Hiding in Plain Sight
Homeowners must be prepared for the hidden costs of owning a home
Owning a home isn’t getting any cheaper, and we’re not talking about just the cost of your mortgages. According to a new study from Zillow, Americans are now spending an average of $9,400 per year on the “hidden” costs of homeownership. These costs are basically everything you must pay for outside of your mortgage, and they can add up quickly.
The hidden costs of homeownership can be divided into two groups: The necessary and the avoidable. The former includes homeowner’s insurance, utilities and taxes; the latter includes home maintenance.
The Zillow report found that Americans will spend about $6,300 on necessary home costs and about $3,000 on avoidable home costs per year. Those living in areas with high housing costs tend to get hit with higher hidden costs, as property taxes and homeowner’s insurance are often tied to a home’s value.
Therefore it should come as no surprise that the homeowner’s shelling out the most in hidden costs are those living in major metro areas. The most unlucky of them all? Homeowners in San Jose, who spend an average of $20,000 per year on hidden costs. (Ouch!) Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a home in Tampa, you’re in a good spot: Homeowners only spend an average of $8,000 per year on hidden costs.