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Save On The Hidden Costs Of Homeownership

Doing home projects yourself can save money

DIY can be a great way to save money

Buying a new home is a goal many people save for years to achieve. While costs for mortgage payments, insurance, and property taxes are apparent from the beginning, there are many other expenses new homeowners don’t always consider. Things like furniture, landscaping, and basic repairs can really bust a new homeowner’s budget. Here are some ways to save on the hidden costs of homeownership.

Furniture For a New Home

Many new homeowners move from a small apartment or a shared place with roomates to a larger home with many rooms to fill. It’s easy to get carried away with the desire for more things, but new homes don’t have to be furnished right away.

It’s always wise to make a monthly budget to determine how much can be spent on furnishings. Take care of the main rooms so there are functional places to sit, sleep, and eat. Then update non-necessary spaces as the budget allows.

Consider Used

Second hand furniture can be a great option. Before spending thousands of dollars at the furniture store, check Craigslist and garage or estate sales to see if there might be hidden treasures or diamonds in the rough. A quick YouTube video about stripping and refinishing might be the difference between affording one piece or a whole room full of furniture.

Lawn And Garden Maintenance

With a new yard comes the expense of current upkeep and/or adding new landscaping. As with furniture, Rome doesn’t have to be built in a day. Adding a plant or tree each season is a good way to spread out the cost and make sure various types of plants thrive in your home’s soil and climate conditions.

In dry climates, adding drip irrigation or xeriscaping can be a way to make yards look great while conserving resources, both environmental and financial.

DIY or Hire It Out?

When considering the decision to hire a landscaper for mowing and basic yard maintenance, think about the time saved in hiring vs the cost to do it yourself. It might actually be cheaper to hire some things done as opposed to buying a mower and taking time away from other projects like exercise or working on a money making side job.

However, if the effort of mowing the lawn only replaces time that would have been spent binge watching the latest season of Game of Thrones, it is probably advisable to go ahead and do yard work yourself.

As far as hiring out repair jobs around the house, it never hurts to search online or by asking other homeowners for advice before calling an expensive repair person. If the repair is straightforward and can be fixed with tools on hand, it may save hundreds of dollars to DIY. If the problem is complicated or involves electricity or plumbing, it could be made worse by attempting things that should have been left to a professional.

Home ownership is a dream come true for many people and can be a great way to build equity as the mortgage is paid down. It’s important, though, to remember the hidden costs associated with being a homeowner and how to save money in the upkeep and furnishing of a new home.

 

Image: Freedigitalphotos.net/Ambro

About Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.

3 comments

  1. I can relate! My husband and I moved into a new apartment last year that required some wall repainting. Thinking that it was a no-brainer job, we decided to do it ourselves. I mean, we just needed a brush and paint right? We were so wrong. We tried mixing colors to come with the shade we wanted and failed. And neither of us had any experience painting anything. We ended up hiring someone to do it, but not after we’ve already spent money, time and energy into a botched attempt.

  2. A lot of folks don’t like them, but I’m sold on home warranty policies as an effective way to contain home repair costs. Our policy costs us about $600 a year. For that, just about anything that could stop working or break in the house is covered to either be repaired or replaced. Last year, I had repairs done on the central heating system and the dishwasher, and had the refrigerator replaced. All were covered under our policy.

    Check it out!

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