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Homeowners Should Expect to Pay How Much In Hidden Costs Each Year?!

Homeowners Can Pay Nearly $9,500 per Year in Hidden Costs

Homeowners can expect to spend about $9,390 every year on costs associated with owning and caring for a home, according to an analysis by Zillow® and Thumbtack.

When it comes to buying a home, shoppers frequently focus on the sticker price or the monthly mortgage payments, but homeowners are also responsible for additional costs that are often overlooked during the home search, such as property taxes, insurance and maintenance projects.

One-third of buyers say that determining their homebuying budget was a challenge during the home shopping process. To help understand these additional costs they may face, Zillow and Thumbtack identified several common costs to calculate what homeowners around the country can expect to pay in annual expenses. This analysis also includes utility cost estimates from UtilityScore.

Property taxes, utilities, and homeowners insurance are necessary expenses for homeowners. Nationally, these costs add up to $6,327 per year but can be much higher in more expensive markets. In San Jose, where the typical home is worth $1,287,600, these costs add up to $17,255 per year, the highest of any market analyzed. By contrast, these costs add up to $5,540 annually in Indianapolis, less than one-third of the San Jose total.

Hidden Costs

Many homeowners also opt to hire professionals for a variety of common home-maintenance projects, including house cleaning, lawn care, carpet cleaning, central air, and heating system repairs, gutter cleaning and pressure washing. The nationwide average cost of these tasks is $3,067 per year. Labor costs vary in different parts of the country, so these jobs can be much more expensive depending on where someone lives. In Portland, Oregon, homeowners can expect to pay $3,810 per year for these projects, compared with the $2,570 owners in Miami can expect to spend.

“Ongoing maintenance costs and annual fees are some of the most common surprises for first-time home buyers after they finally become homeowners. While they are shopping, buyers tend to focus on their monthly mortgage payments, but other needs quickly add up after move-in,” said Zillow Senior Economist Aaron Terrazas. “The list price is just the beginning of understanding the costs that come with being a homeowner, and it’s important to understand what other expenses you may have to account for when determining what you can afford.”

“Many basic maintenance costs are often overlooked when calculating the cost of buying a home,” said Lucas Puente, Lead Economist at Thumbtack. “It’s imperative that those looking to buy a home do their homework to avoid any surprise charges.”

Metropolitan Area Median Home
Value (June
TOTAL Hidden
Costs of
(property taxes,
utility bills)
lawn care,
HVAC repair,
United States $217,300 $9,394 $6,327 $3,067
Los Angeles-Long Beach-
Anaheim, CA
$646,300 $13,892 $10,492 $3,400
Chicago, IL $220,400 $11,005 $8,405 $2,600
Dallas-Fort Worth, TX $229,400 $10,712 $7,722 $2,990
Philadelphia, PA $228,100 $10,205 $7,305 $2,900
Houston, TX $198,600 $10,110 $7,140 $2,970
Washington, DC $399,500 $12,024 $9,234 $2,790
Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL $272,900 $10,173 $7,603 $2,570
Atlanta, GA $204,600 $10,301 $7,331 $2,970
Boston, MA $455,600 $14,221 $11,321 $2,900
San Francisco, CA $953,600 $17,758 $14,358 $3,400
Detroit, MI $154,900 $10,021 $7,101 $2,920
Riverside, CA $356,800 $11,421 $8,121 $3,300
Phoenix, AZ $254,700 $9,187 $6,147 $3,040
Seattle, WA $492,700 $12,729 $9,149 $3,580
Minneapolis-St Paul, MN $261,300 $10,102 $6,382 $3,720
San Diego, CA $583,700 $14,257 $11,087 $3,170
St. Louis, MO $161,400 $8,712 $6,032 $2,680
Tampa, FL $204,600 $8,305 $5,715 $2,590
Baltimore, MD $264,800 $10,339 $7,379 $2,960
Denver, CO $397,700 $9,559 $6,669 $2,890
Pittsburgh, PA $141,300 $8,472 $5,552 $2,920
Portland, OR $391,200 $12,612 $8,802 $3,810
Charlotte, NC $195,800 $8,703 $5,833 $2,870
Sacramento, CA $400,100 $11,744 $8,344 $3,400
San Antonio, TX $185,000 $9,171 $6,331 $2,840
Orlando, FL $226,900 $8,523 $5,933 $2,590
Cincinnati, OH $160,900 $8,751 $5,951 $2,800
Cleveland, OH $141,100 $9,227 $6,547 $2,680
Kansas City, MO $181,400 $9,111 $6,301 $2,810
Columbus, OH $182,200 $9,047 $6,147 $2,900
Indianapolis, IN $152,800 $8,220 $5,540 $2,680
San Jose, CA $1,287,600 $20,655 $17,255 $3,400
Austin, TX $296,500 $12,457 $9,727 $2,730

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