The True Cost to Own: 10 Important Home Ownership Costs to Consider

The true cost to own a home includes more than just its price tag. With the average house priced at $222,800, it can be difficult to come up with the extra cash to pay for additional expenses.

Many people forget to consider the taxes, renovations, and items that need to be paid for along with the house. Unfortunately, you can’t get around these additional costs. 

So, how much does it cost to buy a house? Make sure to account for these expenses that come with your new home: 

1. Property Tax

The amount you pay in property tax is determined by the price of your house. In other words, a pricey home results in a hefty property tax. 

The tax also varies on the state and city where the home is. Make sure to find out how much you’ll be paying before you go through with the purchase. Once you figure out the amount, divide it by 12 and include it in your projected monthly fees. 

If you’re unsure of how to find your property tax, calculate it based on your location here

2. Home Maintenance

Home repairs contribute a significant amount to the cost of owning a home. You should almost always expect your newly-bought home to have some flaws.  

The previous homeowner may have not kept the home up to modern standards or might’ve left out some important repairs. 

These kinds of things tend to add up. One day you might find a leak in the basement, the next you realize that your deck needs to be restained.

Before you know it, you’ve shelled out a decent amount of cash to reseal the driveway, regrout the floor, buy new toilets, and clean the gutter. 

It can be even more pricey if you’re not acquainted with household repairs. Either hire expensive professionals or start brushing up on your skills. 

3. Insurance

You’ll need to obtain homeowner’s insurance prior to even getting a mortgage. The average homeowner’s insurance premium was priced at $764 in 2004 and rose to $1,173 in 2015.

With premiums only getting costlier, it can be more difficult to afford a home. 

The price of homeowner’s insurance is based on your home’s location, age, and its size. Older homes are associated with higher fees than newer ones.

This is due to the fact that older homes are prone to damage and often need expensive repairs. 

Homes that are located near the coast can also increase your premium, as they’re at a higher risk of becoming damaged by a hurricane or typhoon. Similarly, houses located on a floodplain will require the extra coverage of flood insurance. 

If you’re purchasing a home in Houston, read more to find out some other factors you’ll need to consider. 

4. Renovations

Although you may be getting a good price for your new home, it can come with some drawbacks. If the home that you’re buying is outdated, be ready to foot the bill for any renovations. 

What happens if the home has carpets, but you want hardwood floors? Or what if the kitchen looks like it’s from the colonial era? These are some changes that you’re going to want to make as soon as possible. 

A modern kitchen and a new hardwood floor aren’t cheap. Making these changes over time can help space out payments, and give you more time to gain cash.

5. Lawn Maintenance

When you live in an apartment, you don’t have a lawn that you have to worry about. Graduating into a full yard can be challenging–especially when you don’t know what kind of costs to expect. 

A lawnmower, chainsaw, leaf-blower, shovel, rake, hedge trimmers, and garden tools are just some of the things that you’ll need to keep your yard looking clean. Luckily, you might be able to snag some of these tools for free.

Ask your friends or family members if they have any old tools that you can use in your new backyard. 

6. Utilities

Utilities like water, electricity, gas, and sewage, are just some of the house expenses that you’ll have to pay monthly. The entire home can wrack up a costly bill that you can’t avoid. 

7. Furnishings

You can’t always be fortunate enough to find a home that comes with furniture. You don’t really have a choice but to buy the furniture that you need. Otherwise, you’ll be spending the night in a sleeping bag.

Purchasing a brand new sofa, bed, along with tables and chairs for the kitchen and dining room will put a huge dent in your wallet. Any decorative accents will add even more to this amount.

Come up with a plan for an affordable interior design project instead.

8. Pest Control

It’s easy to forget about pest control when trying to determine the cost of buying a house. When you tour a potential home, you probably won’t see any critters running around, but they can still be there. 

A termite inspection can help you rule out any damage to the home. Termites can still pop up in the future even if the inspection finds none.

Be prepared for the worst and get your home inspected often. 

9. Heating and Air-Conditioning

Furnaces don’t last forever. The house inspector might’ve told you that the furnace has ten years left when, in reality, it only has a few more years. An older furnace gets less efficient over the years, making heating bills more expensive

You might also want to consider installing central air. If your new home came with this luxury, then you’re in luck. 

10. Appliances

Appliances like stoves, refrigerators, washing machines, dryers, microwaves, are essentials, but they come with a big price tag. Expect to drop a few thousand dollars on brand new appliances and another few hundred dollars if they need repairs in the future. 

Final Thoughts: The True Cost to Own a Home

Knowing the true cost to own a home can help you know what to expect, but it shouldn’t scare you off purchasing a home altogether. Coming up with a plan can help you save enough money to afford everything you need for your new home. 

You’ve finally bought your home, and it needs to be overhauled. Check out our article to learn more about how to make your home remodel stress-free