The household bills you will pay as a homeowner

As a homeowner there are certain bills and costs you will have to pay that you would not if you were renting, (or still living at home!) With the added independence of owning your own property comes added responsibility, he said, sounding like he was misquoting a Marvel movie. This responsibility, unfortunately, arrives in bill form.

So what are the costs you pay as a homeowner? What should you be budgeting for?

UNIQUE COSTS:

Mortgage

Your mortgage is the main cost associated with purchasing a home. If you are on a variable rate, monthly costs can increase if interest rates go up. To find out how much you can lend and what kind of monthly instalments you could be looking at paying, get in touch with us for a chat.

Through our partnership with Mortgage Advice Bureau we can offer our clients expert mortgage advice across the UK with access to over 11,000 mortgage deals from more than 90 lenders. As one of the leading mortgage specialists in the UK, Mortgage Advice Bureau is ideally suited to take the hassle and stress out of searching and comparing mortgages.

Maintenance

Maintenance and repair costs will vary for homeowners from one property to another depending on the size and type. It is well worth saving a bit of money aside each month so that you're prepared if you are unfortunate enough to be hit with unforeseen repair costs. Unfortunately, as Murphy’s Law states, anything that can happen invariably will happen!

Don’t be caught short, stash something away as a rainy day fund just in case.

Some of the most common types of maintenance that you should factor into your budget are costs such as:

  • Boiler servicing. You might want to consider getting your boiler serviced once a year. When you come around to sell your home, some buyers may ask about this.
  • Electrics. Something else you may want to consider is safety checking your electrics every five to ten years.

You may also wish to make cosmetic changes every now and then to freshen up your home. Painting and decorating rooms, bedding, fixtures and fittings, renovations, the list could go on.

Service Charge

If you are purchasing a leasehold property, you will have to factor in a service charge. Service charges are used to pay for the upkeep and maintenance of communal areas. Another annual charge to look out for is ground rent.

Ground Rent

Ground rent is an annual charge paid under the terms of a lease by the owner of a property to the owner of the land on which it is built.

Buildings Insurance

Buildings insurance covers the cost of repairing damage to the structure of your property. Your policy should cover the full cost of rebuilding your house.

When you are buying a home, having buildings insurance will usually be a condition of your mortgage and must be at least enough to cover the outstanding mortgage. Insurance costs are likely to change every year so always be on the look out for cheaper deals.

In certain leasehold cases it can be included in the service charge, in others it is recorded as a separate charge. Your lease may say that you should have buildings insurance with a specific insurer, or the freeholder may take out buildings insurance and charge you for it.

Parking

If you have a car and your new home doesn’t have a garage, driveway or free on-street parking, you will need to budget for finding a local car parking space.

FAMILIAR COSTS:

Utilities and TV/Broadband

If you have rented property previously, some of the costs associated with being a homeowner you will have paid before and be very aware of. These are costs such as utility bills (gas/electricity and water), broadband and a TV license. In certain fortunate cases your landlord may have even paid for one or some of these for you. As a homeowner, the onus will fall on to you.

Bills will usually increase in line with inflation every year, so it is well worth keeping an eye on different providers and switching if you think you're paying too much.

Contents Insurance

It is also advisable to take out contents insurance to protect your belongings. This is another cost and again one you may have paid before but I assure you the minimal annual cost is significantly better than the pain associated with having your brand new television or laptop stolen!

A good contents insurance policy will cover you for things such as any money that was in the home, accidental damage and even your freezer contents. There are different levels of cover available so do your research to see which suits your requirements.

Council Tax

Council tax is another cost you will be aware of unless you have been studying. Discounts could be available if you are living alone, or with an individual who is exempt. The cost will vary depending on which band the property is in and the local council. If you do not know which band you are in, I would advise checking the government website.

 

If you are looking for a property to let or buy, please visit our property search pages http://www.homes4u.co.uk/property-search where you can view all our current availability. If you would like to be kept up to date with new instructions and price changes simply register in our members’ area http://www.homes4u.co.uk/log-in or contact our friendly team in branch. http://www.homes4u.co.uk/contact-us

Would it help you to know how much your home is worth? Whether you are considering selling, or just out of interest one of our valuation specialists can visit your home without obligation to provide you with an up to date valuation for sale or for rentals. It’s easy to arrange, simply complete our online form http://www.homes4u.co.uk/valuation and one of our team will call you back. Alternatively, drop into one of our branches or give us a call.