Google “new home budget” and you are likely to see a listing of web sites that show you how much it will cost you to buy a new home. That’s really great information that you should understand before buying a home. However, the actual cost of the home is only part of what it will cost you to live in the home. One of the most overlooked expenses of living in a home is the amount of money you will have to spend on utilities each month. So, how can you estimate the cost of utilities for your new home?
Ask for utility bills
Have your real estate agent ask for the home’s utility bills for the last twelve months from the current owner. Utility bills can vary greatly from one owner to another based upon variables like the number of people living in the house and the energy efficient mindset of the owner. Still, this request gives you the actual costs of heating cooling, and powering the home in the recent past.
Call the utility companies
Many companies will give you the average utility cost for the last twelve months. All that you need to do is provide them with the address.
Get an energy audit
If you would like to go one step further, you can conduct an energy audit of your new home. Contact your local energy provider and ask about their energy audit programs. Professional auditors will use tools such as infrared cameras and blower doors to look for energy leaks. They will then make recommendations that will improve your home’s energy efficiency.
With a minimal amount of effort, you can get a good estimate of what your energy costs will be in a new home as well as learn steps that you can take to improve your home’s energy efficiency.