Real Estate

Dream Home or Money Pit?

  • Mark Edwards ·
  • September 16, 2021

Some homes can seem idyllic on the surface. However, they could be hiding hidden problems – problems that could be very expensive to solve. Before moving into your ‘dream home’, here are a few things to consider to make sure that your new potential home isn’t a money pit.

Know Your Budget

Whether or not a home is classed as a money pit may depend very much on your monthly budget. For the mega-wealthy, spending thousands on monthly maintenance may not be a big deal. However, if you’re living on a more modest income, you might struggle with the monthly cost of an expensive home. Consider how much you’re paying right now, and how much you could comfortably stretch to.

Consider the Age and Condition

The age and condition of a property is important to consider as it will likely have an impact on future maintenance costs. Some expensive mansions are likely to be relatively new and in good condition – you may not have to make many repairs while living in them. While cheaper to buy, an older fixer-upper mansion may cost more in the long run due to the amount of repairs needed. A home inspection will usually help you to determine the extent of a home’s condition and the likely repairs that are around the corner.

Calculate Your Bills

Big homes can come with bigger utility bills. Heating and cooling these homes requires a lot more energy – unless you’re prepared to heat and cool individual rooms, be prepared to spend more on heating/cooling. You could also end up spending more on energy bills as a result of extra lighting. It’s possible that you may be able to invest in eco-upgrades to make your home more energy-efficient (this could include solar panels or extra insulation). Of course, this is an extra upfront cost to then factor into your budget. An energy inspection may be able to tell you exactly how eco-friendly a home is before buying it so that you can get a rough idea of what your energy bills will look like.

How Much Help Will You Need to Hire?

If you’re buying a big house, you may need to hire some help to help look after it. Maintaining a large home yourself could be impossible – especially if you’ve already got lots of commitments. Some of the types of people you may have to consider hiring include:

  • A gardener to look after your yard if the home has a big garden.
  • A pool maintenance worker to maintain your pool (if your dream home has a swimming pool).
  • Potentially some cleaners – this could include hiring a maid or some private cleaners.
  • Bigger homes can be a more common target for burglars. You should consider whether hiring security may be useful.

This is just a handful of the roles that some people outsource when buying expensive homes. Some wealthy people also like to hire chauffeurs, butlers and chefs. If you dream home involves hiring these types of staff members, make sure to factor their wages into your budget.

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