The Hidden Cost of Home Ownership

Blog Post Image

The Hidden Costs of Owning a Home

In purchasing a home, much like any other big purchase, you set a budget for yourself. When you’re setting a budget for purchasing a home though, there are plenty of financial factors to consider other than what your mortgage will be. If you’re a first-time home owner, you might not know what it’s like to own a home or that you should be budgeting for certain expenses that will more than likely arise throughout the years. Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re trying to determine the true cost of owning a home.

The Big 3

When it comes to owning a home, you’re probably aware that there are always going to be three expenses at the bare minimum that you will have to worry about (besides the mortgage). Property taxes, homeowner’s insurance and utility bills are monthly costs you’re going to incur no matter what. Property taxes and insurance are going to be the same amounts on a monthly basis, so you can budget for those. Utilities can be more varied, but living in Orange County the weather is pretty mild for most of the year.  These three costs are always going to be a part of owning a home.

Hidden Costs 

When we talk about the hidden costs of homeownership, what we’re really talking about are all the costs of homeownership that aren’t at the forefront of your mind. They’re the kinds of things you don’t think about until it’s too late. Being aware that these things happen and being prepared financially when they do is an important part of homeownership.

A recent study by Zillow and Thumbtack analyzed how much homeowners were spending on their homes throughout the year on average. The study found that people most commonly spend money on the following things outside of mortgage, property taxes, insurance and utilities.

- HVAC repair or maintenance – While this isn’t something that’s going to be done monthly, or even annually, eventually you’ll have to have some work done on your HVAC system.
- Gutter Cleaning and Maintenance—We might not get tons of rain in Orange County, but it’s still a good idea to have your gutters cleaned out. This is especially true if you have a lot of trees near your home. This is an annual expenditure.
- House Cleaning – One of the most tedious tasks about housework is actually doing it. That’s why so many households have cleaning services or housekeepers. This is more of a luxury than an expense, but it should be factored into your expenses if you’re going to bring on a house cleaning service. If you’re going to do this yourself, there will be cleaning supplies and tools you’ll need, so factor that into your monthly budget as well.
- Landscaping and Gardening – Keeping the outside of your home groomed is just as important as the inside. The size of your home and complexity of the landscaping if you’re going to be hiring a gardener, that’s another expense you’re going to incur.
- HOA’s – If you want to live in a condo or gated community, there will be HOA fees that’ll need to be factored into your monthly expenses.

Own a Home in Orange County

Being realistic with yourself when you’re in search of a home is an important step in the home buying process. If you need help talking through the process of discussing some of the other costs associated with buying a home, I can help. With more than 18 years serving Orange County, I am a great resource to have on your team. Contact me today to discuss purchasing a home in Orange County.

Kathy Burns

Kathy Burns

Realtor®, CIPS, RSPS, SFR
License #: 01423984
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage