Yahoo had this article about the 12 Hidden Costs of Homeownership that reminded me of the many times I had to take a deep breath when we were buying our home. Here’s a quick summary of their list:
1. Home inspection – $300 or more
2. Pest Inspection – $50-$200
3. Appraisal Fees – $350-$400
4. Closing Costs – 2%-3% of the mortgage loan amount
5. Moving Expenses – Variable
6. Furniture – Variable
7. Property Taxes and Homeowners Insurance – $3000 or more and 0.5%-1% of the loan respectively
8. Supplemental Insurance – $240 a year
9. Homeowners Association/Condo Fees – Variable but could be more than $1200 a year
10. Utilities – Variable
11. Ongoing Maintenance – Variable
12. Repairs – Variable
Here’s how we have fared so far:
1. Home inspection – $200
2. Pest Inspection – $50
3. Appraisal Fees – $250
4. Closing Costs – 2.2% mortgage loan amount or about $2000 total since we had a $91,200 mortgage.
5. Moving Expenses – $400 since we packed our stuff and hired a company to simply bring the boxes and furniture to our new house.
6. Furniture – So far we still use family hand-me-downs for almost everything, but we did spend $6000 last year for a new bedroom set and Tempurpedic mattress.
7. Property Taxes and Home Insurance Cost – $2200 and 0.9% of the loan respectively…again, we have lower costs than a bunch of people around us since we bought a very nice foreclosure for $114,000 and put 20% down.
8. Supplemental Insurance – $260 for flood insurance in the Houston area.
9. Homeowners Association/Condo Fees – None since we’re not part of a homeowners association.
10. Utilities – $80-$180 for electricity and $30 for water…we don’t have a gas line or a home phone line.
11. Ongoing Maintenance – We pay about $2000 a year between our yard guy, housekeeper, and miscellaneous costs like cleaning supplies.
12. Repairs – So far, we’ve only paid about $300 for repairs in 3 years ($100 for an A/C compressor, $150 for a water heater problem, and about $50 for supplies for minor problems on a toilet and guest bathtub). We have an account that is building up while we wait for something big to break.
In short, there are a bunch of expenses that kind of sneak up on you when you buy and live in your own home. I haven’t even mentioned the extras like a home security system. My husband and I were aware of these costs before we started the whole process, but it’s still not the easiest pill to swallow.
We’ve kept our costs lower than the other homeowners that we know by buying an affordable, newer house that is in great condition and by handling minor issues ourselves. We’d save even more if we handled our own lawn care and chores, but where’s the fun in that?
How do your home costs look? Did you expect them or were they a pretty rude shock?