Real Estate Pro Articles

Calculating the REAL costs of Home Ownership

[Valid RSS feed]  Category Rss Feed -
By : Todd Levinson    99 or more times read
When you first embark on your search for your first home, having a realistic expectation of how much you’re going to have to pay is going to make home hunting – and ownership – a lot easier. Many people look for a home based on the amount of mortgage they will have to pay and while a mortgage is certainly a big part of your monthly home payment, it’s by no means the only expense associated with owning your home.

The costs of actually buying a home can run into the thousands. There’s the home inspection, the lawyer’s fees, transfer taxes, moving expenses and more. This can really hit you where it hurts if you’re unprepared. Do your research and make sure that you have a sum set aside for closing costs.

In addition to your mortgage payment, there are the taxes that the city levies to keep its infrastructure running. The amount of property tax that you pay depends on the municipality you live in. It is usually calculated as a percentage of your assessed home value. While they can be below 1% of your home’s assessed value in some areas, property taxes can exceed 5% in others, which can make your monthly payments balloon.

If you don’t have the 20% down for a traditional mortgage, you will probably have to pay mortgage insurance. This is a fee levied by the lender to cover the insurance it buys to cover the loan if you default. You can generally cancel this after you reach around 20% in equity, but reaching this point will take some time. Other options, like taking a second mortgage out to avoid this can be just as or more expensive than the mortgage insurance.

Homeowners insurance really depends on the value of your home and belongings, but you might be paying anywhere from $50 to hundreds of dollars a month to ensure that damage, vandalism, burglary, etc. can be repaired and items replaced. So that is something that you might need to calculate paying.

A homeowner cannot run to the landlord if their sink is plugged up or their toilet overflows. All the costs of repairs and maintenance fall to you now. It’s a smart idea to save a small percentage of your income to ensure that you have the cash when the toilet threatens to fall through the floor. Saving 5-10% each month of your net pay will set you up with a decent fund – unless, of course, an overlooked problem manifests itself right after you buy.

While home ownership can be rewarding and financially smart, you need to be aware of the real costs. By calculating the costs of buying your own home and maintaining it, you will be much better prepared for owning your property and better able to enjoy it.
Philadelphia Real Estate Guide: Find Society Hill homes for sale in Center City Philadelphia. Easy-to-use search and neighborhood info from Todd Levinson, Philly Buyer's Agent.

Related Articles

Print This Article
Add To Favorites




© All rights reserved to Real Estate Pro Articles