Tips To Help You Prepare For The Financial Responsibility Of Owning Your First Home
Although it is widely known that buying a home is easily one of if not the most important financial responsibilities you can take on in your life, many first time homeowners still underestimate just home much home owning can cost. There are a lot of variables and, depending on your mortgage, monthly payments may be subject to change. Preparation is key when it comes to home-owning. After all, you don’t want to purchase your Portland home only to realize you can’t keep up with the payments. It is better to wait and save until you are sure you are financially comfortable enough for home ownership.
To make sure that Portland locals are prepared for home ownership, Stonebridge Morgage Group offers the following tips:
1. Create A New Budget
Given that your monthly mortgage payment is bound to differ from your previous rent payment, it might seem like a no-brainer that you’ll need to adjust your budget accordingly. However, Portland locals looking to buy a home for the first time will find that there’s more to it than that. You may find that other costs change specifically because you are in a house for the first time, rather than an apartment.
For example, your heating and electricity bills will easily be higher in a 2,000-square-foot house than they were in a small, two-bedroom apartment. Similarly, if you suddenly have a lawn to maintain, you can expect to spend more than you would while renting an apartment. Portland first time home buyers shouldn’t make the mistake of just substituting their new estimated mortgage payment for their previous rent payment. Instead, spend a few months tracking all of your expenses and update your budget to reflect the actual costs of living in your new home. You may come to find that you’re spending more than expected, and you’ll need to make the appropriate adjustments to your budget.
2. Be Prepared To Spend Money On Repairs & Maintenance
Portland first time home buyers may well expect to spend some money on maintenance and repairs for their new home. However, it is easy to make the mistake of underestimating just how much you may need to spend. Portland homeowners should expect to spend 1% to 4% of their homes’ value each year on repairs and maintenance.
How much does that add up to? If your Portland home is worth $300,000, expect to shell out anywhere from $3,000 to $12,000 a year on upkeep. Costs can be even higher for larger repair jobs, like a heating system or a roof. Make sure your emergency savings are padded out well so that you have funds to tap if a significant repair pops up unexpectedly. As a homeowner, you should aim for six months’ worth of expenses or more.
3. Expect Your Property Taxes To Go Up
Your property taxes are based on the assessed value of your home coupled with local tax rates. First time home buyers will be advised of their current property tax liability during the process of home buying. However, it is almost certain that property taxes will rise from that initial number. Even when home values drop, property taxes have a tendency to rise.
Additionally, some localities require property reassessments, which can happen in intervals such as every year, every other year, or every three years. If your home is reassessed at a higher amount, you could see an instant hike in taxes. To protect yourself, leave some wiggle room in your budget. You don’t want to be left struggling to pay your new monthly costs, after all.
Stonebridge Mortgage Group Offers Guidance On All Mortgage Matters
For professional assistance with mortgages and related services, look no further than Stonebridge Mortgage Group. You can rely on Stonebridge Mortgage Group to help guide you through the home buying process. We help get you pre-approved for a mortgage and help with your real estate loans and other mortgage solutions, both residential and commercial. Stonebridge Mortgage Group serves the greater Portland area and is located in Gresham, Oregon. Don’t wait to get quality assistance with buying your home! Call us today!