Owning and moving into your first home, or even your 5th home can be very exciting for you and your family. You have probably spent hours or possibly even years looking for this perfect place and now you are moving in. Or perhaps you are still looking for that home and you are a proactive type and doing your research on homeownership. Either way lets discuss what the hidden costs of owning a home are and what you could expect.
Maintenance Items to Watch out for
Depending on the type of home you have purchased, whether it be a detached home, townhouse or condo apartment, the maintenance items will vary drastically. So we will give you an overview of some of the big items.
The exterior of the Home - If you own a yard or land, there will be maintenance that you will need to do every year. For example, to keep you home in good condition and keep the curb appeal that you fell in love with, you will want to a spring and fall clean up. You will want to make sure you winterized the exterior of your home too, which could include bleeding the water hose lines and prepping the yard for the snow.
Landscaping - this can be a cost that you wouldn’t expect to first off cost a lot and secondly, many homeowners think this is a great investment into their home’s future value. Unfortunately, doing landscaping doesn’t get you a 1:1 return on your investment. We’ve seen this to be more of a .5:1, where you will not see your full ROI on what you put into landscaping… something to keep in mind.
Furnace - A great rule of thumb is to change your filters at a minimum of 1x per year. More is great too, depending on where you live. If you live in an area where there is lots of traffic and construction around you, this must be more frequent.
Here are a variety of other maintenance items you should check:
If you have a sump pump, make sure you test it regularly to avoid flooding.
Clean your dryer vents as to avoid fires
Check for sings mice on the exterior of the home or in your garage
Clean your window wells out to avoid build-up of snow or rain that could cause future damage
Check and replace batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
If you have fire extinguishers, make sure you check that they are working
Check and clean your gutters
Update your weather stripping on the exterior doors
Clean out your hood fan filter above your stove
Drain your hot water tank yearly to flush out anything that could cause issues
Top up your water softener with salt
Check your toilets for leaks
Check you rook after the winter months and make sure your shingles are in good condition still
Upgrading Your Home
Upgrading your home can be a fun and daunting task all in the same breath. The best rule of thumb is to never over upgrade your home. For example, if you bought a home that the average home in the area is a lower value than your cities average price and it’s rare to see super high end finishing, it’s best to NOT do these upgrades. You never want to be the most expensive home on the street. If you have cash burning a hole in your pocket it may be best to make a move to an area that can withstand the luxury finishes you want to do to your home to ensure that your investment is going to see a return one day. If you over upgrade your home, you could put in thousands upon thousands of dollars into your home and never see your investment out of it.
A great rule of thumb is to be investing about 1% of the value of your home back into your home each year. By doing so you will hit many of the above items and you will be creating your home to be an amazing place for you and your family as well as protecting your investment at the same time.
We know this doesn't cover everything that could come up with maintaining a home. If you have some great tips, leave them below in the comments.