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Homeownership Costs to Keep in Mind

March 19, 2023

Purchasing a home is always a big investment, but besides the downpayment and closing costs that go along with the purchase, there are long-term costs to keep in mind, as well. Fortunately, these ongoing costs are often expenses that will keep your home in good shape to keep it valuable in Columbus GA real estate markets. However, there are some that you just have to put down to the overall benefit of owning your own home. Here are some of the main costs to budget for when considering purchasing a home, especially a first home.

 

  • Property Tax. While Georgia has a relatively lower property tax rate compared to many states, you do need to keep in mind this annual cost and make sure you budget for it.
  • HOA Fees. Depending on where you purchase your home, you may end up with Homeowner Association fees. While they may not be a popular cost, they do often help keep your community attractive and more appealing to buyers if you decide to sell in the future and keep your neighborhood nice while actually living there.
  • Homeowners Insurance. This is one of those expenses that are frustrating until you actually need it. Then it’s more than worth the relatively low annual cost. As well as serving as a safety net against theft, fire, and other damages, it also can protect you if someone outside your family is injured in your home.
  • Mortgage Insurance. Depending on the type of loan you get, particularly if you put down less than 20% of the down payment, you may be required to take out mortgage insurance. Fortunately, you can cancel the insurance once you have paid off enough of the mortgage to own 20% of the home’s equity.
  • If you purchase a brand new home, then repairs may be less of an issue in the first years. However, if you purchase a previously owned home, it’s important to put aside money for repairs, as well as regular maintenance. Ideally, you should save 1-3% of your home’s value each year to put toward unexpected repair costs, which tend to be larger expenses. You can also purchase insurance to protect against these large and unexpected costs, which will help keep costs manageable.
  • No matter the age of your home, it’s important to keep on top of regular maintenance. It’s important to change filters regularly, have your HVAC system checked annually, and also keep up with pest control prevention. Don’t forget that you’ll also need to take care of any landscaping, whether you hire someone or do it yourself.

It’s important to have an estimate on what these things will cost so you can add them to your monthly budget, along with your mortgage payment and any other monthly costs. This will help you better understand how much home you can afford and help narrow down your choice of Columbus GA real estate to what you can comfortably afford. Our agents look forward to working with you to help you find your ideal home in your price range.

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This post was written by Rose Anne Erickson

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