As consumers we have grown ever more cynical. Everything from air travel to pet insurance incurs a hidden fee, and we now almost expect it. Yet when it comes to buying a house, there are a whole host of other unexpected costs. Purchasing a new home presents an abundance of disguised fees – and that’s not including the ones that catch buyers in the early stages!
Stamp duty, valuation fees and estate agent fees are all hidden costs of buying a home that are discovered early on and can be prepared for with savings. But what really trips up first-time homeowners is often the expense of running a property – the bills that no one budgets for once they’ve moved in. Let’s explore them.
Hidden Costs of Essential maintenance work
To a certain extent, unnecessary maintenance work can be avoided. Provided that the survey conducted at the buying stage picks up on any leaks or structural damage, you should be able to avoid any future expenses of this kind. Be wary though – there are several types of survey, each of which goes into varying levels of detail.
The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) provides a template for each of the surveys available, and those registered with them will perform their own version to fit their services. A HomeBuyer report, for instance, is more detailed than a condition report and is the most common survey. They look for damp and give advice on necessary repairs. However, if you were purchasing a period property or there’s significant renovation that needs to be carried out, you should upgrade to a building survey.
Hidden Residents’ parking schemes & their costs
It is common in cities and many towns to pay an annual fee in order to park your vehicle near your home. This permit can usually be extended to your visitors for an additional cost. However, this is often overlooked by new homeowners, causing them to be hit by a fine before they’ve even had the chance to acquire their pass.
There have been some reports of councils being dismissive of local appeals when it comes to resident parking, especially when it comes to your bay being suspended. This could be because of road works or domestic moves, and you may be given very short notice to shift your vehicle. Even if you are on holiday and you have proof of travel, you might not be able to get out of the fine.
Spend a little time doing some research prior to moving in – some councils have specific car parks reserved for those going on holiday. You may find it easier to leave your car with a friend or family member, or seek long-term storage solutions.
The costs of higher water, gas and electricity bills
The first time you receive your energy bill can be eye-opening: it’s one of the biggest hidden costs of owning a home. Fortunately, there are plenty of guides on reducing your bills and conserving energy around the home. Additionally, the UK government requires energy companies to install smart meters for their customers, to be rolled out fully by 2020.
One option available to you that will dramatically reduce your heating bills is insulating your home with underlay. It is not often a priority for first-time buyers to replace this when moving in, particularly if they are satisfied with their current flooring. However, through replacing what you have inherited with thick underlay, your home will retain more warmth and you’ll find yourself putting the heating on less.
Lessen the hidden cost of home ownership with Underlay4u
While there is no guarantee that you will escape added costs when buying your first house, you can invest early to lower the price of running the property later on. Reducing an energy bill is a common goal in all UK households, and adequately layering your floor with our underlay is proven to keep your home warm.
Not only that, but properly installed underlay will reduce the amount of future structural repairs because you are less likely to experience uneven flooring or carpet damage. If you are looking to revitalise your floors ahead of your new beginning, then please contact us online or call 01772 708 433 to speak to a member of our team.