Owning your own home or building one on your own property is a dream for most Australians. You could have spent years saving up a deposit and a bit extra to furnish it, but what about all those other hidden costs and expenses you will face in the world of home and property ownership?
Although you won’t be forking out rent to pay off someone else’s mortgage, owning your own home can be an expensive venture if you aren’t prepared for the bigger financial picture. In this article we will examine some of those extra costs and look at effective ways to balance the budget and avoid further expenses.
Number one is paying off that mortgage. If you’re going into the real estate market with a partner or riding solo, then you need to make sure you can afford the minimum mortgage repayments. It is in your best interest to pay a little extra when it’s affordable so you can cut down as many years off the contract as possible. The more time it takes to pay off your loan, the more interest will accumulate on top of the debt.
Gas, Water and electricity are necessities and comforts we have come to rely on in modern times, but they are also another expense to think about. Choosing an affordable payment plan for each is the best option as it allows you to include small weekly or fortnightly payments into your budget and eliminates the sight of those nasty electricity bills every 3 months.
Food and Travel
When you own your own home, it might be wise to look at your shopping list and downsize a little. This doesn’t mean you have to go without food, it means that instead of the $5 loaf of bread, perhaps you might consider buying the $3 loaf instead. Small changes in brands and giving up a few unnecessary luxury foods will save you money each week.
Consider using public transport or riding a bike to work instead of your car. Your insurance will go down and you end up saving hundreds of dollars’ worth of petrol each year. If you must drive, consider carpooling with co-workers to share the travel costs.
House and contents insurance, car insurance, life insurance, it seems you must insure everything these days to keep safe in case of a crisis. Find an insurance company with low premiums that can roll all your insurance quotes into one, saving time and the hassle of keeping up with multiple companies and differing rates.
Choose the best home insurance for your new house, like when selecting auto insurance. This insurance protects your home and your belongings against theft or damage from fire, vandalism, and natural disasters. In addition, consider home insurance with liability coverage to protect you from other people’s lawsuits. For instance, if your dog or cat bites a neighbor or a visitor within your property, this insurance covers the victim’s medical expenses.
Before you agree with anything, read the fine print. Check the inclusions, exclusions, deductibles, premiums, and applicable fees and recurring charges for late payments. Moreover, determine the claims response and management of the insurance company by reading reviews.
What are the extras that you should allocate a budget on? Owning a new home means investing in new appliances and home decor, such as framed art. You’ll only spend on the upfront cost and reap long-term savings from buying energy-efficient appliances and beautiful and durable decorations for your new home. They’re available online or in physical stores near you.
Buy high-quality appliances from reputable retail home appliance brands. The same is true with home decorations. In that way, you can create an inviting look for your living room, kitchen, and other rooms to make yourself and your family comfortable and happy.
Entertainment in your new home is a luxury most of us can’t live without. Tv, internet, audio systems all cost money to run so don’t forget to include them in your budget. Research internet companies to get the best possible deal for your area and limit yourself on screen time if you can.
Eating out and going to the movies are great ways to relax and enjoy yourself but think about ways to reduce costs there also. Cooking a fancy dinner and dressing up at home, making an outdoor movie night or movie marathon at home with your friends is a cool way to save money and still have a good time. Think outside the box on other cheap entertainment ideas to keep you satisfied and save you loads.
Maintenance and Repairs
Things in houses go wrong all the time and while in the past it was up to the real estate agent to fix most of these repairs, now it is in your hands to pay for everything. If a light blows, the heater stops working, the stove burner wont light or the toilet wont flush, the responsibility of organising and paying for the repairs falls to you the homeowner. Be on the lookout for water leaks around your home and invest in the services of a professional Melbourne leak detection company. They will use non-invasive technology to locate any pesky (and potentially expensive) water leaks in, and around your property.
Spend Money to Save Money
Before you invest in a house or property, call in a professional plumber, leak detection specialist, and a qualified electrician to assess the condition of the circuitry, and pipe works before you hand over any money.
Old houses have old pipes and if one decides to burst, the cost of repairing the damage will be huge. A qualified plumbing technician can replace any broken or damaged pipes quickly and easily, preventing you from future disaster and more importantly saving you money.
If you have already moved in don’t be alarmed. There are a range of leak detection specialists that use state of the art equipment and techniques, to successfully locate the site of any hidden water leaks. Your peace of mind is worth every dollar and as the saying goes; ‘It’s better to be safe than sorry’.