Once you’ve found the perfect home and secured the loan, all that’s left to do is start chipping away at those mortgage payments…right? In actuality, there are a handful of other, often-overlooked expenses that come with buying a home, but as long as you know what you’re getting into, they’re plenty manageable.
One-Time Payments & Closing Costs
For buyers, closing costs are typically low and range from 2-5% of your purchase price. A lot of these costs are one-time expenses, and totals can vary from state-to-state.
If you want a better idea of what closing costs could be for you, check out this helpful guide on the average payments for each state.
There are quite a bit of one-time fees bundled into your closing costs, but most of them are pretty inexpensive. Some of the most common expenses include the home inspection, appraisal, credit report, deed recording, land survey, notary fees, title insurance, and document prep fees.
Mortgage payments are the most obvious cost when buying a home. These are your predictable, monthly payments decided by both the final price of your home and your down payment—in addition to a few other bundled costs. A larger down payment means a smaller mortgage payment, and it’s a good idea to pay this off quickly since it will accumulate interest.
Property tax payments don’t go towards just one thing—they actually cover quite a bit, like road construction, community maintenance, public works, and local government salaries. The exact amount you’ll pay in property tax is calculated by the county based on your home’s value, and the rates tend to rise and fall over time. Many buyers pay their property taxes through an escrow account set up by the lender.
It’s better to have insurance and not need it than need insurance and not have it, so homeowner’s insurance is pretty crucial to home owning. There are several options for homeowners insurance policies out there. Although, it’s almost always required when you get a mortgage and then bundled into your monthly payments, be sure to double-check that you’re covered. We have local insurance professionals we’re happy to recommend when the time comes.
Private Mortgage Insurance
If you can’t afford a 20% down payment on your home, you’ll have to pay PMI as a way to ensure that the lender won’t go under if you default on your loan. You don’t have to pay PMI forever—it ends once you pay off 78% or more of the principal amount—but until then, expect to pay up to 2% of your loan amount annually.
Moving to a neighborhood with an HOA? Your dues can range anywhere from under a hundred dollars to over a thousand, but they come with perks like landscaping and exterior maintenance, and some even include added benefits like swimming pools.
Lastly, utility fees can come as a surprise to new homeowners who are used to renting. Depending on the size of your home, you can expect to pay a few hundred dollars per month for water, electricity, heating and cooling, and trash services. If you’re curious about what your utility bills might look like, just ask your agent, and they can likely secure a few statements from the past owners.
Ready to Make an Offer?
When it comes to buying a home, the most important thing you can do is be prepared. While there are a handful of costs to keep in mind, the satisfaction of calling a place your own is well worth it in the end.
Are you ready to get started on your home-buying journey? With years of professional and local experience, our team knows all about navigating the expenses that come with buying. Give us a call today to get a better idea of your costs, and let’s get started!