3 Expenses You Can't Afford to Forget When Buying a New Home

by Christy Bieber | Updated July 19, 2021 - First published on June 22, 2021

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that pay us a commission. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.
A smiling man and woman moving a couch into the living room in their new home.

Image source: Getty Images

You don't want to be caught off guard by these costs.

When you buy a house, it can be a very expensive process that requires you to come up with tens of thousands of dollars in upfront costs.

For example, you'll need money for a down payment, as well as for closing costs, which can include expenses such as an appraisal fee and mortgage origination fee. Your down payment should ideally be around 20% of your home's value, while closing costs can add up to as much as 2% to 5% of the price of the home you're buying.

And, on top of these expenditures, you'll likely also want to make sure you have a hefty savings account before purchasing a property. It will come in handy for a number of reasons, including:

While you're saving money for all of these essential costs, unfortunately there are some other expenses that you might not be thinking of that could fall through the cracks. You could end up really regretting not having money set aside for them. So make sure you don't forget the following when you decide how much money you need to move to a new place.

1. Moving costs

Moving costs money. There's no way around that, even if you try to do most of the work yourself and even if you are moving locally.

You'll need boxes, packing materials, a moving truck, and gas -- at a minimum. And if you don't want to spend endless hours packing or aren't capable of lifting very heavy items on your own, then you'll also need to pay for professional help.

Depending on how far you're moving, how much stuff you have, and how much you plan to DIY, you should budget anywhere from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars for a move. Get some price quotes early on in the process so you won't be caught off guard by just how much relocating your possessions can cost you.

2. New furniture

A new house usually means you have some new spaces to fill. Your existing furniture may not fit properly or you may need new items to go into rooms you didn't have in your old house.

This may not be an expense you need to incur immediately upon moving in. But chances are good that you don't want to get stuck living for months or years in an unfurnished home.

Think about the essentials you'll need in your new space, get some prices on what those furniture items will cost, and start saving for them.

3. Utility hookup deposits

When you sign up for water, sewer, electricity, and internet at your new home, there will almost assuredly be upfront costs to pay to get your services turned on.

In fact, each individual utility provider may require you to pay a deposit or hookup fees. This can add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars that you need to come up with. And this cost isn't optional, unless you want to go without electricity or the internet when you move in.

When you decide it's the right time to buy a home, it helps to be prepared. By making sure that you save up for these costs ahead of time, you can hopefully avoid having to borrow money just to get set up in your new home. You should make it a point to be well prepared to get your possessions moved in, your utilities hooked up, and your space looking perfect so you can start enjoying the new home that you worked so hard to buy.

The Ascent's Best Mortgage Lender of 2022

Mortgage rates are at their highest level in years — and expected to keep rising. It is more important than ever to check your rates with multiple lenders to secure the best rate possible while minimizing fees. Even a small difference in your rate could shave hundreds off your monthly payment.

That is where Better Mortgage comes in.

You can get pre-approved in as little as 3 minutes, with no hard credit check, and lock your rate at any time. Another plus? They don’t charge origination or lender fees (which can be as high as 2% of the loan amount for some lenders).

Read our free review

About the Author