Unanticipated Homeownership expenses when Moving from an Apartment

If you’re looking to buy your first home, there’s a good chance you’ve already done your homework. You’ve researched, read blogs, poured through available listings, and budgeted for every expense.

Or have you?

For people looking to buy their first home after years of renting, there are countless unanticipated expenses that might not have considered. And while they may not be astronomical, they’re worth planning for in advance. Before you say “I do” to your first house, look through my list of surprise expenses that many new homeowners overlook.

Seasonal Expenses

One of the most fun parts of owning your own home is decorating for the holidays. Many of the local neighborhoods celebrate the season by creating beautiful displays. But if you want to turn your new home into Santa’s Village or a spooky haunted house, you’ll need to fit the décor into your budget.

Home Furnishings

If you’re moving into your first home from an apartment, you’re likely looking forward to having the extra space that a house provides. But once you have everything moved in, you may realize that the furniture from your old apartment doesn’t quite fill up your new home. It’s also possible that the style of your new home doesn’t mesh with some of your existing furnishings.

Budgeting for new furniture is something everyone moving into a new house should consider. It can help make your home feel complete, and give you an opportunity to make the home your own.

Heating & Cooling

One of the biggest adjustments for people moving from an apartment is the increased cost of heating and cooling the home. On average, utility bills for apartments tend to be less expensive, since there is less space to regulate the temperature. The larger area a home provides means a larger utility bill, so planning ahead for this increased expense is recommended.


One of the reassuring things of renting an apartment is having your landlord handle routine maintenance expenses that inevitably occur. When you own a home, this responsibility falls on your shoulders.

This can be something of a double-edged sword; you can decide who you hire to make the repairs and handle it immediately without having to wait for a landlord to schedule a maintenance appointment, but the cost will come directly out of your pocket. And since you may not realize a leaky pipe or faulty wiring until it’s too late, these expenses often need to be addressed immediately.

It’s highly recommended to budget 1% to 2% of the purchase price of your home to maintenance and repair costs each year. This will give you a cushion in case you need to make an emergency call to a plumber or electrician at 2 in the morning.


Updating Cable, Phone, and Internet Wiring

This won’t apply to every new homeowner, but it’s worth mentioning. With technology becoming more and more a part of our everyday life, having solid Internet and phone service is a must.

You may find that once you’ve unpacked and settled in to watch some Netflix that your new home’s connection speeds are lacking. This could be due to your wiring being outdated or connected wrong altogether. Any wiring on the outside of the home is the provider’s responsibility, but if the problem lies inside, you’ll likely need to pay a technician to update the wiring.

These are just a few of the surprised expenses that a former renter could be unprepared for. As the #1 realtor in Encinitas, I can help you not only find your dream home, but also prepare you for the changes you will face as you transition from renting to owning your own home.

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