You’ve built or bought your first home and you’re in love with it! You decorate and paint with bright colours, plant a garden and do everything to make it nice and beautiful. But a few weeks go by, you notice that you are dealing with expenses that you did not plan for when you first devised a budget while deciding to buy a home. That’s right, Boom! You’ve been struck by the house maintenance cost that you did not even think about while devising your budget.
Most homeowners tend to think that their expenses end right where they complete all the formalities and get the keys to their new property. However, if we were to truly analyze the situation, being a homeowner, you need to deal with several house maintenance cost that arises when owning a property. It is way too easy to forget about these expenses while budgeting and it may strike you out of the blue when it occurs. So, to help you out, we have prepared a checklist of some of the routine charges that arise when owning a property.
1. Maintenance Costs
As a homeowner, you would have to deal with a lot of maintenance regularly, even if it’s a newly constructed property. These costs include servicing heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems and other appliances in the house, maintaining major applications such as refrigerator, Tv, and other things that you provide for your tenants. Although maintenance needs are predictable, they can be difficult to estimate. Unless and until you inspect and evaluate the area that needs maintenance, you cannot know for sure how much it is going to cost you. Usually, the homeowner bears the full cost of maintenance but in some cases, the cost is shared between homeowner and tenant.
2. Repair costs
Repair costs are not as frequent as other charges on the list but, they sure do come from time to time. When you own a property, it is easy to rub off the repair costs as something you might not have to worry about for a long time. But, of all the house maintenance cost that arise, repair costs are ones that may put a dent in your savings. Because repair costs are almost routine and most homeowners don’t even realize it. Repair costs include everything from water leaks to natural disasters. Even though you might have an insurance policy, you still have to meet the deductible and pay any expenses the policy doesn’t cover.
3. Utilities and furniture
On top of all the maintenance and repair costs, one inevitable house maintenance cost that arises is the utility fee like gas, electricity, water, sewage, and garbage. As a landlord, you should explore the options of whether to include utilities as part of the rent or to have utilities under the tenant’s responsibility. You need to discuss with your tenant who will be responsible for the utilities and how they should be paid before the lease is signed. Usually, most landlords prefer the bills are directly sent to the tenants, this way they don’t have to worry about collecting payments or managing the utility account. It also prevents any unwanted issues if a tenant disagrees with the price of a utility bill. However, if you include utilities in the rent, you are responsible for paying the utility fee regularly. This is crucial because, if you fail to make payments on time, then services such as water and electricity might be suspended.
Also, you need to spend money regularly to maintain your furniture as well. Furnishing your apartment makes it look more finished and adds more value without necessarily costing a lot. But, on the flip side, it needs regular cleaning and maintenance to keep it that way. So, if you own a furnished property, you might have to incur regular charges for this too.
4. Insurance fee
Property insurance fee is one of the house maintenance cost that arises. Property insurance is a broad term and there are a lot of insurance policies that cover losses and damages to an individual’s residence along with the assets in the home. Some of the property insurance policies include standard fire and special perils insurance, building insurance, public liability insurance, burglary and theft insurance, house content insurance, and landlord’s insurance. These insurance policies act as a safety net in times of any unfortunate events. So, if you have taken any property insurance, you may have to pay for it regularly.
5. Homeowners association fees
Homeowners association fee is something that you may have to incur if you own a house in a planned community or condominium building. The homeowners association makes and enforces rules for the properties and their residents. These fees usually occur on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis. It covers the maintenance and improvement of common areas such as lobbies, garden areas, and pools.
As all the first-time homeowners quickly discover, the costs of owning a home go well beyond the final payment. As a landlord, there are many important factors to consider when leasing out property in order to maximize the cash flow. Moreover, as a landlord, these routine expenses for rental properties can be one of the hardest expenses to budget. With careful planning, you can deal with these house maintenance cost when owning a property easily. Thus, these are the typical routine charges that you have to deal with as a property owner.