April 20, 2019

Anticipate extras: Avoid regrets

Photo: Nicole and Chase Pasternacki with son Aiden and dog Bambam. They financed their new home with Tina Krupar, Bay Equity's Area Sales Manager in Albuquerque, NM.

No Regrets: Anticipating ongoing expenses takes the surprises out of home ownership

A recent survey found 18 percent of new, first-time home buyers cited “unexpected home maintenance costs” as their biggest regret.

Sure, the road to home ownership has struggles. But for most who persevere, it’s a lifestyle upgrade they would never trade in for anything!

In the same survey, 60 percent of home buyers reported no remorse at all!

Unforeseen expenses are a major part of buying a house. That goes beyond just footing the bill for your mortgage.

You can avoid regrets by anticipating the costs that accrue after the down payment and closing costs have been covered.

Before buying, take a holistic look at your expenses. Your ongoing monthly principle and interest, taxes and insurance (piti) payment is predictable, but it is only part of the story.

Before setting your home-buying budget, spend a month or two monitoring your expenses. The total of your principal and interest payments, taxes and insurance should account for no more than 28 percent of your gross monthly income.

Be mindful of other debts, and don’t forget to include about 1 percent of the total purchase price for annual maintenance. If you prepare ahead for all the costs of home ownership, you’ll be much less apt to have any regrets.

Within a few years, your money is working for you, improving your credit score, and allowing you the flexibility to improve on your current home, move up into a better one, or take out a refinance or other home equity loan product.

This should serve as an encouragement to new homeowners and potential buyers out there!

The more you anticipate extras, the more you avoid regrets.