Owning your first home can be one of the most exciting, overwhelming, heart-warming and frustrating experiences you will face. Like anything else, first experiences tend to take the biggest toll; you’re in unfamiliar territory and sometimes you’re learning things the hard way.

Plumbing and Electrical are not Cheap – One of the most difficult things to learn as a new home owner is that small fixes, the one’s your ex-landlord used to be responsible for, can be a major expense. A leaky bathtub can wind up being a faulty pipe, forcing a plumber to go into the wall. Something so small as a drip can cost you up to $600 to fix. Electrical issues are another major expense, but unlike plumbing, you shouldn’t run into as many problems. Old houses could possibly still have outdated “knob and tube” wiring, which is a code violation and can cost thousands to re-wire your home.

Maintenance is an Added Expense – If you’re used to renting, you hopefully understand that lawn care, pool cleanings and even home maintenance are now your responsibility. While maintenance can easily cost you an extra $200-300 a month, it’s definitely worth it. The city can begin to fine you for an unkempt lawn, even if you’re not part of a homeowner’s association, and letting your pool go without chemicals for even a few months can ruin the entire system. While these expenses may seem like a waste of money, they are a necessary expense to owning a home.

Homeowner’s Associations can Foreclose – That’s right, hopefully you’ve read through all of your HOA’s covenants upon purchasing your home and you understand your rights and responsibilities to the Association. You need to consider yourself indebted to the HOA for their monthly, or biannual fee. If you start missing payments, they can absolutely foreclose on your property. While the bank will still hold the first lien, HOAs often foreclose much more quickly than banks are able to and they will try their hardest to recover the money you owe.

You Have to Apply for Homestead Exemption – If your property is in a state that allows for a Homestead Exemption, you will most likely need to file for it before the next tax season. This can get tricky, since you will need to wait a few weeks after you purchase your home, until the deed is transferred and recorded with the county. In this short time, many new homeowners are quick to forget, but the Homestead Exemption can save you up to a thousand dollars a year. If you’re unsure of how or when to file for your Homestead Exemption, talk to your licensed Aurora real estate agent to learn more about the process.

About PorchLight Real Estate: PorchLight Real Estate Group has the most experienced and knowledgeable Denver real estate agents in Colorado. For more information about homes for sale in Denver CO or specific neighborhood homes please visit www.porchlightgroup.com.

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