Princeton Town Topics – Let’s Talk Real Estate – August 16, 2017
UNDERSTANDING THE HIDDEN COSTS OF HOMEOWNERSHIP
You may think you know how much mortgage you can afford, but before you start house-shopping, you should look a little deeper into your financial picture to make sure you can handle all the costs of homeownership. A recent survey by Zillow found nationwide, the average cost of owning a home – not including your mortgage – is about $9,000. In NJ, it’s usually higher, mainly as a result of property tax costs.
For instance, in NJ, the average annual property tax bill alone is about $8,500, with many homeowners paying much more. Plus, you’ll need to figure in the cost of insurance and utilities, including water, sewer and trash collection if it’s not included in your taxes. Don’t forget to figure in home maintenance costs too. Thinking you’ll “go DIY” may sound like a cost-friendly option, but unless you’re highly skilled, your repairs can wind up costing you a lot more in the long run.
Don’t get discouraged – lots of people buy homes every year and do just fine. The key to avoiding financial missteps is to carefully assess all your costs then add in a little extra for those unexpected “surprises.”