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Unexpected Expenses After Buying Your First Home

first time homeownersIt’s easy for first-time homebuyers to get caught up in the excitement of closing on a new home.  They tend to overlook some of the less-than-exciting details, and expenses. After your client does the “I just bought a house happy dance,” hand them this helpful list. They’ll thank you later.

Unexpected Expenses for First Time Homebuyers:

  1. A Lawnmower
    If your new home has a lush half-acre backyard, don’t forget about the upkeep that comes along with it. Keeping up with the Jones’ is a much easier task with a decent lawnmower.
    Estimated cost: $360
  2. New Locks on all Doors
    This might seem like a no-brainer, but changing out the old locks is necessary.   You may be accustomed to a landlord doing those things for you and assume it has already been taken care of. Note to the new homeowner, it hasn’t.  See a detailed breakdown at CostHelper.
    Estimated cost: $200/set
  3. New Window Coverings
    You’ll want to make nice with your new neighbors, but don’t give them an eyeful! Furnishing an entire home with shades or blinds will quickly add up. According to, product and installation can cost up to $350 per window.  We did the math for a home with a dozen windows.
    Estimated cost: $4,100
  4. Refrigerator
    Household appliances are big-ticket expenses. The refrigerator may be the single most expensive appliance in your home. Consider purchasing a home warranty to cover all of your household appliances and systems. Of course, refrigerators are built to last but when it goes out, you can either come out of pocket thousands of dollars for a new one or pay a warranty deductible for a replacement.
    Estimated cost: $2,200
  5. Fence
    Whether you’re a pet owner or you just enjoy a little more privacy, a fence installation is valuable…but a little costly. HomeAdvisor breaks down material cost and labor estimates.
    Estimated cost: $6,000
  6. Fire Extinguisher
    You just bought this house; don’t burn it down! No home should be without a fire extinguisher.  Home Storage Solutions explains that it’s crucial to have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, but not too close to the stove. You don’t want to reach through flames if it catches on fire.
    Estimated cost: $167
  7. Garden Hose & Nozzle
    This seems like a simple purchase, but Home Depot actually has an  8-point list of tips for choosing the best garden hose. Who knew?
    Estimated cost: $70
  8. Fire Escape Ladder
    If you opt out of the fire extinguisher, please, at least get the escape ladder.
    Estimated cost: $32

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