Buying a new home is a major investment and one that takes serious financial planning ahead of time. All home buyers are prepared to include the down payment, closing costs, monthly mortgage payment, and costs of moving in their initial budget. While all that is necessary, there is more that home buyers should be budgeting for…..Home Maintenance.
Regardless of whether or not issues were found when the home inspection was completed, all new home owners have some maintenance that they need to complete immediately upon moving in. Here’s a list of 5 maintenance tasks to include in the budget of buying your North Iowa home.
- Tree Trimming – The weather in Iowa can take a toll on trees, especially if they are older. It is important to make sure the trees in your new yard to not pose a threat to the home or your family. Hire a professional to trim the trees and do an evaluation of their health.
- HVAC Maintenance – HVAC systems need to be inspected twice every year. Since major repairs and replacing such systems are very expensive, it is in your best interest as the new home owner to have the system looked at and maintained by a professional when you move in.
- Clean Chimney – Dirty fireplaces and chimneys can cause a fire hazard. Since you have no way of knowing when it was last properly cleaned, have a professional chimney sweep come over to clear it all out.
- Fire Extinguisher – There should always be at least one fire extinguisher in your home. Purchase one for your new kitchen if the previous owners did not leave one behind.
- New Locks – Literally anyone could have a key to your new home without you knowing. Keep your family and your belongings safe by installing all new locks on the house.
Along with these key maintenance areas, you should also make a list of the items (ie appliances and furniture) and additional repairs (ie painting and remodeling) you need and want for your new home. This will help you stay within budget after you move in and not spend a fortune in your first year of home ownership.
Just remember that budgeting for your home doesn’t stop after the first year. In fact, you should always keep some money saved to cover emergencies and repairs that arise. In order to cover any unexpected home maintenance costs, it is generally a good rule of thumb to set aside 1% of your home’s purchase price every year. While it might seem like you are putting an awful lot of money into this new home, just remember that buying a home is still the best way for you and your family to accumulate wealth!