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Don’t forget about these 20 costs of home ownership06 Dec

When Bill Douglass and his wife bought their first home, he budgeted $250 a month for maintenance costs.

He soon found out that it was $300 a month — just to maintain the lawn.

“I have to admit, I was rather naïve about the costs involved in being a homeowner,” he said.

Two months after they moved in, a FedEx truck accidentally backed into the house, damaging the gutter. That was $900. Then they had a baby girl! It cost an estimated $10,000 for the first year of a baby’s life, according to one baby calculator. Then, the air conditioner went on the fritz. That was $8,000 to replace. They soon discovered that their neighborhood is prone to power outages, so they needed to consider dropping $10,000 for a backup generator. Some folks love the idea of having a hot tub, but when it comes time to replacing the hot tub cover, they can’t stomach the costs.

“Most people are unprepared for the big repairs — and even the small repairs,” said Guy Cecala, publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance magazine. “When the toilet starts flooding, you can’t call someone like you did when you were renting. You’ve got to fix it yourself.”

To help you get prepared, here 20 Hidden Costs of Home Ownership.

1. Your heart. You may set a budget for how much you can spend on a new house, but then you find something you love — something you can’t stop thinking about — and even though it’s $50,000 or $100,000 over your budget, you buy it anyway.

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