|Home ownership guide: Watch out for hidden monthly costs|
|Thursday, 10 February 2011 10:14|
Brought to you by Scotiabank
Building or buying a home is probably one of the most important decisions an individual or family will make in their lifetime.
Careful consideration is given to the purchase price and whether you can afford the monthly mortgage payment. But many miss the little differences between homes that can add up to large additional expenses each month — electricity and water consumption, maintenance and upkeep costs, landscaping expenses and home insurance costs, to name just a few.
According to real estate experts, these types of monthly expenses should be on the top of the list of considerations when planning a home purchase or selecting a rental.
Given the price of energy and the warm climate in the Turks and Caicos Islands, all aspects surrounding the insulation and cooling of your future home can easily mean hundreds of dollars every month. A home that is engineered thoroughly and equipped with efficient technology can save you a tremendous amount of money.
Construction materials such as walls, insulation, windows and roofs are all contributing factors to monthly energy costs. Selecting the right ones can keep help you keep your cool when paying monthly bills.
Choosing the wrong ones can have you hot under the collar when you can’t afford to turn on the air conditioning during summer months. These items are very costly, if not impossible, to replace, so you are well advised to choose wisely from the beginning.
The same applies to the water bills a homeowner will have to pay for comfort and to maintain a pristine landscape. Measures like using low-flow fixtures and installing a water treatment system can make home ownership the pleasure you were hoping for rather than the headache you were not thinking about.
For example, having Energy Star rated windows can save $125 to $450 on energy costs annually, which can be a savings of up to $37 per month based on U.S. energy costs. In the TCI, these savings would be far greater.
According to the U.S. Green Building Council, green homes have the potential to use 20-30 percent less energy — and some even up to 60 percent less — than a home built to the less efficient International Energy Code. Less energy use means lower utility bills every month throughout the life of the house.
Taking the time and knowing what to look for can save you thousands of dollars over the time you live in a home, as well as increase your home’s resale value when the time comes.
But even for current homeowners, there are plenty of possibilities to save every month without making a large investment or changing your habits much.
In the coming weeks, we will be featuring a series of articles focused on how residents can make owning and maintaining a home more affordable.
Energy efficiency and environment friendliness are not just the buzz words of the day — they can mean a difference of hundreds of dollars in monthly energy costs and protect the islands for the future.
1. Plasma TV
2. Set-Top Boxes
3. Always-On Devices
4. External Power Adapters
5. Coffee Makers
|Last Updated on Thursday, 17 March 2011 11:07|
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