Hidden home costs every prospective buyer should know about

Two hidden home costs every prospective buyer should know about
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If you’re thinking of buying a home, you may be making the mistake of only budgeting for the mortgage, but the truth is that you should be prepared for a number of hidden home costs.

A recent analysis by home-listing site Zillow and review site Thumbtack shows that there are several additional expenses that can catch the home buyer unaware. These aren’t one-offs that can quickly be forgotten, but rather annual expenses that can seem to come around sooner and sooner each passing year.

Because of the extra expenses, homeowners are paying about $9,400 a year in addition to their monthly mortgage, on average, according to the analysis.

Hidden expenses you should factor into your home-buying budget

When you break it down, the hidden costs can be put in two buckets:

  • When you add up property taxes, utilities and homeowners insurance, it comes in around $6,330 a year for the average home.
  • When you consider maintenance expenses, it comes to about $3,070 annually, the analysis shows.

Because of the wide range in home prices around the United States, some locales are worse — or better off — than others.

In pricey San Jose, California, for instance, the analysis showed that those same costs added up to $17,255 per year, on average, the highest of any market examined. In less-expensive Indianapolis, the average price tag hit $5,540 annually.

If you think the property taxes you’re paying are too high, you may want to consider appealing them.

Likewise, there are ways to combat the rising costs of homeowner’s insurance, including shopping your policy often.

Finally, you can save money on the maintenance of your home by doing some things yourself. Clean vents and filters instead of hiring someone and consider insulating your own home to save big on energy bills.

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Craig Johnson is a conscious money-saver who still reads paperback books and listens to vinyl. He likes to write about how technology is making things easier and more affordable — but also sometimes more dangerous — for the modern consumer. You can reach Craig at [email protected]
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