Three years ago we bought a fixer upper for the purpose of building equity, putting our personal stamp on a home and raising our kids in an established neighborhood with a good school district.  In this process we have learned a lot.  Including the fact that taking care of a home is more than just vacuuming the rugs on a daily basis.

But even if you have a new home, which we did prior to this one, there are things to consider that need to be added to your monthly budget and savings in case you need the extra money.  Everything from the cost of changing out air filters every three months to hiring a person to pressure wash the house every few years should be a part of your monthly budget planning.

For instance, if you live in an area that has Septic instead of a public system you need to allocated anywhere from $300 – $500 a year in case it needs to be pumped.  And you need to have it pumped every few years to prevent back ups.  We unexpectedly spent almost $2,000 last year on pumping, cracked pipes and more.  That was not something we had budgeted and it put a financial strain on us.

For more common ongoing expenses, consider how much pest control quarterly will be, heating and air conditioning check ups every change of the season and fresh coats of paint on the interior and exterior when it is needed.  If you live in a house, landscaping costs, fertilization of grass, watering and replacing dead plants need to be considered.

Home ownership is more than a mortgage payment and utilities.  It is an ongoing cost to maintain and update your asset to make sure it is worth all it can be.  Spending a little here and there is friendlier on your budget than waiting for the windfall.

So when you buy a house and you are creating your household budget, be sure to consider regular upkeep costs as well.  It will end up saving you in the end and helping you build equity faster.

**This is a Guest Post by Genworth Financial.  All writings and opinions are my own.  Please see my Disclosure statement for more information.**