What is the True Cost of Home Ownership?


This is a very thorough list of additional costs that every buyer and their agent should have numbers for and review prior to making an offer on a home.  Have the entire package not just the mortgage payment.

Via Claudette Millette – Metrowest Mass Buyer Broker (The Buyers’ Counsel):

What is the True Cost House with flying moneyof Home Ownership? 

Most potential homeowners begin their planning with the down payment and monthly mortgage amount in mind.  It’s an excellent start but anyone who is planning on buying a home needs to be ready to take on the total costs and look beyond the mortgage payment.

If you want to effectively determine a home’s affordability you also need to consider the following:  

  • Real Estate Taxes
  • Insurance
  • Home Owners’ Association Fees
  • Landscaping
  • Maintenance costs
  • Electric Bill
  • Gas or oil expense
  • Trash removal charge
  • Water & sewer bill
  • Snow plowing costs
  • Miscellaneous expenses

There is no obligation in most states for the seller to provide the costs of utilities to a potential home buyer (although the State of Hawaii has now made this mandatory in real estate transactions.)  The responsibility falls to you or your buyer agent to request the utility costs and copies of the electric bills from the owner.

Maintenance costs will fall into the categories of ongoing and occasional.

Ongoing items include changing the filters in your heating system and air conditioning units, furnace maintenance, gutter cleaning, and chimney sweeping, recaulking your bathroom and blacktopping the driveway.

Occasional maintenance items are repainting, replacing the roof, recarpeting, replacing appliances, refinishing hardwood floors, repointing masonry work and an assortment of repairs that can crop up from time to time.

As a homeowner you should keep a running tally of all the items that you replace and maintain along with the cost of your heat and other utilities. 

A smart buyer may very well ask for it.

Copyright 2010 “What is the True Cost of Home Ownership?  “

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About susanmorrison

After living in Walpole, MA for many years, our family was transferred to the west coast when I was a senior in high school. In 1983, I graduated from Mission San Jose High School in Fremont, California. I am also a 1987 graduate of Providence College with a major in liberal arts and a minor in business administration. I bring to the table many years of sales experience beginning with thirteen years in Corporate Sales at Delta Air Lines. I'm the mother of three children and I'm very active within the Franklin, MA community. I am also a cancer survivor and support the American Cancer Society Charities.

My husband and I have built five homes and I've lived in a variety of other locations including Toronto Canada, Irving Texas and my current home in Franklin, MA. As a result of all my moving around, I came to the conclusion that I was an expert at moving...why not become an expert on the other side of the table? I earned my real estate license in 2004 and believe that I have found my true niche'. I can empathize with my clients on a variety of levels; whether they are buying or selling. And, like so many other good realtors out there, I believe that possessing good communication skills is one of the many keys to success.

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