You’re ecstatic because you’ve just discovered the ideal home. The location is ideal, the house is gorgeous, and the price is reasonable.

The asking price, however, is only the beginning. Prepare for additional — and frequently unexpected — house-buying fees that can catch purchasers off guard and rapidly put you in debt on your new home.

Be prepared for the unexpected.

Almost everyone who purchases a house spends more than just the down payment. Because homeowners’ insurance and closing expenses, such as appraisal and lender fees, are often included in the home-buying process, they’re straightforward to budget for, but most other prices vary.

The most important aspect determining your move-in fees is the previous owners of your house. You’ll have to replace the refrigerator if they take it when they move out. Any huge appliance is the same way.

And, while they may seem insignificant in comparison to the cost of a home, appliances rapidly add up, especially if you’ve already spent the majority of your money on a down payment.

Unless you negotiate them as part of your home purchase agreement, you’ll be responsible for any immediate upgrades the house requires.

Unfortunately, they are the least obvious of the expenditures you may face.

If you’re buying a house, engage a home inspector (this costs money, too!) to be sure it won’t collapse the next time it rains. Inspectors search for issues such as faulty electrical wiring, sagging foundations, wood rot, and other issues that you would not see on your own.

Worse still, these issues are almost never covered by homeowner’s insurance. If an inspector finds a major flaw, you’ll have to determine if you still want to buy the house. You’ll be out the expense of hiring the inspector in any case.

Think about the creature comforts.

Your personal comfort is also a cost. There are a few little details to consider that you may not consider until after you’ve moved in.

Are you a cable subscriber? If that’s the case, is your new house cable-ready? When you own the walls, it’s considerably more difficult to see a technician crawl about poking holes in them.

And if you’re transitioning from renting to owning a house, you’ll almost certainly see a significant increase in your utility expenses. Furthermore, you may find yourself responsible for utilities that were previously handled by your landlord, such as water and waste collection.

Prepare ahead of time.

Research and planning are the greatest ways to prepare for the unknown and unexpected. This begins with budgeting before you begin looking for a home and continues throughout your search.

Look for properties in your price range that might use some work, and then find out how much it would cost to make those renovations. Nothing is more frustrating than purchasing a property with the expectation of repairing the yard for a few hundred dollars only to discover that it will cost thousands.

There’s no limit to how well you can prepare. Let’s say you come across a lovely property that is priced lower than others in the region due to its age. Although you may save money on the list price, an older property may come with a considerably higher home insurance cost, making the house more expensive in the long term.

This is when planning comes into play. Before you make your initial offer, do some research on house insurance and property costs in the locations you’re considering.

Define how much money you’ll spend toward the down payment, and then see how much money you’ll have left over for renovations and small charges like replacing the locks. That way, if you come across a home at the upper end of your price range that requires a new washer and dryer or an upgrade to the HVAC system, you’ll know to pass it up.

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Apollo Group – Real Estate Partners is a privately held real estate investment, asset management, and development company led by experienced and committed real estate and investment professionals.