Friday, March 9, 2018

6 Hidden Costs of Owning a Home on Chicago's North Shore

Owning a home on Chicago's North Shore certainly has its perks— from tax benefits to design freedom and everything in between. But if you're making the transition from renter to homeowner this year, it's important to note that there may be a few home-related costs that you didn't plan for or even know about before you began house-hunting.

As your local real estate expert in Winnetka, Glencoe, Deerfield, Northbrook, Highland Park, and the surrounding areas, it is my job to make sure you are prepared for every aspect of homeownership— including the following hidden costs:

Property Taxes
When you use a mortgage calculator prior to buying a home on the North Shore, it is essential that you input estimated property taxes. You can typically find this amount on any listing, or ask your real estate agent to find it for you, so you can see how your monthly payment will change adding them in.

Homeowner's insurance will vary depending on your home, your pets, your neighborhood, and a host of other different factors. Research average costs in your area and add them into your potential monthly mortgage payment to avoid any surprises down the road.

Yard Upkeep
If you've been a renter, you likely did not have to deal with the upkeep and maintenance that a yard requires. Once you become a homeowner, you will be responsible for buying all of your own tools, including snowblowers, lawn mowers, shovels, and rakes. Not to mention, the time you will need to free up to keep your yard looking well-manicured in every season!

Furnaces and air conditioning units can be a major cost that homeowners do not account for when buying a property. For instance, if you don't have a home warranty, and your furnace breaks down, only you are responsible for covering the repairs or replacement which can cost you thousands! It's best to begin saving for a rainy day fund at the start of your homeowner journey to prepare for things like this, or even small expenses like replacing furnace filters every month or so.

Pest Control
Homes on the North Shore can look appealing to small pests like mice, raccoons, possum, birds, ants, you name it! As a homeowner, you may encounter a pest removal situation which can cost hundreds or more in damage repair and preventative maintenance.

As a renter, you were likely use to much smaller utility bills than you will have as a homeowner on Chicago's North Shore. You can ask the previous homeowner—once you've found a home you're interested in—for the average utility costs in order to factor them into your overall budget and avoid surprises later.

Do not hesitate to contact me with any questions about buying a home in Winnetka, Glencoe, Deerfield, Northbrook, or Highland Park! I am here to help you find your dream home with as little stress and surprise as possible!

I look forward to hearing from you!

Janie Bress
Your North Shore Real Estate Expert

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