Are You Prepared For Your Monthly Housing Costs? 5 Keys

The American dream, is often considered, owning a home, of one’s old. When one determines, he is ready, financially and emotionally, for home – ownership, there are a number of steps, needed, including saving for the downpayment, maintaining pristine credit, and affording the monthly payments. However, even when someone is ready and prepared for these responsibilities, it is important, to understand, and properly plan, for some of the many monthly commitments and expenditures, which will also be required. With this in mind, this article will briefly review and examine, 5 key items to consider, and prepare for, so as to avoid surprises, and additional stress.1. Mortgage – related: The monthly components of one’s mortgage payment, includes principal, interest, taxes and other escrow items. These items include requirements, such as insurance, etc. This may be one of the simplest to prepare for, because one knows, the amount due, in advance. However, understand, that, while mortgage principal and interest, may be fixed amounts, real estate taxes and insurance, generally, increase, over – time!


2. Energy and utility – related: Periodic payments will be due, for electricity, heating (oil, gas, or additional electric), telephone, cable, and Internet. A wise homeowner will over – estimate these, so, as, to never be unprepared!3. Create a maintenance and repair fund: The smartest approach, is to consider this a bill, and plan accordingly! One should create a maintenance and repair fund, and, every week, when he is paying other bills and expenses, to pay himself first. The Boy Scouts’ slogan is, Be prepared, and the wise homeowner, prepares for periodic maintenance items, such as painting, cleaning, and upkeep! Again, it’s important to over – estimate these!4. Timetable for future updates/ upgrades: Consider what you might wish to do to the house, in advance! Don’t be overwhelmed, by trying to do, everything, at once. Consider your priorities, and create a timetable, and put funds, on a consistent, regular basis, into a separate fund, for this purpose!


5. Emergency Fund: What will you do, if an unexpected, unanticipated, expense, confronts you? How will you plan, and thus, be prepared for contingencies and/ or emergencies? These items may include major expenses, such as heating system, air conditioning or other HVAC – related items, windows and doors, roofs, etc. Again, it’s important to be ready and commit to regular payments, into a segregated, emergency fund!It’s far better to be ready and prepared, than to be surprised and overwhelmed! Pay yourself first, create the needed funds, for each of these contingencies, and prepare accordingly!