When looking to buy a new home, most people are acutely aware of the budget they can afford to spend. They consequently look closely at home prices, consider valuation, and take tax rates into account before making any decision. They often further factor in other considerations, such as the cost of local private schools. Otherwise, however, people generally assume that their regular expenses and spending habits will remain the same. They assume that – save for changes perhaps in educational and mortgage costs – their cost of living will be little different upon moving to a new home.
Sometimes this assumption turns out to be correct. But sometimes it is not – and the home buyer is left wondering why his peripheral expenses have risen in his new settings. To avoid getting disappointed and surprised, then, it’s important to not make assumptions and to fully consider how your cost of living expenses will be altered in a new home. Specifically, here are a few things to keep in mind:
The place where you live has a substantial bearing on your transportation costs. On the most basic level, the further you live from your workplace the higher your gas expenses stand to be. But there are also other factors to take into account here. For example, how far is the house from groceries and other necessitates? Do you have public transit options nearby? How bad is the rush hour traffic?
Since people spend so much of their non-housing budget on food, the quality and cost of restaurants and grocery options can certainly impact your cost of living expenses. Before settling on a home, make sure that you have accessible, satisfactory, and reasonably priced grocery choices in the vicinity.
Regular Home Costs
Many people take maintenance costs into consideration when buying a home, especially if the house is older and clearly will need some work. But there are other, more regular house expenses that rarely factor into a pre-purchase budget. For example, utilities costs can range widely from home to home. Yardwork fees can, too.
Moving into a new community entails more than simply living in a home and paying taxes to the local municipality. It also means that you are giving yourself a new set of entertainment, dining, and cultural options. If you are somebody who lives to go out often, the commercial pricy-ness of your new area should definitely come into play.
While none of these considerations may seem daunting on its own, the aggregate effect over time can tip your budget away from its old norm – either favorably or unfavorably. For this reason, it can be incredibly helpful to conduct this research and make a draft budget before moving. You’ll likely be glad that you did.