Buying your first home can either be one of the most exciting things, or one of the most terrifying things you ever do in your life. Often times it turns out to be both. Unfortunately you don’t get a trial run into buying a house, when it happens it just happens. I’ve often thought that colleges and universities would be well served to offer practical classes on home buying. A student might be able to learn and comprehend complication calculus and physics equations, but it does nothing to prepare them for all of the nuances of purchasing their first house. There are many aspects to home buying that one must consider before making any decision.
Too often potential buyers only think about the monthly cost of their mortgage payment. There is so much more to owning and affording a home than simply the payment. Think about what you would do if the furnace or air conditioning unit goes out unexpectedly, or if the pipes burst and flood the basement. These unexpected things often can and do happen over a 30 year timespan. The fixes can be costly if you need to hire outside contractors. Having an adequately funded emergency savings account is very important.
Utility bills are an expense that I never considered until I moved out of my parents house. All those years at home I took for granted the room temperature conditions I lived in despite those boiling hot days or icy cold ones. The cost to heat a house is quite expensive, and not something that should be overlooked. Also, internet and cable aren’t free, but they seem to be necessarily evils in our life. Cable is a guilty pleasure, but internet is a necessity for me as I need it to work remotely from home every now and again.
When considering the purchase of your first house take all of these expenses into account. The last thing you want to do is worry about how you are going to afford next months bills.