Close this search box.
foreclosure house for sale

Cover the Bases: Home Buying and Avoiding the Burden of Utility Costs

The real estate market experienced an unexpected boom in the previous year. Amidst the massive losses that countless industries suffered, the housing sector stood out above the rest. The sudden outbreak of a global pandemic prompted a mass migration of people from the city centers to the low-density suburbs.

Buying, selling, and renting of properties continued despite the unfortunate circumstances. An increase in demand for ample space is also one of the driving factors that helped the real estate industry. Single-family homes allowed residents to remain comfortable during the shelter-in-place measures.

Unforeseen Costs

Experts believe that this trend will continue well into the year. After almost a year of being cooped up indoors, people have come to realize that their living spaces aren’t enough. Now, more and more residents will want to move into bigger homes.

There are certain things to be wary of when looking to purchase a new property. When buyers estimate the cost of a new house, they often focus too much on the mortgage. Utility costs, on the other hand, are usually overlooked.

Always take into account the budget for utilities before buying a home. While prices may differ depending on the consumption of appliances and age of fixtures, utility costs should not be neglected. Consider these simple ways of estimating utility costs to avoid any setbacks in the future.

Proper Assessments

One of the easiest ways to guarantee that utility costs won’t be a burden down the line is to have the property checked thoroughly. Regardless of how old or new the house might be, it’s still worth consulting the necessary personnel to provide additional ease of mind.

Consider hiring cleaning services for sewer lines to ensure that there aren’t any clogs or leaks. Get an appropriate energy auditor to rate the energy efficiency of the new home. Hire an electrician to assess the electrical lines running inside the house. These issues may seem small, but the costs will eventually add up if left unchecked. Make sure everything is safe, secure, functional, and, most importantly, cost-effective.

Compare Past Bills

If another person previously owned the house, consider contacting them to ask for their past utility bills. This can give a good rough estimate of how much it could cost to live in the house. Having some point of comparison will also be a good determinant of the state of the home.

Many sellers are more than willing to provide their utility bills. Some may even give previous bills that would span an entire year. It’s always a good idea to ask a real estate agent for this information. If these are unable, contacting utility companies will also help give the average utility costs of a particular property.

Online Calculator

An alternative to hiring a professional energy auditor is to go online and resort to a utility usage calculator. Home Energy Saver is an online audit tool developed by the U.S. Department of Energy. The biggest advantage of utilizing this device is that it’s free and fairly simple to use.

While not as accurate as hiring a personal energy auditor, it can give a good evaluation of a home’s utility consumption. The Home Energy Saver will ask users to answer some questions about the property and the energy usage. This could take anywhere from a couple of minutes to an hour. More detailed answers will, of course, yield more definitive results.

hand hovering over miniature house model

Make Efficient Changes

Comparing the lifestyle that the previous owners lived is surely a good place to start estimating utility costs. However, it’s also important to look into how the house will be used in the future. A few changes will surely take place.

Homebuyers often want to improve the state of the property before moving in themselves. During this time, it’s essential to keep in mind how certain renovations will affect utility costs. Everything from energy-efficient appliances to window placements can prove to have significant effects. Aim for sustainability and economic enhancements.

Soaring Prices

Affordable properties are quickly diminishing from the market. Many experts believe the home prices will continue to grow even into the post-pandemic era. This will make it especially hard for entry-level buyers to get good deals.

Home appraisals are a vital step in house-buying. As much as possible, residents would rather not go over a certain budget to purchase a new home. This is why covering every other cost that might be a burden in the future is essential. Utility costs are one such portion of a buyer’s budget that will most likely cause financial strain.

About the Author

Scroll to Top