If you’re a lifelong renter, seeing all the houses for sale in and around your neighborhood can spur you to want to buy. In some cases, you could be spending more in rent than you would be paying a mortgage. Owning a home does come with a lot of perks as well (in addition to being a good investment, in many cases), which may also have you yearning to buy one of the many houses for sale that you’ve been seeing in your city. But it’s not quite that simple — there are big costs to owning a home, and those costs aren’t typically something you would consider before applying for a mortgage.
In many areas, home prices are surging. Yet, for many millennials, they’re still locked out of the housing market. There are a bunch of barriers keeping many first-time buyers from owning a home, or taking a serious look at the houses for sale that they’re falling in love with, truth be told. But when you really look at the costs of owning a home, it may make a lot of sense to keep renting while finding your financial footing.
The real costs of those houses for sale
To get some of the real numbers, Angie’s List recently put together an informative research project that looks at the actual costs involved with home ownership. The authors found that, unsurprisingly, costs vary wildly depending on where you want to buy, but there are some costs that are a given in nearly every market around the country.
“A home is the biggest investment you’ll ever make — and before you begin house hunting, you need to understand exactly how much house you can afford. After all, unlike renting, homeownership comes with additional costs beyond the down payment and monthly mortgage bill,” the post reads.
“Using data from the U.S. Census’ American Housing Survey, we calculated the hidden costs of homeownership — including utilities, real estate taxes, property insurance, maintenance and repairs — in 54 major metro areas as well as every U.S. region.”
Here are four of the big unexpected costs many first-time homeowners may be surprised by.