3 Unexpected Costs That Might Shock First-Time Homebuyers
While buyers tend to mostly focus on listing prices of houses, owning a home includes a list of expenses that are not included in that sticker price. While, these expenses can vary considerably by region, it’s good to be aware of these costs, especially for first-time home buyers who might not be familiar with all the unexpected costs of home ownership.
When you buy a house, your new taxes are based on the sales price. But how do you determine that cost? You can start by searching online for your state’s property tax estimator or by contacting your local assessor’s office to request information on what your taxes will be based on the value you’re buying your home for.
Insurance may not be your first thought when you start thinking about buying a house. But it should not be your last! According to Zillow, homeowners insurance typically costs $35 per month for every $100,000 of home value. Of course, that is just a general estimate, and it can vary by city and state. Every house and insurance company are different, and your price will be different. Your specific policy price depends on several factors including the cost to rebuild your home from the ground up, the location of the house (high crime areas, susceptible to floods and hurricanes, or near fire stations), your insurance deductible, and your credit score.
Buying a home without considering utility costs is like buying a car without checking the gas mileage. Home ownership means taking on utility charges, and they are probably higher than they were in your apartment. Gauging the energy efficiency of the house you want to buy can make you a more informed and prepared buyer. First, ask your real estate agent what you can expect to pay for utilities monthly and annually. Ask the sellers to provide the last 12 months of electric, gas, water and sewer charges they paid. You can also do some research on your own by contacting the local utility companies and requesting utility bill estimates for the home’s address. Finally, have your home inspector assess the condition of important systems and materials that affect energy usage including air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, insulation, windows and doors.
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