Skip to main content

See also:

Controlling your moving expenses

Many people assume that as soon as they leave the closing table, they are done with their real estate transaction. In fact, picking up your keys on the way out of the lawyer’s office is the first step along the long path of home ownership.
One of the first things that surprises many new condo and home owners is that their new property is often not in move-in ready condition. Before moving their furniture, many new homeowners are surprised to learn that they have to clean the property first. Expect to pay for a professional cleaning service to come through your new place, or at the very least make an investment in a few cleaning supplies.
After getting the place move-in ready, many first-time buyers are surprised to learn that moving their stuff will cost more than they expected. While moving from rental apartment to rental apartment probably involved a few friends, a pick-up truck, and a couple of pizzas, moving into a condo building will usually require some type of professional moving service. Many people choose to reduce this cost by selling or donating as much as they can before moving. Then, move as many small items on your own as possible. Finally, get several estimates from reputable moving companies to handle large furniture items and appliances.
Of course, immediately after moving in, you’ll start to notice items that you need for your new home. While large items, such as furniture might have been obvious when you first looked at the property, but many people are surprised when they discover they need extra trash cans, shelving, or even extra beach towels. While the cost of each of these items might seem relatively small, when someone has to buy them all at once it can be quite a hit to a budget.
For these reasons, it is generally recommended that a person or couple budget several hundred or thousand dollars to pay for the incidental costs associated with a move. Ideally, try to save the money along with the money that you set aside for closing costs. After paying the closing, what you have left over can be budgeted for these costs.
After you’re fully moved in, many new homeowners are surprised when several they start to receive the bills for their new place. For many new homeowners, the condo association fees often come as a bit of a shock. Many homeowners make the assumption that the fees will be automatically added to their monthly mortgage statement. In fact, condo fees are usually billed once a year or quarterly. If the bill is not expected, this means that a new homeowner could be on the hook for several hundred or thousand dollars within a few weeks of moving in.
Along with the condo fees, many people are also surprised by bills that come in for maintenance. In some condos, separate maintenance fees are charged along with the standard condo association fees. In other cases, condo owners are responsible for paying for their own maintenance. Make sure that you have some money set aside for these costs to pay repair personnel when they occur.
The key to making sure that you are not surprised by any of these costs is to ask your realtor and the condo association about hem before you close. Then, make sure that they are added to your budget and that you set aside some money for those costs.