines. Check for mold at the edges of your windows, beneath sinks and other areas where water can collect. Mold could be a sign that you have a water leakage. Tighten pipes were you see mold developing. Leaks sealed, put on a pair of gloves and scrub mold away from surfaces, using a blend of water and bleach. Turn off the main water valve if you're going to be away from home for several days. This single step could save you hundreds in homeownership on money spent on leaks or flooding. Keep the thermostat at 68 degrees to save on utility bills. During warmer months, consider installing a ceiling fan. It helps to keep air circulating across a wider range of space. Burglar proof your home by installing edge guards to door locks. Double cylinder dead bolt locks and keyless and smartphone operated locks are good. For extra security, you could install a door jammer. Also, lock windows. Installing an alarm system, particularly an alarm system that lets you see inside your home while you're away, is another security step that you could take. Trim hedges and bushes to eliminate spots around your home that burglars could hide behind. Turn on house, garage and roof lights at night. Although nothing may work 100% at keeping burglars out, there are steps that you can take to slow burglars down or to make them think more than twice before they try to enter your home. Combine or bundle homeowners insurance with auto, life and other insurance packages. Check with several companies that offer homeowners insurance and other insurance lines to see the types of discounts each offers before you settle on a multi-policy plan. Let laundry dry naturally. Hang clothes outside when weather permits. You could also hand wash delicates and let them dry naturally on hangers that you place over a shower rod. Create and stick to a budget to get the most out of money saving tips. Include entertainment, groceries, homeownership repairs, homeowners insurance and any homeowners association fees in the budget.