Watch Out: Hidden Costs of Homeownership
Traditionally, owning a home is one of the ways Americans can build wealth and financial security. Homeownership does not come without a cost, as Zillow researchers pointed out in a recent article on the hidden costs of homeownership. According to budgeting experts from Zillow, Thumbtack, and UtilityScore the average American homeowner incurs $9,080 in expenses each year, broken down as unavoidable costs and maintenance expenses.
The average American homeowner pays approximately $6,059 in unavoidable costs like homeowners insurance, property taxes, and utilities each year. These costs may not come as a surprise to veteran homeowners, but first-time home buyers should consult a financial advisor or real estate professional to estimate these costs ahead of time and budget accordingly.
Maintenance expenses may also come as a surprise to renters transitioning into homeownership. Renters who previously had landlords or management companies taking care of home maintenance might not be prepared for maintenance costs. According to Thumbtack, homeowners will pay on average $3,021 annually for home improvement projects like carpet cleaning, yard work, HVAC maintenance, and exterior pressure washing or gutter cleaning.
Like all costs, the costs of homeownership vary from region to region. The numbers provided by Zillow are based on national averages. Expenses like property taxes, labor costs, and homeowners insurance will vary from location to location.