Skip to content

August 3, 2017

Hidden Homeownership Costs

by Bob Schwartz

$9,000+ a Year on Hidden Homeownership Costs

Green Home Improvements Federal Reserve Hikes Interest Rates   Hidden Homeownership CostsFrom property taxes to basic maintenance projects like lawn care, homeowners can spend between $7,000 and $16,000 a year in hidden homeownership costs

Hidden Homeownership Costs  Jul 31, 2017

Nationally, U.S. homeowners can expect to spend $9,080 a year on average in hidden costs related to owning and maintaining a home, according to a new analysis from Zillow® and Thumbtacki. Since nearly half (47 percent) of home shoppers today are first-time buyers, many of these extra costs may come as a surpriseii.

To help with budgeting, Zillow and Thumbtack identified several common but often overlooked home expenses and calculated what homeowners could expect to pay for them around the country. The analysis also included utility cost estimates from UtilityScore.

Nationally, homeowners pay an average $6,059 per year in to cover homeowners insurance, property taxes and utilities, three common, but sometimes overlooked home expenses. San Francisco homeowners pay the most of the metros analyzed ($13,019 a year), primarily due to the market’s high home values and property taxes. Indianapolis homeowners pay the least at $4,699.

Most U.S. homeowners (96 percent) have made some kind of improvement to their home. While many complete these projects themselves, those who hire a professional can expect to spend more than $3,021 a year on average for carpet cleaning, yard work, gutter cleaning, HVAC maintenance, house cleaning and pressure washing, the six most common hired home projects requested by homeowners on Thumbtack. Labor costs can vary significantly by region, with Seattle homeowners paying as much as $4,052 a year on average for those six projects, whereas in San Antonio they pay just $1,962 on average.

Hidden Homeownership Costs

“Determining how much a home will ultimately cost you each year and what you can afford is one of the most challenging aspects of home buying, especially for first-time buyers,” says Svenja Gudell, Zillow’s Chief Economist. “Before starting a home search, take a good look at your finances to determine a monthly payment range you can comfortably afford. While that big back yard or larger home may be appealing, it is important to consider how much maintaining those spaces could cost you.”

“While it may be tempting for homeowners to think they can cut costs by doing home maintenance projects themselves, hiring a trained professional to take them on can save them time, anxiety and most likely money in the long run,” said Lucas Puente, Thumbtack‘s Economist. “Across the U.S., buyers should be prepared to spend at least a few thousand a year in home maintenance costs.”

To help buyers better understand the total cost of homeownership, Zillow Group, Inc. launched RealEstate.com®, a website that allows people to search for homes by the “All-In Monthly Price” of owning that home, like utilities, taxes, HOA’s and closing costs. With more than a third of buyers going over budget, knowing all the extra or hidden costs associated with homeownership can help buyers set more realistic budgetiv.

Metro Name

Estimated
Median
Home Value

Total
Commonly
Overlooked
Costs
(property
taxes, insurance
and utility
estimates from
UtilityScore)

Total Home
Maintenance
Costs
(carpet
cleaning, yard
care, gutter
cleaning, HVAC
maintenance,
house cleaning)

Total Hidden Costs
of Homeownership
(Overlooked costs +
outsourced
maintenance
projects)
 

United States

$ 199,200

$ 6,059

$ 3,021

$ 9,080

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA

$ 606,500

$ 9,622

$ 2,934

$ 12,556

Chicago, IL

$ 210,200

$ 7,833

$ 2,589

$ 10,423

Dallas-Fort Worth, TX

$ 209,200

$ 7,629

$ 2,082

$ 9,711

Philadelphia, PA

$ 218,300

$ 8,117

$ 2,808

$ 10,925

Houston, TX

$ 175,800

$ 7,189

$ 2,610

$ 9,799

Washington, DC

$ 383,200

$ 8,764

$ 2,579

$ 11,342

Atlanta, GA

$ 178,700

$ 6,896

$ 2,487

$ 9,383

Boston, MA

$ 425,500

$ 10,807

$ 3,570

$ 14,377

San Francisco, CA

$ 851,900

$ 13,019

$ 3,271

$ 16,290

Detroit, MI

$ 140,900

$ 5,660

$ 2,485

$ 8,145

Riverside, CA

$ 326,800

$ 7,576

$ 2,633

$ 10,209

Phoenix, AZ

$ 235,100

$ 5,912

$ 2,455

$ 8,366

Seattle, WA

$ 440,100

$ 8,872

$ 4,052

$ 12,924

Minneapolis-St Paul, MN

$ 247,100

$ 6,178

$ 2,650

$ 8,828

San Diego, CA

$ 543,400

$ 10,392

$ 3,096

$ 13,488

St. Louis, MO

$ 148,700

$ 5,499

$ 2,288

$ 7,787

Baltimore, MD

$ 260,400

$ 7,000

$ 2,591

$ 9,592

Denver, CO

$ 368,200

$ 6,134

$ 2,318

$ 8,451

Pittsburgh, PA

$ 136,900

$ 5,593

$ 3,079

$ 8,671

Portland, OR

$ 363,800

$ 8,189

$ 3,674

$ 11,863

Charlotte, NC

$ 173,200

$ 4,986

$ 2,415

$ 7,401

Sacramento, CA

$ 366,500

$ 7,663

$ 2,406

$ 10,069

San Antonio, TX

$ 160,400

$ 6,170

$ 1,962

$ 8,131

Cincinnati, OH

$ 151,600

$ 5,570

$ 3,237

$ 8,807

Cleveland, OH

$ 134,000

$ 6,282

$ 2,471

$ 8,753

Kansas City, MO

$ 158,200

$ 5,778

$ 2,486

$ 8,264

Columbus, OH

$ 161,900

$ 5,828

$ 2,425

$ 8,252

Indianapolis, IN

$ 137,700

$ 4,699

$ 2,424

$ 7,123

Austin, TX

$ 271,000

$ 9,465

$ 2,235

$ 11,700

Virginia Beach, VA

$ 222,200

$ 5,915

$ 2,337

$ 8,253

 

i Zillow and Thumbtack’s Hidden Costs Homeownership report factored in three common, but sometimes overlooked monthly expenses (property taxes, homeowners insurance and utilities from Utility Score) as well as six basic home prep costs from Thumbtack. Thumbtack looked at tens of thousands of quotes from small business professionals around the country and determined the average cost for each expense within the selected metros. For the purposes of this analysis, carpet cleaning, yard work, gutter cleaning, HVAC maintenance, house cleaning and pressure washing were identified as six of the most popular home maintenance-related projects.

 

Hidden Homeownership Costs

Save

Save

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

Leave a comment

Note: HTML is allowed. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to comments

required
required