Buying your first home?

Angela Ellis

It’s an exciting time and one where you’re likely to have questions about the monthly costs involved as a homeowner. This article talks about your potential ongoing monthly costs of owning your home. 

Council tax

Council tax is set annually and the money you pay is used to fund local services. Here in Watford, it covers services from Hertfordshire County Council, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire as well as Watford Borough Council. The amount of council tax you pay depends on the valuation band your property is in (there are 8).  It can be paid by direct debit.

Buildings insurance

Unless you’re buying a leasehold property, you must have buildings insurance. It covers the cost of repairing damage to the structure of your home. Your mortgage company will require this policy to be in place from exchange of contracts. Most policies allow you to pay monthly.

Contents insurance

This isn’t compulsory insurance but is advisable. It covers the cost of replacing belongings if they are stolen, damaged or destroyed. You can arrange ‘home insurance’ which includes building and contents in one policy or you can keep them separate. 

Mortgage payments

Unless you’ve paid cash, you’ll have a mortgage loan to pay back. Your lender will explain what the monthly costs are and when that payment will change. 


You’ll need to pay for gas, electricity and water. Gas and electric bills are based on how much you’ve used. Water bills can be based on usage IF you have a water meter fitted. You can shop around for gas and electric suppliers but you can’t for water suppliers. 

TV licence

You can pay for your tv licence upfront, weekly or quarterly instead, should you prefer. 

Telephone, broadband and TV

Definitely worth shopping around for pricing on these. 

Our concierge service provides tailored advice, competitive quotes and assistance on setting up all your essential property services such as utilities, telephone, broadband insurance. This service is complimentary and well worth finding out more about.

Other things to consider…

Maintenance and repairs

As well as having your boiler serviced each year, and having your electrics checked, there will also be unexpected repairs when owning your own home. It’s a good idea to regularly put money aside to cover those emergency repairs and ongoing maintenance jobs. Especially if you’re the kind of person who suffers from things happening to them in threes! 

Leasehold property?

If you're buying a leasehold property, you pay service charges and ground rent. These cover the management and maintenance of the building's communal areas. You will be made aware of these charges when you buy the property.  

Personal insurance?

There are insurances that your mortgage lender or financial adviser will talk to you about such as life cover and critical illness. 

Good luck with buying your first home. I hope it’s through us!