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Here's how much homeownership costs per year, on top of your mortgage

Bankrate finds the average cost of owning and maintaining a home is more than $18,000 a year.
 A sign announcing a home for sale is posted outside a home.
Posted at 6:52 PM, Jun 10, 2024

If you're gearing up to buy a home, you've likely readied yourself for high home prices and higher mortgage rates. But thousands of dollars worth of hidden home costs may take some buyers by surprise.

The median sale price of a home in the U.S. is $432,812, according to Redfin. The average mortgage rate is hovering at around 7%. And after scraping a down payment together and qualifying for a mortgage, a lot of first-time homebuyers think they've reached the finish line, according to Bankrate analyst Jeff Ostrowski.

"Really, it's just the starting line of another type of financial commitment, which is the ongoing costs of homeownership," he said.

Bankrate finds the typical family home comes with an added price tag: $18,000 in "hidden expenses" every year. That tally is up 26% compared to just four years ago.

Over a decade, we're talking about $180,000 in "hidden" expenses, "costs that people don't necessarily take into account when they're first-time homebuyers," Ostrowski explained.

A new home under construction

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The tab of hidden expenses includes property taxes, homeowners insurance, and utilities like energy, internet and cable bills. Also, there are maintenance costs, which Ostrowski said could run your family about 2% of the cost of your home per year.

"If you paid $450,000 for your house," he said, "We figured that you would spend about $9,000 a year on ongoing repairs and maintenance."

Where you live, and the age of your home greatly impacts how much you'll pay for maintenance, insurance and utilities. For example, a newly built home may not have the repair costs that come with a 100-year-old home.

The takeaway for buyers is to plan for hidden costs, especially first-time buyers.

"You've been accustomed to socking away money for the down payment," Ostrowski said. "Now you need to sock away money for your emergency savings account so that you can afford to pay for some of these repairs without putting it on a credit card."

Ostrowski also recommends a home inspection to catch some of the most expensive repairs as early as possible.