Extra Expenses to Budget for When Buying a Home

You've done it; you've finally found the home that fits your budget as well as your personal and family needs. It's the right neighbourhood; it's a reasonable commute to work. You even like the color of the paint in the living room. You are all set.

You might want to think again.

First of all, there are moving costs. Even if you are a do-it-yourself type, you may have to budget for a moving truck of some kind, from your local truck rental location. If you price this in advance, you can save yourself a lot of headaches by having that money put aside to pay for this expense as soon as your credit card bill comes in.

Are you going to have the mover's handle everything from packing up your home to moving it? You should also price this in advance. Even if you can reclaim these costs through a new employer who is paying for the move, you may have to put this money out first before you get it back.

But it's not just moving we have to think about. When we move into another home, we often have more or less space. We may have rooms configured differently. We may or may not like the wallpaper or paint from the previous owners. We might need window coverings. If we haven't budgeted money for those kinds of expenses, we might not fully settle into our homes until we can come up with it.

For instance, are you moving to a bigger place than you live in currently? Have you budgeted for the additional furniture that you might need? While it is possible to move from your current home into a bigger one without buying any new furniture, you might want to give some thought to how your current furniture fits into the new floor plan.

Perhaps you are moving into a lovely older home with great wainscoting. Do you need an armoire in that old-fashioned bedroom? Does your current furniture match the dcor (especially if you are planning on living with it for the next several years)? If so, you'll have to have some money available fairly quickly after moving in, so that you can purchase the right furniture and really get settled.

Here's another thing to think about: window coverings. In many cases, an existing home is sold with window coverings to be left by a previous owner. However, if you are buying a brand new home that hasn't had a previous owner, it will be up to you to supply all window coverings. So, unless you want to share your privacy with your neighbours for the first few weeks, you should budget to get the window coverings you want. Still not settled on how to decorate? At the minimum, you should budget for sheers or simple blinds, which will cover the windows but leave your options open for draperies later.

What about that unusual shade of pink in the master bedroom, or that bold purple on the stairway going upstairs? In some cases, you might even want to budget for "bridge financing" which allows you to get into your home and paint or do other renovations, before you have to move out of your existing home. In essence, you'll be carrying two properties for a short time - in most cases a week or two. This can give you all the time you need to repaint, wallpaper or otherwise decorate the home the way you want it. If you are interested in doing this, you'll need to ensure that your closing date will allow you to take possession of your new home before you have to move out of your existing one. Budget both for the financing costs and the decorating costs.

These are just some of the potential additional costs when moving to a new home. Be sure to think about your unique circumstances, and put aside the money that you need to be able to handle your move into your new home smoothly.

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