About the author:

Terry I. Weberman, The Kabinet CPA

Terry is a Certified Public Accountant in the New York Metro area with experience working with businesses and individuals across all backgrounds. He writes articles for the Kabinet blog and is here to help you on your home ownership and/or investing journey. Ask Terry a question by sending an email to info@kabinet.com and put “Terry CPA” in the subject line. This is a complimentary service as part of Kabinet’s commitment to you!

It’s no secret that owning a home is expensive. Heck, that’s why we created Kabinet. The benefits of homeownership far outweigh the minuses but we always want to give you the full picture so you can be an Above Average Homeowner. 

When I say “Owning a Home” of course I mean any type of home, whether it’s an apartment, single family home or townhome. Let’s get into it! 

Here are three examples of expensive home repairs that caught myself and Daniel by surprise over the years as homeowners. We each put some money aside to budget for unexpected expenses but each specific event was something we did not plan for! 

Expense #1 – Daniel’s Hot Water Heater Broke 1 Week After Moving In

I previously told you that you must have your home inspected prior to purchase. Daniel did just that and the inspector said that his water heater was on its last legs. Like anyone else, when he heard that he figured it will last a little longer then he could replace it another time. 

Fast forward a week into moving in and his hot water heater exploded leaving a flood in the basement! He has no idea how the previous owner was able to keep it chugging along to get through the inspection but they somehow managed to do it. 

Unexpected expense – $1,575 (Amount courtesy of Kabinet) 

Expense #2 – Terry’s Stove Died 2 Months After Moving In 

This was a long time ago but I will do my best to recap the situation. The appliances came with our house but like most older homes, they had seen better days. Like everyone else, moving in was exciting so we let a few things go on the inspection just to make sure we were able to close and move in. 

Even in my day, people liked to replace old appliances but we wanted to wait until we saved some extra money so the plan was to use the old ones until we were ready. That plan went out the window when the burners on the stove completely stopped working. 

I don’t remember the cost because this was years ago (Decades before Kabinet) but I know it was expensive and I know it bothered me because it was not something we wanted to spend money on so quickly.

Expense #3 – Daniel’s HOA Had A Special Assessment Three Months After Moving In

No unexpected cost story would be complete without a Homeowners Association (HOA) story. Closing on a home in an HOA community is a little more complicated than a single family home because various notices and bylaws must be reviewed by the buyer. 

As is a common theme, new homeowners are all excited and just want to get the keys but this wound up biting Daniel. The seller made a disclosure about the HOA and an upcoming assessment but he was very silly and overlooked it. 

Low and behold, three months after moving in, the special assessment invoice came for common area improvements (aka the swimming pool) to the tune of $2,500! 

This was back in 2019 which was a buyers market. WIth a thorough review of the HOA disclosure Daniel could have negotiated $2,500 off of the purchase price to cover this cost. 

Sometimes people make mistakes and they must learn from them, however the key take away is that home costs come out of the blue and are always expensive! 

Put some money away every month for unexpected expenses and you’ll be fine! 

Let us know what major expenses you were hit with after moving in! Everyone I’ve ever spoken to has a story and it always makes them feel better to vent!

Note

Terry, The Kabinet CPA, has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information within this article was correct at time of publication. He does not assume and hereby disclaims any liability to any party for any loss, damage, or disruption caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions result from accident, negligence, or any other cause. Speak to your advisor to make sure you qualify for such benefits or opportunities. Do not rely solely on this abbreviated article, it is for informational purposes only.