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First-Time Homebuyer? Plan for These Hidden Costs.

Preparing to move in to your first home is exhilarating. It can also be expensive, and with just cause. Buying a home is the biggest investment you’ll likely make, but it’s also the most rewarding. That said, new home expenses can blindside you if you’re not prepared. Below is a list of common unforeseen expenses for new homeowners:


Hopefully you’re aware of which appliances are staying with the home and which are heading out with the previous homeowners. You also have no real idea of how much wear and tear the appliances have seen, so be prepared to fork out some savings to replace them in the future.

Utility Bills

Unlike renting, all of your utility bills are now your responsibility. Monthly fees for water, electricity, and trash pickup are now going to be delivered to your mailbox. Also, if your home isn’t set up for cable, internet, or satellite, you’re going to have to invest in those areas as well.

Taxes and Insurance

Surprise! You’re a property owner now! Which means that you are now responsible for paying local property taxes and keeping your home insured. Be mindful of home improvements that may cause your insurance company to up your premium or drop you. Examples include adding a trampoline, pool, or wood stove.

Collectively, these expenses are far less costly than purchasing a home. However, if you plan for them in the early stages of buying a home, you’ll be prepared.

The Best Places to See Fireworks at Smith Mountain Lake

One of the most popular events at Smith Mountain Lake is the celebration of Independence Day. In addition to relaxing by the bonfire or feasting on your favorite meals at the family cookout, a fireworks display is on everyone’s must-see list of local events.

If you’re ready to start celebrating early, make plans to attend the Independence Day celebration at Downtown Moneta on Saturday, June 30th starting at 5:30pm. This event features live music from The WORX, an adult beverage garden, and plenty of fun activities suitable for the entire family. Admission is $10 and children under 10 are free.

Celebrating its 35th year, the 4th of July Independence Festival in Rocky Mount offers food, games, and one of the most extensive fireworks displays in the area. Located at Franklin County High School, this event is scheduled for Tuesday, July 3rd beginning at 5pm.

If you’re anxious to see fireworks reflected over the waters of Smith Mountain Lake, then make plans to attend the July 4th celebration at Parkway Marina on Wednesday, July 4th. Live entertainment will be provided by The WORX. All proceeds benefit Saunders Volunteer Fire Company.


Follow These Tips if You’re Saving Up for a Home

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or searching for a vacation home, odds are you’re going to have to do a bit of saving. If the thought of coming up with a down-payment for a home seems overwhelming, here are a few tips that will help make the process easier.

Slash Subscription Services
It’s tempting to sign up for monthly subscription services like Spotify, Netflix, and Hulu, but these services add up quickly. And honestly, how many movies can you truly watch each month? Pick the ones you watch the most and cancel the others to save on expenses.

Exercise at Home
Gym memberships are convenient and offer a wealth of amenities, but unless you’re spending multiple hours there each day, you can probably bring your workout indoors. Go for a walk outside, invest in some inexpensive hand weights (you can use soup cans if you’re really trying to cut back), and find a free workout video on YouTube.

Sell Items That You Never Use
Impulse buys are hard to avoid, but now is a great time to sell unused items for some quick cash. Post unwanted items on CraigsList or Facebook or go old school and have a yard sale.

Eat at Home
Dining out at restaurants is fun and convenient, but those prices add up quickly. Stock up on essentials at your grocery store and enjoy your meals at home.

While these suggestions may not seem to amount to much on their own, you may be surprised at how quickly these charges add up over time. And once you get in the habit of saving money, the process will become automatic.

And when you start looking for your next home, let me be the one to show you all that the Smith Mountain Lake area has to offer. Browse my listings at or call me directly at 540.520.2401.