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Cost of the First Year of Home Ownership

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Amanda at Frugal Confessions mentioned her costs of the first year of home ownership in this post and my reply made me realize how lucky my husband and I really got.

Apparently, the average first year spending on a house built after 2004 is $12,332.  I could totally see that based on what our house contained in that first year, but most of what we had were hand-me-downs, gifts, or things we brought from our apartment.

Thanks to all of that and patience (it’s still patience, even if it is because you feel broke…), we only spent a total of $735 on our house in that first year.

We bought:

  • Garage Door Opener and Installation – $225
  • Lightbulbs – $50
  • Ceiling Fans – $175
  • New locks – $60
  • Miscellaneous little stuff like handles for the cabinets and whatnot – $125
  • A/C compressor that busted – $100

We were gifted or given:

  • All appliances were house-warming gifts from my parents.
  • Our Sealy Posturpedic bed was a wedding gift from my parents too.
  • Our leather couches were hand-me-downs from my parents.
  • Our two recliners were hand-me-downs from my husband’s grandparents.
  • Kitchen supplies were wedding gifts from almost everybody…I love my 4 slice toaster and our primo stainless steal pots set and Chicago Cutlery knives!
  • Patio furniture was a hand-me-down from his grandparents too.
  • Office desk was a wedding gift from my aunt, uncle, and cousins.
  • Office chair was a hand-me-down from his parents.
  • Office couch was a hand-me-down from his grandparents as well.
  • Guest bedroom bed was my husband’s college bed that his parents bought from Ikea.
  • Throw rugs were the same ones we had in our apartment.
  • Kitchen table was a hand-me-down from his aunt and uncle.
  • Blinds were a housewarming gift from the in-laws.

We had everything else that we needed and waited a year or two before we added wood laminate flooring ($2200 a year later), paint and new fixtures ($430 a year later), lawn scaping ($150 a year and a half later), and a new Tempurpedic bed and wooden bedroom set ($6000 last year).

Wow…put like this, I really need to thank our family some more!  All of that would have easily have cost us at least an extra $6000 and that is only if I found great deals on the used stuff from Craigslist.  Thanks again to our generous family and friends!

Do you remember how much you spent the first year you owned your home?  Do you know how much you spend each year now?  Do you have any suggestions on how to keep costs down for the current and future-homeowners in our group?

If I get enough tips together, I’ll make it into another post and link to you too…bribery works, right?

FYI:  I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year.  I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $70,000-$90,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home.  If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!).  Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!
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13 thoughts on “Cost of the First Year of Home Ownership

  1. Your family needs to adopt me, they sound awesome!!!

    We spent a ton on this house prepping it before we moved in. The floors were awful everywhere, so new hardwood/carpet throughout plus painting and other stuff. I don’t even want to think about how much we have sunk into this house as I would be too depressed. Good thing we will live here forever and it will be paid off in 7 years!

    Your Alexa rank is really climbing. You are doing a fantastic job!

  2. Everyday Tips, yeah, I didn’t really want to think of all the money we have spent since the first year…but our families really made moving in pretty dang easy, lol. 🙂

    Thanks about my Alexa. I’m trying to get down to 100k by July 4th and the other Yakezie members and awesome readers like you have really been helping a lot lately! I have my fingers crossed.

  3. I wish I could remember 🙂

    When we moved into our house, most of the furniture were hand-me downs or things we found cheap. I think the only things that we bought new was a couch and an oversized chair w/ottoman. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the costs… 🙁

  4. Money Reasons, hey, not remembering can be a good thing! I hope I don’t remember how much the Tempurpedic cost us in 5 years…

  5. I know down to the penny. Since you can use your receipts to offset capital gains once you sell your house, I tally all my spending once a year (around tax time). I stick the receipts in an envelope, write down the big things I got done, the year and then the grand total of expenses on the outside of the envelope using a big fat sharpie. I became more anal later on and tallied a spreadsheet and printed it out and stuck it with the receipts. It’s a little quicker to add stuff up in excel anyway.

    I just figure if I ever sell my house, it’ll be a huge pain to try to tally over 10 years of expenses. Plus, when/if you sell the house, people want to know how old your windows are, what year the roof was replaced, etc. You now have a quick record on the outside of your envelope that you can use to document when things got remodel in 2009, furnace, windows 2008, bathroom 2007.

    We averaged about $10K/year but we also bought a fixer that needed everything. I way way way underestimated the costs of home improvements/maintenance and that’s with tons of sweat equity. I can’t imagine how much we would have spent if we farmed it out. Now that our big projects are out of the way, it feels so good to re-route that extra cash towards mortgage debt.

  6. Sandy L, I didn’t know home projects could offset capital gains! Neat! I still have the receipts for our biggest projects. 🙂

    Hubby and I are planning to either sell our home in about 10 years and immediately put that money towards a new house or to rent our current house out. By putting the sales price towards a new house, I thought that would negate capital gains taxes as well…does anybody now if that’s correct?

    Sweat equity is the only way not to lose your shirt on fixer-uppers. I can only imagine how gorgeous your house probably is now though! Congrats on finishing the big things! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  7. You don’t pay capital gains when you sell a house where you’ve been living and immediately put the money into another residence. However, if you turn the house into a rental and use the proceeds of the rental to help pay the new mortgage, then when you sell the rental, you will pay capital gains tax. You can get out of that by moving back into the rental for a time…not sure how long that is, but the number that sticks in my mind is three years.

    It probably is true that to some extent you can use capital improvements (i.e., renovation costs) to offset capital gains when you sell a nonresidential property. Except you probably have been using those to ease your tax burden during the time you’re in the house: a rental property amounts to a business investment, and so costs of improvements and repairs would be business expenses. I’m not a tax professional, but I imagine you can’t have it both ways.

    Only $100 for a new compressor? That’s an incredible bargain. Were you folks able to install it yourselves? Or is the unit not a central HVAC system? Around here, if a compressor goes out you might as well buy a new unit…they’re pretty expensive to replace.

    Hey! It’s four in the morning and your Alexa is under 100,000! Congratulations!! 🙂

  8. Funny about Money, thanks for clearing that up. I thought along the same lines. I personally am all for selling our house and putting the money towards our new one, but renting it out has popped into our heads a few times.

    $100 for a new compressor only happens when a grandparent’s friend owns an A/C business and already had the extra part…I think he only charged us cost or something…like I said, we really have to be thankful for our friends and family. 🙂

    Thanks for the congrats! Woot!

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