Unexpected Expenses After Buying Our First Home
We recently purchased our first house. Like haven’t-even-moved-in-yet recently … and we have incurred thousands in unexpected expenses. We are discovering that these items add up quickly, especially when we hadn’t accounted for them. We are such newbies.
This list contains affiliate links to Amazon.com, when I could find the exact item that we bought. I never recommend anything that I don’t personally use and love so, rest assured, I would buy them all over again.
1. Lawnmower – We have about half an acre so we are fine with getting a push mower, thank goodness. We spent nearly $400 on the mower we finally got, the Husqvarna 22-Inch 3-in-1 Key Start Mower, and we are very happy with it. + $360
2. New Locks – Make sure your home is secure and change the locks first thing after closing. You never know who has a copy of the front door key. Ok, these deadbolt locks are seriously amazing! My guy found these Kevo locks for our front and back doors. Each one is bluetooth enabled which means, when you are an authorized user, all you need to do is tap the lock and it opens after communicating with your cell phone. I was really skeptical on how well these would work, but I am impressed. You can leave your cell in your pocket or purse & the system still works beautifully. The locks were super easy to install and they work every time. Each deadbolt comes with a standard key set if someone in your house is technologically challenged, as well as a key FOB. The FOB is perfect for kids that don’t have a cell phone yet. The bonus here is that they look just like any other lock out there, ’cause we definitely don’t want any pricey looking electronics on our front door! The Kwikset 925 Kevo Single Cylinder Bluetooth Enabled Deadbolt page on Amazon has some awesome videos on just how it works. + $400 [$200 per set, one on the front door, one on the back]
3. Refrigerator – After being stuck with various old apartment sized refrigerators for the last 10+ years, we are thrilled to go out and pick our own. We went with Whirlpool 28.1 Cu. Ft. Stainless Steel French Door Refrigerator and we love it! The top refrigerated portion opens french-door style and has brilliant LED lighting. There are two drawers below that part. The top drawer is refrigerated and fairly shallow, typically used for snacks or deli type items. It has four different temperature settings, depending on what is stored in it. The bottom drawer is freezer space with an internal second tier organizing drawer. Ice maker and water dispenser on the outside. Sweet. +$2,200
4. Blinds – There are two routes that one could go with this one: either home improvement store prefab blinds or custom measure-&-install-for-you-blinds. We chose the latter. It was the easier option and, surprisingly, not that much more expensive. Our piece of mind and time are worth the bit of extra cost. We figured that we might as well just get the house done all at once. Added bonus; there is a five-year warranty that they will come out to replace them if something breaks, no questions asked! Perfect for a family with four dogs! +$4,100 [through Budget Blinds]
5. Fence – Wow. Who the hell knew fences were soo expensive?! Our backyard fence need was about 325ft in length which came out to a lot more than we were expecting to spend. Again, with four dogs, we need a securely fenced back yard. Since one of those dogs is a 65lb Boxer/Bulldog mix, that looks just like a blue-nose Pitbull, we chose to get a 6ft pressure-treated wood fence. Get ready for it: + $6,000 [I know, right?!]
6. Hose – Self explanatory? Yes. Easy to forget? Absolutely. + $45
7. Hose Nozzle – Make your life easier, get a nozzle or two. We found a pack of two different types at Costco that was fairly inexpensive. + $25
8. Fire Extinguisher – A MUST for every home. At a minimum, you should have one under the kitchen sink. Ideally, one on each floor. We chose to buy a 3-pack of the Kidde Pro 210 Fire Extinguisher so we could put one in the kitchen, one in the garage and one upstairs. + $167 for the pack
9. Fire Escape Ladder – Another must-have for any home that is more than one story. I’m a little paranoid, true, but it makes me sleep better knowing that each 2nd floor bedroom has one. After a ton of review perusing, we went with the First Alert Two-Story Escape Ladder and we are quite pleased. Grab it, pop it on the window sill and release the velcro that will drop the ladder. If your house is on fire, it had better be simple. + $32 each
Grand total: $13,329 worth of unexpected expenses after buying our first home. Keep in mind, there are ways to come in cheaper but we were not willing to sacrifice quality, safety or privacy.
I am thankful that we really waited until we had a nice chunk of savings before purchasing a house. Yes, we had to wait until we hit our early thirties to do so, but we wanted to do it right.
What did we miss? Did you have any other unexpected expenses when you purchased your first home?