Friday 5: Unexpected Costs Buying a House

Friday, May 30, 2014

If you have read a single post in this blog, you know I am in a bit of a tight money situation. Add an extreme Type A personality to the mix and you have someone who is a pain in the ass to buy a house with. The truth to buying a house is that it is going to cost a lot no matter how you slice it. We DIYed a lot of our renos, shopped around a lot for everything, and planned like maniacs yet we still spent what felt like a million dollars in buying a house, I was essentially doing this:

 This is the list of costs that I wasn't expecting that really added up as we were moving, I thought of #6 at the very end but I like saying Friday Five so live with it:

1. Inspections: I don't know who I thought these people were paid by, but I did not think it was me. The average is $300, for a condo it could be less, for a big house it could be $700. Next time I will budget $700 to avoid the panic attack I had over it this time around.
2. Eating out all the time: Pots were packed here, pans were packed there, the oven broke, a million people were in and out of the house 24/7, we were running like chickens with our heads cut off, and I may or may not have been on a psychotic rampage by the time I got to packing the fridge and thrown everything out.
3. Start-up Fees for Utilities: I've moved every year for almost 10 years and somehow this one shocks me every time. Cable was $50, gas was about $50, water was $70, and a few others that I blacked out. Next time I plan to budget about $350 for this.
4. Things You Will Discover Are Very Very Broken: The first time it rained, it also rained inside our house, meaning we had to replace windows and roof pieces. We budgeted money to install a new backdoor, however when removing the original backdoor we discovered the walls were insulated with newspaper and the previous door was being held in with DUCT TAPE. I can't even make this stuff up. The walls were in such bad condition that we ended up having to cement and sand over most of them. This house was literally being held together by duct tape which isn't really checked for in inspections. Fortunately we were able to save about $7,000 by having my dad do our kitchen (shameless plug: if you're in the DMV my dad is a contractor who rocks) so that saved money we had budgeted went towards these things. Next time we will budget a couple thousand for this.
5. Cleaning supplies: More cleaning supplies than you could ever imagine. Newly finished wood floors = need wood floor cleaner, sanding every wall = need an industrial broom/dry mop/and will go through 29 (not joking) Swiffer pads, people everywhere doing tons of different things = over 30 rolls of paper towels.
6. Random House Stuff: Think shower curtains, shower curtain rods, the right sized rugs, bath mats, bathroom mirrors (unlike rentals they don't just come with the bathroom), lawn mower, yard maintenance supplies (shears, weed wacker), organizers, blinds, curtains...

Bonus- Relationship Counseling: JK. But kind of. We hated each other for about 48 hours during the move, then went out to dinner, drank a bunch of margaritas and everything was fine.

Even though this sounds crazy and expensive, it was so worth it. Things were stressful for awhile but I love our new house that is a home, and I love that it is both of our ideas  working together to make an awesome space. If you're thinking about buying a house I can't recommend it more, it's the best thing young people can invest money in- read this post by Harrison (my realtor/fiance) on things you need to know before buying a house. And if you are in the DMV in the market for a new house my realtor is really great (haha). You can find his info here.

What were some of your unexpected costs?

PS: Speaking of real estate, Harrison has been selected by Realtor Magazine as a finalist for top 30 realtors under 30! Please take 2 seconds to vote for him in their online poll here! They don't require any personal info, just a click on the vote button. Thanks!!


  1. Man, I couldn't believe about all the extra costs with buying our house. It's actually been 1 year since we closed on our home. We've been there a year... and Let me tell you, I identify to your list.. right down to the BONUS.

    :) But it's SO worth it right.. you look around and think This is MINE.. and THAT is mine.. and that bill for this.. IS MINE.

    Makes me happy. But, I'm a darn weirdo.

    4p can't come fast enough.
    I can't wait to start the WEEKEND!!!

  2. Yikes sounds draining but im sure its worth the stress as you so rightly said. :D

  3. It is crazy how expensive it is to move or buy a house for the first time!!! Once everything settles down, it will all be worth it!

    Hope you have a great weekend!

  4. DON'T FORGET THE TOILET PAPER! Seriously, I always packed up the toilet paper with all of the bathroom supplies and then that was the very first thing I needed when I walked in the door. I've learned my lesson now - have some TP in your first or you'll need to buy some on your way!

  5. Oh my gosh, yes!!!!! There are so many little things that you don't think about when you are buying a home! This is a great list!

  6. So true! When we bought our house, all I really thought about was "oh, we need X amount for the down payment." Ummm wrong! Down payment, one year of insurance paid up front, any closing costs, inspections,'s crazy how it can all add up!

  7. absolutely! even though I thought I knew about all of these, I really didn't. They still shocked me. Hit us hard, but we are recovered now. Never moving again! haha. and omg newspaper and duct tape?!

  8. I wish I'd read these before we bought our house! We had a budget and then all of a sudden there were like thousands of random expenses we hadn't expected. House buying is cheap but at the end of the day, it's so nice to have a place to call our own

  9. haha--so true! We should be able to calculate all of that stuff in our closing costs right?? So happy for you and the new house!!

  10. When my wife and I moved, I didn't realize how much we would not want to cook. Even if we wanted to, we couldn't find the kitchen boxes. Eating out added a couple hundred to our budget. It is just one of those things you don't think about beforehand. Thanks for sharing this article so people know what

    Willard Evans @ Wow! Homes

  11. I am definitely feeling your pain. My friends have been trying to convince me and the wife to move out of our apartment because it was a money drainer and invest in a home. I think that I am going to place buying a house on the back burner for a little while longer.

    Joshua Duncan @ Focus Insurance Atlanta

  12. I absolutely love having my own garage now. When you live in an apartment, all your garage stuff is placed in closets or storage. I spent thousands of dollars in storage fees over the years in that apartment. Now now only do I have access to my stuff, I get to keep that $100 each month and buy more stuff for my house.

    Jefferson @ T.J. Lamb Real Estate


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