Four Home Ownership Surprises to Prepare For

For all the sarcastic talk about the “joys” of home ownership, many first-time buyers still find themselves surprised by the responsibilities – financial and otherwise – that come with buying a home. Read on to learn the top four things home owners wish they had realized before taking the plunge.

You’ll spend more time on maintenance than you may think. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average American spends nearly two hours per week tending to the lawn and garden. This number can jump astronomically if you own a large lot. What’s more, you’ll likely need to set aside about $400 per year for home maintenance that you can’t complete yourself.

Something will need replaced right away. Murphy’s Law reminds us that whenever something can go wrong, it will! Many a new homeowner is besieged by a leaky pipe, malfunctioning refrigerator or the like upon moving in, even if everything checked out during the home inspection. Set aside some savings for these unintended repairs early on in your home purchase process.

You will never catch up with your to-do list. Don’t be surprised if you feel completely overwhelmed by the number of projects you need or want to complete in your new home. The longer you live there, the longer the list is likely to get! Rest assured, this is normal and you will eventually accomplish everything you need to in order to live comfortably in your home.

Property taxes will go up every year. Although personal finance experts always encourage buyers to consider the cost of property taxes along with their monthly mortgage expenses, few people project those costs into the future. Property taxes are likely to rise from year to year, so buyers should be mindful of leaving some wiggle room in the budget.

Image via Flickr/alachuacounty