This is the second in a three-part blog series designed to educate you on the expenses of homeownership versus leasing.
Buying a home can be a stressful, complicated process. And it doesn’t end once you sign on the dotted line. Once you accept responsibility for a home, you’ll be confronted with a slew of costs you may have not expected: monthly costs (such as HOA, insurance, maintenance), annual costs (like property taxes) and emergency repairs.
We previously broke down your homeownership budget into a monthly snapshot. Here, we look at some of the annual expenditures you need to plan for if you’re considering the idea of homeownership.
If the idea of planning for hefty annual expenses gives you pause, leasing is a great option that relieves you of the financial responsibility for these hefty expenses. You will know exactly how much you’ll spend each month on your home: one simple lease payment. And, in a volatile market, there’s a lot to be said for stability and financial flexibility.
Property taxes: Location, location, location! Your property taxes all depend on where you reside, and if you’re the owner residing on your property, you’re expected to pay taxes. Every jurisdiction has its unique property tax code, but it’s safe to budget at least 1-2% of your home price for the Tucson, Arizona area. This may be the biggest annual bill you get hit with, as it could be several thousand dollars.
Insurance: You’re going to have a choice; you can either pay your insurance in one fell swoop or choose monthly installments. It varies by provider, but there’s a good chance that if you pay monthly, you may have a surcharge added to your payment. Many homeowners choose to pay insurance in one swift payment to knock it out and, hopefully, save a few bucks.
Annual maintenance: Annual maintenance is one of those fun homeownership rituals that’s easier said than done. Many homeowners go into their purchase, almost excited at the idea of rolling up their sleeves and making the house their own. The other side of this is that life catches up with you and time slips by fast; you may realize that nearly the entire year has gone by and you never got around to this or that. Other homeowners are shocked at the sheer expense of keeping up a home, even when it comes to routine, annual tasks, such as:
• Chimney, furnace and fireplace cleaning
Remember, most of these tasks are simply to maintain the current state of your home. None of these account for “dream projects” and major upgrades—this is just part of the cost of owning a home.
Which of these annual maintenance expenses surprised you the most? Are you actively budgeting for these costs as you considering purchasing a home?