Have you ever struggled to save for a deposit for your first home? Then you’ll know that’s one of the most daunting financial obstacles most people will ever face.
Many couples and individuals will penny pinch for years to save for a deposit. Missing out on holidays and meals out, and having to budget when it comes to clothes and other discretionary spending. And we do it because the end result is well worth the effort.
So it’s no surprise that after so many years of saving, the stress and pressure associated with getting a mortgage can bring with it mixed emotions. This is almost certainly the biggest financial commitment you will ever make, after all. And so there are nerves, excitement, fears and worries all bundled into one high-pressure moment.
And then – you submit the paperwork, dot your i’s and cross your t’s and get your home loan approved. And when the agonising/draining/exciting house hunting ends in you actually signing on the dotted line and becoming a homeowner, you’ve finally done it. All that hard work to achieve one goal, and you’ve made it. You’re a homeowner. Congratulations. Pop the champers.
This is the point when many people think that the hard part is over. But think again…
Because you’ve made it this far, only to face a whole new host of expenses and demands on your finances.
1. Home maintenance.
Unlike the days of renting, when a quick phone call to your landlord or agent could fix a broken oven or leaky pipes, now these costs are all yours to bear. Things can and do break down, especially if they’re not maintained properly. Think gutters, heaters, fixtures, and appliances.
Council rates vary between municipalities and within states, but generally, Councils charge rates based on a calculated percentage of the value of your home. The more valuable your home is, the higher rates you will pay. It’s an annual cost that must be budgeted for.
3. Home and contents insurance.
You may have had contents insurance, but with your new home you’ll need to cater to the additional property insurance. Home and content premiums will be higher than contents insurance you’ve had in the past, but it’s so, so worth it.