The True Cost of Home Ownership

Zillow has just come out with some new data: the average U.S. homeowner spends an extra $9,080 on their home each year, and sometimes up to $16,000 in certain cities. Homes cost way more than just their listing price, so this is a major point to consider when debating if you can actually afford a house. 

Some buyers only look at homes listing price, or monthly mortgage when they are determining if they c an afford it. The hidden costs are what they should be thinking about that will determine if they actually can or not. 

Zillow concluded there are “unavoidable costs” like taxes, utilities, insurance, etc. and homeowners pay an average of $6,060 for these. These costs are highest in cities like Seattle, New York, and San Francisco, and lowest in cities like Indianapolis where the average is $4,700. 

Then there are maintenance and repair costs. These include repairs to your HVAC system, yard maintenance, plumbing, carpet cleaning etc. These run the average homeowner to a total of $3,020 per year. Seattle also takes the cake for the highest maintenance cost here too. San Antonio was awarded with the lowest. 

What is important for potential homeowners is to figure out how much the home will ultimately cost you, and what you truly can afford. Know where you stand when it comes to finances and know what you can reasonably spend each month. While the house with the luxurious deck catches your eye, keeping it in pristine condition may cost you more than you are ready to shell out. 

For the record San Francisco has the highest cost of living for homeowners at $16,290. Boston was next at $14,377. To finish the top five San Diego placed third at $13,488, Seattle at $12,924, and Los Angeles at $12,556. 

According to Zillow, a third of all buyers exceed their budget when buying a home. To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, find a budget calculator to help you better organize your monthly expenses. These will include mortgage payments, HOA, taxes, insurance costs, and plenty more.

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