Looking for the home of your dreams is exciting. But you also need to be on the lookout for hidden expenses. No matter how attractive a home is, look carefully at these three things.

1. Potential Maintenance Costs

Even if a house is new and in good repair, maintenance can cost you a great deal. Some home maintenance costs, of course, come with the territory of owning a home. You will eventually have to replace the roof, the air conditioning system, the deck, and so on.

What you want to watch out for are areas of the home that look fine but may need repair fairly soon after you buy the home. Be sure to ask directly how old basic systems like air conditioning and heating are. They will last 15 to 20 years. If there’s a patio or deck, ask when it was poured or laid. These too will need redoing after 15 years.

2. Insurance Costs

Be sure to get an estimate for the insurance fees of every upgrade. Does the new home have a swimming pool, for example? Swimming pools can be expensive to insure, especially if the area has many children and it’s unfenced. Anything that opens you to potential liability can be quite expensive, from trees to play areas. So can areas prone to flooding or that may open your home to rust or mold.

3. Energy Expenses

It’s wise to have an energy audit done for a new home. These are relatively inexpensive to do, and they can pinpoint areas where the energy use can be improved for savings. Does an attic or upper story need to be insulated? Will new windows let less heat in? These are the types of areas an energy audit can identify. See if the seller is willing to pay for part or all of energy-saving moves.

Contact us for more information.