Shopping for your first home is undoubtedly an exciting time. You've worked hard to build up funds for your down payment and now you're ready for the fun part: finding the home that's perfect for you – location, size, and more – and signing on the dotted line.
The hard part of saving money is in your rear view mirror and now it's easy street, right?
Not exactly. While shopping for your home is fun and exciting, it's important to remember the responsibilities and financial commitments you'll have as a homeowner. Saving for your down payment and signing on the dotted line are simply the first steps to homeownership.
"In dreams begin responsibilities. "- – W.B. Yeats, Responsibilities,
As a homeowner, you'll be responsible for:
- Making your mortgage payment in full and on time every month. This was your commitment to your lender when you completed your closing documents.
- Home repairs and maintenance costs. Your home needs routine TLC, from mowing the lawn and painting the windowsills to larger projects such as roof replacements and plumbing repairs.
- Other housing-related costs such as Homeowner Association dues (if applicable), homeowner insurance premiums, and property taxes.
Homeownership can be very rewarding, as well as a good financial investment, but it's important to remember that responsibilities are part of the package – requiring both financial and time commitments.