This next week as the United States celebrates the 4th of July I am reminded of a sign our son Drew had in his room growing up that stated boldly: FREEDOM. Drew bought the sign because he found it incredibly ironic that he could purchase something that says “FREEDOM” but that it wasn’t “free.” In order to acquire it, there was a cost expended.
As we celebrate the 4th, let us remember the benefits associated with living in a democracy. Those rights come with a cost. There are many who have given their lives and sacrificed deeply so that America could become a democracy. Many fight daily so that our freedom is maintained. And there will be those who will fight in the future so that our children and their children will have the opportunity to know the meaning of freedom.
It may seem obvious, but home ownership isn’t free either. Home owners plan for the monthly payment which typically consists of: principal, interest, taxes and insurance. But there are many more costs as well. Bottom line, the purchase of a home is just the beginning. As a rule of thumb homeowners should budget between 1-3% of the value of the property annually for maintenance costs as well as ongoing updating and renovation of a property.
Diligent agents know that homes that have been consistently refreshed over time sustain value better than those “stuck” in another era. There is the exception where sometimes a look becomes “retro”, but that is not the rule. In my experience a homeowner should plan to update kitchens and bathrooms as well as other design features on an ongoing basis.
If the property is within a planned development or a condominium, there will be association dues. In addition, those entities can and often do charge fees as well and can levy special assessments to pay for repairs, replacements and the improvements of shared components to the association. Well-run associations maintain reserve funds for major projects.
Just as freedom is not really “free”, yet still worth the cost to sustain and maintain it; the costs to home ownership are certainly worthy of the investment as well.
Karen Briscoe and Lizzy Conroy and their team HBC Group at Keller Williams are active and experienced Realtors® in the Northern Virginia, suburban Maryland and Washington, DC market place. They would be delighted to assist whether for home buying or selling. Please contact via the means most convenient for you: www.HBCRealtyGroup.com, 703-734-0192, Homes@HBCRealtyGroup.com.