Costs Involved in Owning a House
New homeowners are often surprised by the costs of owning a home. Your mortgage is one thing, but what else adds to homeownership expenses?
How much are home expenses?
For homeownership, plan for costs such as:
- Upfront costs that you’ll pay immediately before and after you purchase your home.
- Monthly costs that you’ll pay every month moving forward.
- Maintenance costs that you’ll pay to keep your home in good condition.
- Additional costs for decor, furniture, remodeling and more.
You’ll have several different costs wrapped into one number when you purchase a home at closing.
- Down payment. Generally, your down payment is between 3% and 20% (or more) of your home’s purchase price.
- Closing. Usually, 5% to 7% of the home’s purchase price includes home inspection, transfer taxes, title company fees, settlement fees, mortgage company fees, homeowners insurance, administrative fees and escrow. To know the exact amount of fees you might pay on a property you’re interested in, work with a trusted mortgage lender in your area or check out our mortgage calculator.
- Relocation. Renting a moving vehicle and enlisting help your family and friends can be a relatively low-cost but labor-intensive move. However, if you need to use moving professionals, it can cost from $14 to $16 per square foot to move into a home.
After you’ve purchased your home (congrats!), you’ll have monthly homeowner expenses that you will be responsible for including:
- Utilities such as gas, water, sewer, trash, recycling and electricity. (If you’re looking for energy-saving tips, click here!)
- Entertainment costs such as internet, cable and streaming services. (Find ways to cut costs on cable at the bottom of our save money blog.)
- Insurance such as homeowners insurance, which you may be required to pay monthly. Depending on your lender, you may be able to pay for this annually or semi-annually and save some money.
In addition to your purchasing costs and the monthly costs associated with owning a home, you’ll also have to spend money on upkeep. We recommend opening additional savings accounts to put in 5% to 10% of your monthly earnings until you have saved between 1% and 2% of your home’s value. On average, maintenance repairs will cost you this much every year.
- Appliances. Your stove, refrigerator, dishwasher and other appliances will sometimes need repairs or need to be replaced entirely.
- Landscaping. Cutting the grass, edging, weeding and watering the flowers takes time but can also create costs if you need equipment or pay a professional.
- Cleaning, painting and general upkeep. There are costs associated with the supplies you’ll need—even if you do it yourself. From shampooing carpets, patching holes and painting walls to replacing air filters and changing smoke detector batteries, all the maintenance you’ll need to do adds up.
These are the costs associated with homeownership that aren’t as immediate as mortgage payments or general upkeep.
- Furniture. Sometimes, things break or become too worn down for continued use. Lamps, couches, desks and other pieces of furniture will need to be replaced from time to time.
- Decor. Blank walls do not make a house a home. You’ll need funds to put your personal touches on walls and bookshelves.
- Remodeling. Whether it’s sprucing up a bathroom or overhauling the kitchen, you’ll need to save money for larger projects. However, remodeling almost always adds home value when it’s time to sell.