Don’t get caught off guard by these unexpected homeowner expenses

There’s a lot more to home ownership than paying the mortgage. Did you know U.S homeowners can expect to spend an average of $9,000 a year in hidden costs related to owning and maintaining a home?

These costs often take first-time home buyers by surprise. Property taxes and basic maintenance like lawn care can cost homeowners between $7,000 and $16,000 a year. When you’re deciding how much house you can afford, don’t forget to factor in these expenses.

  • Closing Costs. In general, closing costs average between 2% to 5% of the purchase price of your home. Expect to factor in everything from mortgage taxes, lender application fees, attorney fees, title insurance, recording fees and more.
  • Maintenance. Calculate the costs for common expenses such as house cleaning, carpet cleaning, HVAC maintenance, yard care, gutter cleaning and pressure washing. If you have a pool, include cleaning and maintenance for that, as well.
  • Utilities. The national average annual cost for utilities is approximately $3,000. Get an estimate of what those monthly and seasonal costs will be in your area.
  • Water heater. The lifespan for these is about 8 to 10 years. If yours is on the older side, factor in the costs of replacement. Want to upgrade to tankless? Do your research and calculate accordingly.
  • Homeowner association (HOA) fees. Make sure you know the bylaws regarding when/if these fees can be raised. Know what your HOA fees include.
  • Pest control. On average, monthly or quarterly payments can range from $45 to $200 depending on services and frequency of treatment.
  • Property taxes. It’s not a fixed cost. Your property taxes and property values can be reassessed by the city, so what you are paying now may increase in the future. Do your research and speak to someone in your local tax assessor’s office to understand what to expect.
  • Homeowner’s insurance. Prices vary, but insurers generally base premiums on factors ranging from age, coverage and deductible to location and the home itself. Costs are tied to how much it would cost to rebuild the home if it were destroyed.

For more financial tips, visit your local credit union. HealthNet Federal Credit Union has proudly served Baptist Memorial Health Care employees and the health care community throughout the Mid-South for more than 60 years.

For information about the credit union, please call 901-226-1111 or visit