Too many people get in over their heads when they buy their first house. Because it is the first time they are buying property, they might stretch themselves too far and end up causing themselves to become house poor. Here are some things you should know about buying a house so that you don't become house poor:
1. The Cost Of Upkeep
Know that each house will have upkeep, it is just a fact that you can't escape. When you rent you aren't used to this because if you have a problem you call the landlord, and they will fix it for you. But when you buy the house, you are in charge of everything. If there is a problem with the air conditioning, you have to pay for it. You have to buy a lawnmower and mow the lawn, you have to pay all the utility bills, and so much more. Know that the bigger the house, the more expensive it will be to keep it up. It will cost more to heat and cool, and if you do need to replace carpet, flooring, paint walls and so forth, it will be more expensive because you are covering more space.
This shouldn't stop you from buying a larger house; you just need to make sure that you include the upkeep of your monthly budget.
2. HOA Fees
Before you purchase a house, you need to make sure that you are clear about what the HOA fees are. Many times you think you are buying a house at a certain price, but then once you add in insurance and the HOA fees you are over your monthly budget. HOA fees can cost even hundreds a month. Some HOAs help to pay for your utilities, while others just cover the recreational property, parks, and so forth. If you want to stay on budget, make sure you have all the information you need about the HOA before you buy.
3. Stick To Your Budget
This might sound oversimplified, but you need to stay within the budget that you have created. For example, you might decide that you can afford a certain amount, but the bank approves a loan of more than you thought you could get. Just because the bank approves you for a larger loan, doesn't mean that you can afford it. They don't know your monthly expenses; you decide how much you can afford each month, not anyone else.
By doing these things, you can avoid becoming house poor in your first home. Contact a first time home buyers assistance program for more information and assistance.