14 Expenses New Homeowners Waste Money On
It's easy for new homeowners to spend money on things they shouldn't. Make sure you steer clear of these unnecessary new homeowner expenses.
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Too often new homeowners hire out for maintenance services like lawn care, pooling cleaning and more that they could probably handle themselves — and for a lot less money.
Home Improvement Projects That Don’t Retain Value
Not all home improvement projects add as much value to your home as you’ll spend on them. Some don’t add any value at all, or even lose value. Before you plan that new pool or lavish bathroom addition, compare the cost vs. value to see what will add the most for your home.
Contractor House Calls
Before you pick up the phone to call a plumber for that running toilet or another small house issue, check online to see if you can do the repair yourself. Most service calls come with a flat rate to start, regardless of how simple the fix is.
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Overpriced Furniture and Décor
It might be tempting to upgrade your furnishings after moving in, but that old furniture you’ve been living with will probably do just fine. If you do decide to replace your furniture, set a budget and stay within it.
Missed Tax Breaks
Take advantage of homestead exemptions and other property tax breaks to save a little money on your new home. Check with your realtor or financial advisor to learn which ones are available.
The Wrong Home Security
Before you take over a home security contract from the previous owner, shop around and make sure you’re getting the best deal. Some don’t even require monthly fees.
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Unused Home Warranty
Many new homeowners opt in to a home warranty plan, which covers repair and replacement of household appliances and systems like plumbing, doors and more. However, not all homeowners use their plan. If you do have a home warranty policy, which might have been added during closing, check the details with your policy holder before replacing an appliance or calling a repair person.
Overpaying on New Fixtures
If you’re buying an older home, you might be tempted to replace all the outdated fixtures throughout. Before you go dropping thousands on an extravagant chandelier, shop around online and see if you can find high-end items for an affordable price.
High utility bills can be brutal for homeowners in regions with extreme climates. New homeowners would be wise to look into an energy assessment, which some utility companies will do for free. Learn whether attic insulation or window replacements are worth the investment to lower your monthly energy bill.
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Replacing Something That Isn’t Broken
Similarly to buying new light fixtures, you don’t need to replace a refrigerator or an oven for something modern if the existing one works just fine. If you do decide to go new, shop around for the best deals, and look at buying an appliance bundle to save money.
The Wrong Insurance
Picking the right plan is tough, but there are smart ways to save on homeowners insurance. Do some research instead of just going with the plan your realtor suggested.
Smart Home Technology
Smart home devices are cool and fun, and they can modernize your home quickly. But you don’t have to overspend to upgrade your home. For a few hundred dollars you can add new smart bulbs throughout your home, a Google Nest Thermostat, smart plugs and more.
Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)
Putting down 20 percent on a new home isn’t always a realistic option for first-time buyers. But a smaller down payment has its drawbacks.
New homeowners who put less than 20 percent down will most likely have to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI), essentially an extra cost to protect banks in case of a foreclosure. PMI can cost more than $100 every month and does not increase equity in the home.
New appliances can come with a lot of bells and whistles, but that doesn’t mean they’re better than lower priced appliances. Check out ways to save on new appliances to ensure you’re getting a good deal.