Twila E. Palmer's Blog
Your mortgage isn’t the only expense that can put a hole in your wallet. There are several hidden costs that come with owning a home. If you’re not aware of these costs, they can sneak up on you and quickly put you in a position where you can no longer afford your home. However, if you are caught by surprise when these bills arrive, there are seven steps that you can take to reduce the costs.
7 easy ways to save money as a homeowner
Utility bills are one of the biggest expenses that you’re responsible for as a homeowner. If you’re like many Americans who own a house, included among your utility bills are electric, telephone, gas, water and cable bills. By themselves, these bills equally add up to $250 to $300 a month.
Save money on utility bills by cutting out a service that you don’t use or moving to a less expensive service provider. Other ways to save money on utility bills include moving to a lower priced telephone package and only paying for cable channels that you actually use.
Here are six more ways to save on home expenses:
- Water your lawn during the evening. It helps the earth to absorb water better, eliminating the need to use more water during the heat of the day to keep your grass from turning brown.
- Perform regular maintenance on your house. Clean the gutters and repair cracks in your driveway and sidewalk when you see them instead of letting these damages get so big that they cost you hundreds of dollars to fix.
- Rid of pests immediately. Pests can chew through your walls and damage furniture.
- Work with your homeowner’s association to have them care for property around your home. Don’t take these projects on yourself if you don’t have to.
- Bundle your homeowner’s insurance with your auto and life insurance. Ask the insurance company agent to give you a discount based on where you work and how long you have been a customer. Some employer’s offer discounts on insurance to their employees.
- Install your own security alarm system. Depending on where you live, a security system that you buy from a housewares store might do the trick.
Another way to save on the cost of owning a house
Regardless of where you live, property taxes will probably rise at some point. The best way to save on property taxes is during the home buying process. Ask your real estate agent to find you a house that’s located in a thriving area that doesn’t have an enormous property tax attached to it. Let your real estate agent do the legwork for you. Don’t just look for a house that’s located in an area that has reasonable property tax rates. Go with a house that’s in an area that doesn’t experience frequent property tax increases.
If you’re a first time homeowner, you might be shocked at the hidden costs of home ownership. The sooner you familiarize yourself with the additional costs,the sooner you can prepare to meet the expenses. Knowing about the hidden costs of owning a house could also prevent you from getting in over your head and taking on more mortgage than you can afford.