Down payment? Check. Closing costs? Check. Keys? In hand.
When the only barrier between "owning" and "free and clear" is a monthly mortgage payment, it can be a good feeling. But it can be fleeting, considering the other costs involved with homeownership.
Jerry and Ellen DeBacker say they anticipate spending as much as $50,000 on their new South Hill home after replacing windows, making sense of their second kitchen and completing other renovations. And that's on top of other expenses that come with owning any home.
Whether you're purchasing a new condominium unit or a fixer-upper mansion, it's wise to budget for the following items when determining just how much you can spend on what's likely biggest financial move of your life.
The good news: If you're moving more than 50 miles - and you or your spouse works in the area for 39 weeks in the next year - you could be eligible for a tax deduction. Consult a tax professional or financial planner for details.
According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners most-recent data, the average homeowners-insurance premium in Washington is $603 - the eighth-lowest among states. Nationally, the average is $804.
Policies often change by carrier, and it can literally pay to shop around.
It is possible to appeal a tax assessment, however, by contacting the Whatcom County Assessor's Office.
Second-half property taxes for Whatcom County are due Oct. 31. Exemptions are available for certain income, disability, property and age statuses.
Beware of property-tax quotes for properties found online, as well. They could be outdated.
Running from less than $100 to more than $500, HOA fees can cover maintenance, refurbishment, utilities, parking and other expenses that association members share.
Curious? It can't hurt to ask.