8 Unexpected Homeowner Expenses

There’s a lot more to homeownership than paying the mortgage loan.

According to a Zillow and Thumbtack study, U.S. homeowners can expect to spend $9,080 a year on average in hidden costs related to owning and maintaining a home. These extra costs often take first-time homebuyers by surprise. From property taxes to basic maintenance like lawn care, homeowners can spend between $7,000 and $16,000 a year. Real estate experts suggest potential homebuyers take a good look at their finances to determine a monthly payment range they can comfortably afford. That backyard with a pool may be beautiful but the cost to maintain it adds up.

Don’t get caught off guard. Here are eight extra homeownership costs to consider as you plan for your dream home.

1. Closing costs

In general, closing costs average between 2% to 5% of the purchase price of your home. Expect to factor in everything from mortgage taxes, lender application fees, attorney fees, title insurance, recording fees and more.

2. Maintenance

Calculate what the costs will be for the common expenses such as house cleaning, carpet cleaning, HVAC maintenance, yard care, gutter cleaning, pressure washing and pool care costs.

3. Utilities

According to the report, the national average annual cost for utilities is $2,964. Get an estimate of what those costs will be monthly and seasonally in your area.

4. Water heater

The lifespan for these is realistically about eight to 10 years. If yours is on the older side, factor in the costs of replacement. Want to upgrade to tankless? Do your research and calculate accordingly.

5. Home owner association fees

Make sure you know the bylaws regarding when/if these fees can be raised.

6. Pest control

On average, monthly or quarterly payments can range from $45 to $200 depending on services and frequency of treatment.

7. Property taxes

It’s not a fixed cost. Your property taxes and property values can be reassessed by the city so what you are paying now may go up in the future. Do your research, speak to someone in your local tax assessor’s office to understand what to expect.

8. Homeowner Insurance

Prices vary but insurers generally base premiums on factors ranging from age, coverage and deductible to location and the home itself. Costs are tied to how much it would cost to rebuild the home if it was destroyed.

Another way to save money owning a home is by refinancing your current mortgage loan for a lower rate. USC Credit Union offers both fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages to help you keep your home loan payments further within your budget. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us! We're always here to help.