If you think a down payment is all you need to seal the deal on your choice of Columbia homes for sale, you might be astonished by the financial surprises coming your way. The costs aren’t exactly hidden, but with your new homeowner’s euphoria, they’re easy to overlook.
To minimize the financial surprises, our real estate agents want to share what we know to help you prepare for the additional costs you might not anticipate.
Crunching Your Home Buying Numbers
Your financial surprises begin popping up before you finalize your offer. A Buyer’s Inspection makes sure you didn’t miss any home condition issues. You’ll owe for lender-required services: an Appraisal to assess your home’s value, a Land Survey, Credit Check, Underwriting and Origination fees, and Discount Points to lower your interest rate.
You’ll also cover Document Preparation and County Recording fees. You’ll foot the bill for insurance premiums: Title Insurance to cover title problems, Homeowners Insurance for home damage and personal liability, Mortgage Insurance for when your down payment is less than 20%, and Flood Insurance if you live in a floodplain.
Your mortgage company may require Escrow Fees to fund insurance, Property Taxes, and other annual costs. If you live in a condo, a co-op, or a neighborhood with an association, you may have to pay your annual fee assessment at closing.
The closing is your introduction to your new world of fiscal obligations. As you prepare to move, you’ll have several additional one-time expenses.
- Moving costs
Moving expenses vary depending on what you move, the distance to your new home, and your moving method. A truck rental/DIY is an easy way to trim your mounting costs. It can work as long as you have help and don’t have to move too far. Otherwise, you’ll need to contact a moving company for estimates and prepare to pay another big fee.
- Home furnishings
If you’re moving from a small apartment to a much bigger home, you’ll have space to fill. You probably shouldn’t attempt to do it all at once, but you’ll want at least enough furniture and accessories to minimize your home’s unoccupied look.
It’s reasonable to feel uncomfortable when you know someone else has a key to your front door. You don’t have to justify changing your locks. It is an additional one-time homeownership cost for which to budget.
Once you settle into your home, you’ll have to budget for the additional costs you can expect to pay as long as you own the house.
Sign-up for utilities before you move. If you’ve never had water, electricity, or gas in your name, utility companies may require a one-time deposit before putting you on a monthly billing plan. Your service providers can estimate your home’s average utility costs.
- Security service
If you want a local security company to set up a system in your home, you’ll pay for equipment, professional installation, and a monthly fee. When you order an internet-based DIY security system, it is often less expensive. You order the needed equipment, install it yourself and pay a monthly monitoring fee.
Grass keeps on growing. Depending upon where you live, you may need to budget for winter snow removal. You can DIY your yard or hire a pro.
- Emergency repair fund
You’ll need an untouchable fund for unexpected repair and maintenance costs. Experts recommend a total of one to three percent of your home’s purchase price.
Your Columbia Real Estate Professional
Our real estate agents turn homeownership dreams into a reality. Contact Century 21 Community to buy or sell homes in Columbia.