When purchasing a home, it’s important to consider the extra or hidden costs. Many homeowners are blissfully unaware of just how much these additional fees can costs on top of their mortgage. Zillow and Thumbtack recently released a study that found homeowners can pay more than $9,000 in hidden and home maintenance costs every year.
Zillow and Thumbtack calculated several unavoidable, hidden costs like property taxes and insurance, as well as some commonly forgotten maintenance costs like yard care and carpet cleaning to help buyers be more prepared for additional costs associated with homeownership. Data for this study was taken for the entire nation and across 15 metros.
"Home buyers too often fixate on the sticker price or monthly mortgage payment on a house, and don't budget for the other expenses associated with ownership–which can add up quickly," said Amy Bohutinsky, Zillow CMO. "For example, new buyers can get really excited about having a backyard of their own for the first time, without budgeting for how they plan to maintain that space."
According to the study, homeowners pay an average $6,042 per year in unavoidable hidden costs, nationally. This includes homeowners insurance, property taxes, and utilities. Homeowners in the Boston metro have the highest property taxes and can expect to pay $9,413 annually, the highest amount of all the markets analyzed. Meanwhile, in Phoenix, homeowners pay an average $4,513 for these same additional costs.
Those that prefer to outsource when it comes to cleaning their home or doing yardwork, instead of using the do-it-yourself method, still find themselves spending an equally comparable amount on additional expenses, the study found. Thumbtack users visit the site to request help for house cleaning, yard care, gutter cleaning, carpet cleaning, and pressure washing. On a national level, these tasks add up to an average $3,435 per year. In San Francisco, homeowners will pay the highest amount in the metros reviewed at $4,653 per year, compared to Denver homeowners who pay around $2,782 for the same projects.
"Maintaining a home is time consuming and costly, and in some regions hiring help gets you more bang for your buck than in others," says Jon Lieber, Thumbtack chief economist. "As we know, this winter was especially harsh in some parts of the country, and in the aftermath, homeowners can face a lot of unexpected expenses to keep their home in top condition. It's imperative for buyers to consider these inherent maintenance costs when budgeting for their big purchase."
Click here to view Zillow's and Thumbtack's complete study.