Buying a home is an exciting accomplishment, especially for the first time. It’s a tremendous feeling to be a homeowner, having a place all your own. If it’s a house, as opposed to a condo, it also brings more space than an apartment.
Of course, buying a home also brings lots of expenses as well. These expenses might go beyond the transaction costs associated with the purchase.
This came to mind recently as I was walking through downtown, and just randomly heard a few seconds of conversation that struck me as interesting. Two women in their 20’s were walking in the opposite direction of me, and as they approached, I heard one of them tell the other “I can’t wait to get a house in the ‘burbs so I can buy lots of furniture and stuff for it!”
At one time, I too lived in the city (Chicago, for a few years) in a “trendy” area for younger professionals. Eventually, I too moved to the suburbs. Yes, I’ll admit, it was kind of exciting to move to a new stage in life. My thoughts were probably similar to hers, though I was a bit more averse to spending money.
The thing is, as I heard that comment from the woman walking by, I considered her comment in light of my own experience. The conclusion I came up with is that it just might be a bit insane to charge forward with such excitement toward buying things for a new home.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Buying a house should be exciting, right? It’s a big moment in the lives of people. However, the way some of us do it can be over the top. I say that because when buying a first house, which has more space than the apartment or condo environs from which one might be moving, lots of things just have to be purchased, right?
There are empty rooms to fill, and not all of your furniture will take up all the space. New furniture, for a living room, dining room, bedroom, etc – can all be quite costly. There just might be window treatments to purchase, some fixtures to replace, and other remodeling to “personalize” the home. These costs can all add up into the thousands. Depending on how much furniture and remodeling is done, it could be a 5 figure expenditure.
The woman who was talking was so excited about buying things for the house. I wonder if she really analyzed and understood just how much that home purchase really cost?
What it comes down to is this: when buying a home, it’s important to keep in mind that amidst all the euphoria, costs do add up. Quickly. Thus, plan accordingly and budget for such expenses ahead of time. This is a time when it’s critical to discern wants from needs, as emotions can come into play big time.
My Questions for You:
- If you have purchased a home (either house or townhome/condo), did you incur significant “extra” expenses beyond those related to the transaction?
- Did you feel the need to buy all kinds of new things for your new place, or did you try to make do with what you already had for the most part?