The cost of property amenities

Mother Daughter Pool SideWhen it comes to amenities, we generally think that more is better. However, that is not always the case. When you’re deciding on a home, it’s important to carefully balance your goals with your budget. You don’t want to end up with more house than you can comfortably afford.  

Here are four appealing amenities that may be worth reconsidering: 

Oversized homes – If you have a large family, you probably think that 6-bedroom house looks ideal, but larger isn’t always better. Don’t buy a house with more rooms than you really need because it can end up costing you in ways that you didn’t consider. Energy usage for heating and cooling the extra space will drive up your utility bills. You will also find creative ways to collect more clutter to fill the space, requiring more time for cleaning. Finally, you could take a hit on the resale value if buyers think the home is out of line with the area. A 5-bedroom house may not sell well in a 3-bedroom neighborhood. Pay attention to other homes in the area to make sure yours is aligned with the area. 

Waterfront properties – A waterfront property may have fantastic views and recreational activities, but it also comes with a hefty price tag. Make sure you understand the risks associated with this amenity before making a commitment. First and foremost, if you are in a flood zone you will need to purchase flood insurance. This can be a costly addition to your bills even with a high deductible. Check your Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) documentation to understand the property’s potential flood risk. Even if you are insured, a flood can be devastating. Think about the emotional and psychological aspects of a potential flood.  

Homes with pools – A pool can be a great way to cool off in the heat of summer. It provides an outdoor living space, summertime relaxation, and low impact workout opportunities. It can also come with some big costs. Aside from the regular maintenance, pools also need water quality testing, chemicals and cleaning equipment that will cost you time and money. Be prepared to budget $75 to $100 a month for regular maintenance.  

A pool can also be dangerous. As the homeowner it’s important that you take the necessary steps to ensure safety. Installing fencing, alarms and motion detectors can drive up your overall costs. Make sure to call your insurance broker and ensure you are properly covered as a pool can add more liability and risk.   

Large lawns – Large yards increase privacy and can make a home feel like an oasis away from the crowds. Don’t forget that the larger the yard, the larger the commitment needed to maintain it. Consider mowing, fertilizing, aerating, bush and tree maintenance as well as watering costs. Will you have the time to dedicate to this maintenance, or will you hire a lawn service? HomeAdvisor estimates a typical cost of $100-$200 per month for lawn maintenance. Large yards can be a great amenity, but make sure you have prepared for the expense.
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