5 Hidden Costs of Homeownership


There are a lot of financial responsibilities when it comes to homeownership. You’ll be asking yourself what is my home worth? What is my budget to cover monthly costs? As well as many other questions and quandaries that come along with buying a house.


Some costs are obvious, while others don’t jump out right away.

1. Maintenance and Home Repairs

These potential extra costs are perhaps the most unpredictable.


You may have had an inspection that turned up needed repairs, and can therefore price out the work necessary. However, other fixes can arise once you are actually settled into the home that was not present before and come with the simple act of residing in the space.


Additionally, the more time you spend looking at your house you could see the potential for a new coat of paint here or replacing hardware there. These are smaller costs, but they can add up.

2. Lawn Care

Renters revel in the fact that they most often do not have to care for things like mowing the lawn, shoveling a sidewalk, or plowing a driveway. When you become a homeowner, this responsibility falls to you.


You can either hire a maintenance company to care for this for you, or you can do it yourself. Factors to consider are the size of your lawn and/or driveway, and how often you’ll need it taken care of.

3. Property Taxes

Property taxes are typically a factor for any home buyer. You will know roughly how much you will have to pay monthly upfront.


However, it’s not uncommon for taxes to go up, thus impacting your monthly budget.


Property tax is based on your town, state, or municipality’s tax rate, as well as your property value. Things that can make the tax go up are renovations on your home that change your property value, the area you live in becoming more popular with house prices rising, or a change to state and local budgeting.

4. Safety and Security

Even if you have moved into a neighborhood that has a low crime rate and feels safe to you, you may want to invest in security measures to protect you and your property.


This comes with homeowners insurance, of course, but extra layers of protection can add costs.


These can include alarm systems and cameras, as well as the money it takes to set them up. You may also pay a security company for surveillance.

5. Homeowners Association Fees

When you buy a property you will want to confirm whether this will be a factor for you. Homeowners Association Fees are collected by the neighborhood HOA, a private entity that manages all homes in a residential subdivision.


HOAs use these funds for things like ground maintenance, community facilities, and lawn and garden care.


This cost is separate from your mortgage and property taxes. Be aware that the HOA and community might vote to assess the neighborhood to pay for additional expenses such as renovations or new upgrades, so you should prepare for any fee increases as well. 

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