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Budgeting for the big picture goes beyond closing costs and a monthly mortgage payment.

The price tag for a new home includes some obvious expenses: list price, monthly mortgage, and closing costs. But for those of you who are new to the homeownership game, there are other, less apparent costs that require planning. Check it out:

Insurance

Even if you pay renters’ insurance on your apartment, buying a home takes your costs to the next level.

As an owner, you’re responsible for the property, which means your coverage now includes electrical, plumbing, heating—anything that’s prone to problems, and could potentially affect the value of the home.

Upkeep

You want your house to look good (you own it after all). So appearances—particularly landscaping and the lawn—will become a priority.

Planting new bushes and trees can get pricey fast. And even if you forgo hiring someone to take care of your lawn for you, you’ll still need to invest in a lawn mower, sprinklers, fencing and of course, your time.

Property Taxes

When making your monthly budget, make sure you plan for property taxes. Simply take the yearly total, divide by 12, and add the amount to your monthly mortgage. Unfortunately, property taxes only tend to go up, so prepare for an increase in the years to come.

AC / Heat

If you’re new to central air and heat, welcome to a more comfortable living experience. However, you may also get hit with big monthly bill if you use it.

Furnaces are expensive to run and determining their longevity can be tricky, no matter what your inspector tells you. So be prepared to absorb some new expenses and, at some point, to replace your heating / cooling system.

Buying a home is an exciting milestone and can be a great investment. As long as you’re ready for the additional costs, your finances will be just fine.
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