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Let’s say you’re a first-time homebuyer who fell in love with a particular home in a particular neighborhood and you don’t shudder at its list price. You put in an offer – which is accepted and you close. You get the keys and find yourself slowly spending much more money on the “this and that’s” than you initially conceived.

Why weren’t you prepared?

We understand that some real estate rookies may not have accounted for the actual cost of home ownership – expenses which are foreseeable and others which are completely unavoidable. These hidden costs can quickly add up to being the most stressful part of owning a home.

To help you be more prepared in the beginning stages of the home purchasing process, and as you’re budgeting, we’d like to share with you what some of these costs are – expenses that currently can cost the average homeowner in the U.S. upwards of $9,000 per year.

More than your mortgage. While a typical mortgage calculator can provide you with an estimate for what your monthly payment will be, you are grossly underestimating what it will actually cost you. Property taxes and homeowners insurance need to be accounted for, as well as higher utility bills than what you may be used to if you’re currently renting.

Maintenance, maintenance and more maintenance. Whether it be housecleaning, landscaping, or getting your gutters cleaned annually, home maintenance adds up in a hurry! Additionally, remember if this really is your first time venturing into the home buying pool, you’ll need to have money set aside for such items as a lawnmower or other DIY tools.

Where you hang your hat makes a difference. First-time homebuyers in larger metro areas (for instance, Philadelphia), should also be prepared to pay more than those residents in more rural areas on average. Everything costs more closer to and in the big city. Account for this location inflation as you’re making your budget out as well.

If you fancy yourself a first-time home buyer in southern New Jersey, we invite you to reach out to our team here at American Dream. One of our experienced brokers or agents can help you through the process from beginning to end.

Happy house hunting!

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