3 Miscellaneous Expenses for Homebuyers to Consider

You’ve found the home of your dreams, can afford the regular mortgage payments and even accounted for your closing costs, too. Clearly, you’re in a great position to cover the costs associated with your home consistently, right?

Even the most diligent homebuyer may encounter unforeseen costs along the way. Fortunately, we’re here to help you prepare for these miscellaneous expenses.

Here’s a closer look at three miscellaneous homebuyer costs that you’ll need to consider before you purchase a residence:

1. Homeowners Association Fees

Planning to move into a condo? You’ll want to find out what the homeowners association (HOA) fees are before you close on your residence, as these costs can add up quickly.

HOA expenses usually cover the costs associated with keeping your lawn clean and looking great, clearing snow from roads and driveways in winter and other condo community costs. As such, these fees may wind up costing you several hundred dollars each month – a hefty sum that every condo owner needs to know about.

To find out if HOA fees will affect your monthly budget, be sure to consult with your real estate agent. This professional should be able to get in touch with a HOA and determine exactly how much you’ll need to add to your budget each month to account for these costs.

2. Unexpected Income Changes

Your income may change over the life of your mortgage, and as such, you should try to plan accordingly.

For example, consider what may happen if your full-time work schedule is reduced to part-time hours. This may prove to be exceedingly difficult, particularly if you don’t have a Plan B in place to pay your mortgage.

When it comes to potential income changes, it always is better to err on the side of caution. And a homeowner who has an emergency fund in place may be able to cover regular mortgage costs even if his or her everyday wages are reduced.

3. Emergency Medical Bills

Unfortunately, medical emergencies can arise without notice and wreak havoc on a homeowner’s budget. But even though these emergencies can put a financial strain on a homeowner, this homeowner still will be responsible for making regular mortgage payments.

Emergency medical bills, like unexpected income changes, should be accounted for as part of an emergency fund. Furthermore, homeowners who contribute to this fund monthly can accumulate finances that will be readily available in even the worst-case scenarios.

Buying a home requires a significant financial investment, but homebuyers who prepare accordingly will be able to ensure that they can manage any financial hardships that could come their way.

No homebuyer wants to consider financial hardships, but working with a resourceful and intelligent real estate agent may help you prepare for the worst. This real estate professional may be able to offer guidance and tips to help you budget for your new residence and ensure that you’ll be prepared for any emergencies as well.

Plan for your new home purchase as much as you can, and ultimately, you’ll be better equipped to make regular mortgage payments and manage any financial hardships along the way.

Beware of the Hidden Costs of Moving

If you are planning a move you are probably busy thinking about the new costs of living, how much the rental truck will cost, packing and how you will get there. What you may not be considering is the hidden costs of moving.

Here just a few of the surprise costs of moving and some ideas on how to avoid them:

Late Fees

When you are moving things get lost in the mail or are slow to be forwarded to your new address. If you miss paying your bills on it can add up in unnecessary late fees. Switch all of your bills to online billing that way you are sure not to miss a payment that is lost in the mail.

Overdraft Fees

Don’t close that bank account just yet. You may have checks or bills still being drawn on that bank account. Leave your bank account open for approximately three months to allow all checks to clear. Doing this will help you avoid any overdraft fees.

Contract penalties

All of those contracts you have signed may come back to haunt you. Memberships at the gym, country club, day care facility, community association, etc. can cost you. Typically there is some type of annual or monthly contract associated with membership and cancelling early will usually cost you.  Some of these contracts will have an exception for a move so read the terms and conditions before you pay a hefty cancellation fee.

Auto insurance

Part of the cost of your auto insurance is determined by your address. For example, moving from an area with less population, to a more highly populated area will cost you more in auto insurance. Different states also have different laws regarding insurance coverage. States have different minimum liability requirements so in some states you will need to purchase personal injury protection and uninsured motorist coverage and in others you will not.

Health insurance

Health insurance can also change when you switch states. Just like auto insurance, health insurance mandates vary among states, too.  Some states require some types of medical procedures are covered while another has not mandated coverage.  Be sure to comparison-shop for your health insurance.

While adding up the normal costs of moving expenses like boxes and storage also be sure to check for these hidden costs and try to avoid losing money in your next move.