The emotional drive to save up for a down payment on a home may be intense. You have a goal to meet, and you are strongly focused on completing that objective. It is certainly an important time in your life. However, many people make the mistake of ending their savings habits once they move into their new homes. The urgent goal is gone, but there is never a good time to quit saving for your home.
After you have come up with the down payment, you may think your savings goals are completed. Yet, your new home will almost definitely need your financial attention further down the road. It is far better to have savings built up for home repairs and maintenance than to borrow the money when the time comes.
Few people find a home that is exactly what they want. You may need or want to make alterations immediately or sometime in the future. Setting up a remodeling fund will prepare you for the day when you choose to make changes to your floor plan or fixtures. Get started early, and you will not have to take out a home equity loan to do it.
Even if you have furniture that is serviceable before you move in, it is a good idea to prepare for the day when it is outdated or worn. Keep saving to retain the ability to beautify your home with new furniture when the need arises.
Even if the home you buy has a beautiful yard and setting already, saving for future landscaping makes sense. Weather events, pests or vandalism can destroy the trees, bushes and flowers surrounding your home. In that case, they may need to be taken out and others planted. You may also want to change your landscaping completely. Many people like to add features such as solar lighting and fountains and garden paths. Having the money in savings can allow you to do the work at the time you are ready to do it.
Taxes and Insurance
Not everyone has to save up for the bulk of their taxes and insurance. Your mortgage company may add those items to your house payment and handle it through an escrow account. If you are buying your home outright, you will need to save up that money so it is available before the due dates. Even if you are paying your taxes and insurance in your house payment, there may be adjustments each year. When taxes and insurance costs go up more than expected, your mortgage company will either add the difference to your monthly mortgage payment or require you to pay it at the end of the year.
When you look at savings as a one-time activity, you can make problems for yourself. You may also make it more difficult to live the lifestyle you like. The best choice is to think of saving for your home as a ongoing routine. Always keep it in your budget and you will save yourself time, interest and hassles.