The Hidden Costs of Buying a Home

Talia Ramos Hidden Costs for Homeowners

There’s no question about it– buying a home is no cheap process. Saving up for a downpayment is one major factor that most prospected homebuyers dread. It’s easy for homebuyers to feel in over their heads with savings, bank accounts, applications, and more.

In a 2016, consumer reports shared data showcasing percentages of generations among homebuyers. Generation Y (better known as Millennials) made up 35%– the largest percentage out of all generations. To the millennial generation, owning a home means freedom to paint the walls to your liking, knocking down walls for open-floor concepts, and not having a landlord to deal with.

Despite the fact that buying a home comes with numerous benefits, homebuying also comes with hidden costs. If you plan on buying a home in the near future, don’t worry– you don’t have to drown in a penny pinching home. Use this guide to familiarize yourself with the hidden costs so you know what to expect when it’s time to seal the deal.

Property Tax

While many assume that a 20% downpayment, and a simple mortgage payment and utilities are all they have to budget for when buying a home, property tax often comes as a surprise. Property tax is based on the value of the property including land. The rates of property tax are based on local government and can be different between townships, and even neighborhoods.

Homeowners Insurance

To insure your home from the unexpected such as accidents, fires, or any other events that would damage your home, you need homeowners insurance. Beyond covering the cost, homeowners insurance also covers the liability, meaning you’re not legally responsible for damaged caused to others by you, your family, or your pets. However, in addition to homeowners insurance, you should also acquire flood insurance and/or earthquake insurance depending on the area in which you live.

Utilities

Just like renting, when you own a home you need to pay for utilities. This means you’ll have water, electric, trash removal, cable, and more bills to budget for. Beyond that, standard homes require about 1-2% of the home’s value in repairs each year. From painting to yard care, these small factors add up to a large, required budget.

The decision to rent or buy breaks down to a few things: your mobility, your flexibility, and your budget. While there are hidden costs to both living situations, it’s ultimately up to you to weigh out your pros and cons. The true costs of owning a home are eye-opening, but are they worth it to you? More importantly, are they affordable? Those answers can help you come to a final decision for your next move.