First time homebuyers in Jacksonville come as green as they get. They want to buy their first home and dive in head first, literally screaming for the sellers to take their money and give them the keys. But, caution is always important when making a transaction as large as this. While your down payment and mortgage payments are the biggest expenses that you know about when you become a home owner, there are many hidden expenses that you should know about before buying a home in Jacksonville.
1. Property taxes
It is super important that you factor in the monthly cost of property taxes when you do your budget and not just your monthly mortgage payment. Depending on the value of your property, you could be paying a hefty chunk of change to your city in turn for having roads, schools and parks.
Always important and usually forgotten, your home needs insurance, not just for the structure, but for your contents and that includes protection against fire, theft, and other unforeseeable events that happen in Florida. Your payments for this all depend on what you need and how much your home and its contents are worth, but figure around the $100 or more mark per month.
Home maintenance is not cheap, especially if you want to keep your house in good condition and retain the value you have in it. Home maintenance costs include maintaining things like:
· Windows and doors
· Heating and cooling systems
· Exterior and roof
4. Lawn and landscaping
The sellers sold you home with a lawn in pristine condition and beautiful landscaping, but don’t think it just grew that way. Your lawn and the landscaping take not just work on your behalf, but also money. You’ll need to spring for items like pest control, weed killer, fertilizer and aeration. Depending on how much you do yourself, the cost will vary.
5. Pest control
While pests aren’t what you expected when you bought your first home, they may have literally, come with the territory. Pest control can be inexpensive, but it can also be costly, depending on the pests involved. This is one area where you don’t want to skimp if you do have a problem.
6. Legal fees
You have to retain a lawyer to ensure your paperwork when buying the home is all good. Similarly, if you have any other issues with your home, a lawyer may be someone you have to call on. This almost hidden cost of home ownership can be pricey, depending on what you need legal assistance for.
7. Condo or HOA fees
You found the home of your dreams and the price is right, but once you add on the condo or HOA fees, your dream home may now be out of reach. Ensure you find out about these fees before buying a home, including how often they go up and what they include.
8. The pool
Pools are great to have in the hot Florida weather, but are notoriously expensive to keep and maintain. If you have a pool heater, factor in the cost of electricity. As well, you have to clean and maintain your pool regularly and that can get costly. If anything goes wrong with your pool, factor in huge amounts of cash as this will be a must-fix before it causes damage to your property or so your pool doesn’t have to sit empty.
If you need help finding your first Jacksonville home, let me know!