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Home budgeting basics | Century 21 Blog

Home budgeting basics

By Caitlin Bricker on April 22nd, 2011
Be prepared for all your housing expenses – expected and out of the blue – with these practical tips.

Your house is a lot like your wardrobe: Both can go out of style, wear out or get damaged unexpectedly. We suggest a three tiered approach:

1. On-going/up-keep expenses set aside 1% of home value. The math is simple. If you buy a $150,000 house, plan to spend $1,500 per year on average for repairs and maintenance. To calculate future bills more precisely, tag along on the home inspection. Ask how much life is left on bigticket items and sock away at least 1 percent of your home’s value in a checking or money market account, so it’ll be easily accessible when—not if—surprises happen. Life does not exist without unforeseeable expenses.

2. Short-term expenses set aside $3k-$5k. First-time home buyers often need to buy can’t-live without items such as blinds or curtains. But those necessary details can be pricey. And there may be additional one-time costs such as deposits or installation fees for Internet, utilities and trash cans.

3. Dream projects set aside $25k and up. A major, upscale kitchen remodel can set you back six figures. Before you order that new eight-burner stove, have your agent crunch the numbers. The best thing that a homeowner can do is ask, ‘What percentage am I going to get back on this?’ Tap the expertise of a financial planner too. You want to make sure you don’t compromise other goals—like retirement—in meeting this on.

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April 22, 2011 - Posted by | Fredericksburg TX

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