Ever since starting my own business, I have grown increasingly frugal with money. Contrary to what many may think, it's not that I won’t spend money, but that I simply dislike being taken advantage of, or wasting money on unnecessary things. When buying a new home, one can easily get swept into the finances of setting up a house and spending money on things they don't really need. This article will dive into the ways new homeowners waste their money, and help them stay on budget with new home purchase.
1. Excessive Landscaping
The prettiest houses on the block have beautiful trees and luscious greenery, but such features come with a cost. Many in my area love their lawn care services, but like every weekly service, the cost can add up. Even if one were to take on outdoor tasks themselves, it can also be costly; though prices vary according to location, a search of my local greenhouses show shrubs and bushes beginning at $60 and small trees at $95. Although a green oasis can be a wise investment for a long-term homeowner, those starting out on a limited budget should rank lavish landscaping low on the priority list.
As an alternative, instead of planting rows of fancy shrubbery, why not simply focus on growing a thick, luscious lawn? Neatly trimmed grass can come at the cost of a lawn mower and a bag of grass seed—an inexpensive way to subdue a green thumb until one has a green wallet to match!
2. Updated Appliances
When remodeling a home, the kitchen tends to be one of the first areas of change. While there can be a lot to change in a kitchen—counters, sink, cupboards, flooring, lighting—the focus often falls on updating the appliances. Here's a rule of thumb for all home buyers on a budget: if it works, let it work. There will be a time to indulge in a matching fridge, oven, and dishwasher, but this dream can be temporarily put on a back burner.
3. Energy Efficient Windows and Doors
This idea will be controversial to some, but when first moving into a home, one should wait a while before installing new energy efficient windows and doors. They're expensive and if draft prevention and energy conservation are of the upmost importance, there are things a crafty homeowner can do to eliminate (or drastically reduce) the need for replacement, at least until it can be afforded later. Window insulation film and even layered curtains have been shown to work well and are far less expensive than their professional alternatives.
4. Unresearched Insurance
Finally, when buying a home there is always a mad dash to get the paperwork and final approvals together before moving in. Amid this mess comes the need to quickly acquire insurance, a policy often provided by an insurance company that was recommended by your real estate agent. A wise home owner however, will not take this policy. Instead, shop around to get the best rate you can. You will be surprised how reasonably priced insurance can be if one only takes the time to price shop.
5. Pool Maintenance
So you bought a house with a pool. It's the American dream, right? The mere existence of a pool isn’t all that costly, but it's the continual maintenance and multiple supplies needed that can quickly get out of hand. Just because you have it, doesn't mean you need to maintain it right away. Don’t be embarrassed about keeping it closed and covered for a summer season until normal house related costs go down.