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The hidden costs of owning a home

Calculator pen book and a miniature house

Buying a new house or condo comes with a substantial investment on any buyer’s part. The actual downpayment and the mortgage itself is what most buyers have in mind when thinking about buying a home. However, pause for a moment and consider these other expenses that arise when you own a home.

Repair and maintenance

In the process of buying a home, an inspection should reveal any flaws that need attention. However, a flaw may reveal itself only after you’ve moved in. Typically, flaws can come in the form of either roofs that may be leaky or have seen better days, or HVAC systems that aren’t working properly.

If you find that the roof of your new home is leaking, you have little choice but to repair it immediately. It can cause mold and, if left unaddressed for a considerable time, it risks structural damage to the home.

An HVAC system may be working seemingly well enough during an inspection but may need repair or even an overhaul after you move in. Or, you can opt to upgrade an old HVAC system to something that’s more up to date and efficient. Either way, it’s a good idea to address HVAC-related issues as soon as possible for your comfort and to save on energy bills.

Property tax

Property taxes depend on the location of your home. While this is something you as a prospective homebuyer may be aware of, you need to know that property taxes can increase year by year.

Since a particular area sets its own property tax, you cannot completely calculate how much you’ll need to pay from one year to the next. It’s a good idea to have a buffer should your property tax rise.

HOA fees

When you buy a home that is tied to a Homeowners Association (HOA), you’ll be obliged to pay HOA fees. HOA fees go into paying for services and maintenance for the neighborhood or building. Since it is a communal benefit, all owners need to contribute without exclusion. Fees typically go to the upkeep of any clubhouses or communal pools, garbage disposal services, or elevator maintenance.

The average HOA fee in the US is $200 – $300 a month but, of course, this varies depending on where you live. If you believe that you’re not getting value for money from your HOA fees, the best way to make changes is to join the governing body.

These are just some of the expenses you may not be aware of when buying a home. If you need to find out more about what to expect, get in touch with our associates at David DePaola & Company Real Estate in New Jersey. Call 609.731.0581 or send an email to david(at)depaola(dotted)com. You can also drop your message here.


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