Surprise Costs

The unexpected costs of buying a new home

Buying a home seems pretty straightforward. You save for your down payment, closing costs and your monthly mortgage bills. Then, when you finally buy the house, that’s it! Wrong!

The truth is buying a home usually comes with a lot more expenses than what we just listed.

According to a recent report from Zillow, new homeowners can expect to spend an average of $30,000 on “unexpected but common” costs to get houses move-in ready. These projects can include anything from fixing leaky faucets to replacing a roof.

The reality is that most buyers simply don’t realize that down payments and mortgages are just the beginning of home owning costs. The same Zillow report found that the average home-buyer only expects to pay between $10,000 and $15,000 to make their new home move-in ready. Here are some of the more common move-in ready expenses and how to make them affordable:

    1. New locks. Unless you’re buying a new home, you’ll want to replace the locks. New locks can run between $80 and $200 per door. The best way to save on this is to either do it yourself or shop around for estimates. Get at least three quotes from locksmiths to make sure you’re getting a good deal.

    2. HVAC service. Your home’s HVAC system needs to be regularly serviced. If it’s been a while, you’re looking at about $100 for a company to come clean the system. Money reports that a yearly contract, with regular maintenance included, runs between $150 and $500. Again, shop around for the best deal.

    3. Leaky faucets or plumbing issues. The cost of fixing a leaky faucet or a faulty toilet can run between $125 and $300. The best way to keep these costs down is to use a good home inspector who catches the issues before you buy. That way you can include the costs of these repairs in the purchase.

Chris O'Shea

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