Buying a new home is an exciting time for anyone. It’s easy to get swept away in the joy of becoming a homeowner and forgetting about all the extra costs of owning a home. It’s easy to look at your funds and sink them all into the slightly-too-expensive home to get exactly what  you want. But, doing this puts you at risk for not being able to afford basic homeownership costs, such as utilities. Read this list of 19 hidden costs of homeownership to make sure you are prepared for the responsibility.

  1. Property Taxes – It’s tempting to only look at the monthly mortgage payment and decide that buying a home is cheaper than renting. But, you have to take property taxes into consideration. Find out what the taxes are on a property before you buy, divide that number by 12 months and add it to your monthly mortgage payment to find out how much you will be paying monthly for your home.

  2. Homeowner’s Insurance – Maybe you’re used to paying renter’s insurance, but homeowner’s insurance is much costlier. Find out how much it will be for each home you’re considering.

  3. Hazard Insurance – This is not included in your homeowner’s insurance, and it is so important in a place like Southern California. Your home is susceptible to fire and earthquake damage. In case of natural disaster, if you don’t have hazard insurance, you will lose everything damaged.

  4. Cosmetic Changes – There are going to be things you don’t like about the home. Maybe it’s the carpet or the roof, maybe you’ll hate that the garage door isn’t electric. Changing things isn’t free, and living with it isn’t always an option.

  5. Lawn Maintenance – Having a backyard is great but to keep the grass from dying or becoming an unmanageable forest, you will have to maintain it. Either you’re going to shell out $100 a month for a professional to do it, or you’re going to have to invest your time and in tools to get the job done.

  6. Repairing the Roof – It didn’t rain at all the summer you bought the home, but now it’s winter, and the rain is dripping right into the baby’s crib. Fixing a damaged roof is costly and not a fix that can be postponed.

  7. Cleaning – Bathrooms, kitchens, playrooms, living rooms–all tgese rooms get dirty very quickly. It takes weekly if not daily maintenance to keep your home clean. Whether you do it yourself or hire someone else for the job, you will have to invest in basic cleaning supplies like a vacuum and some all-purpose spray.

  8. Wiring for Cable and Internet – You had internet at your apartment but the wiring was done by the complex managers. Now, you have to take care of it, or rather, hire someone to install it. Your other option is to live without cable and Internet.

  9. Pest Control – Noticing you have termites is never a pleasant experience. Getting rid of them is hard on the wallet so make sure you have an emergency fund somewhere before you buy your home.

  10. Clogged or Damaged Plumbing – The solution to a clogged drain is often Draino, or a similar product. But not always. Sometimes the clog is too deep or something that won’t dissolve. Maybe your problem is that one of your pipes burst and now your yard is flooded with water, or even sewage. You’ll have to call in a professional.

  11. Children – Children play, and children accidentally destroy things. They colored on the dining room walls, broke a leg of the kitchen table, threw a ball through a window. Whatever the wreckage, you’re responsible for fixing it.

  12. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) – If the system is outdated or your windows are old, you could be spending a significant amount more on the air in your home than necessary. Replacing your windows will help but that will cost money as well.

  13. Mold – Mold is deadly. If you see signs of mold, act quickly and get rid of it.

  14. Moving In – Taking all your stuff from one place to another gets pricey. Depending on how far you go and which moving company you use, it can become very pricey. Don’t underestimate this cost. It comes right after you spend a big chunk of change on your new home, and there is no way to avoid it.

  15. Furnishings – Now that you’re moving to a new place, your old furniture may not fill or fit in your new home. Replacing furniture with pieces that work well in the space and together is often a costly endeavor. You’ll probably have to sit tight with your existing furniture until you’ve settled in and can spend a little extra on getting comfortable.

  16. HOA – Absolutely do not forget to check for an HOA, or homeowner’s association, fee on your new home. It’s a yearly or monthly cost that you will have to pay to live in the neighborhood. It usually covers amenities such as trash, neighborhood clean up, neighborhood amenities like pools or parks, among other things.

  17. Utilities – Since you, or someone, will be living in the house, you are going to have to pay the gas, water, and electricity, and possible more. There is no apartment complex to take away some of the burden. This will be a monthly payment and a fluctuating payment.

  18. Painting – When you a buy a home from the MLS its walls have usually all been painted some shade of white. While this is great for depersonalizing a home it can leave your home feeling barren. Many people decide they’re going to repaint before they’ve even bought the home. It’s only after the purchase that they realize that they didn’t set aside the funds for it.

  19. Fixing cracked cement – A cracked driveway doesn’t seem like a major problem when you’ve found your dream home, but it needs fixing. And fixing costs.

Owning a home is like no other experience you will have in life. You are fully responsible for the maintenance of something that you don’t fully understand. You may be able to fix a clogged drain but what about everything else? You’ll have to call in professionals and pay fees for all sorts of things related to your home. Make sure you’re ready for that before taking the step to homeowner. If you are ready to buy a home, contact a First Team real estate agent near you today.