True costs of owning a home

Many would-be home owners are concerned with the actual cost of building their next home. Often, people believe that the "sticker price" on the window is the end of their financial endeavor. While no one ever said owning a home was cheap, it is certainly not overwhelming when approached in the proper manner. There are a number of additional costs associated with home ownership that can (and will) pop up during the life of your home:

  • Closing costs - typically 2.5% - 3% of the sale price of the home. These fees are paid to the attorney that handles the closing process of the sale. Other fees are encompassed in this amount, so be sure to ask what is/isn't included
  • Mortgage insurance - this could be required by your lender if you don't put down a large enough down payment. This ensures that your loan is insured against your inability to fulfill your obligation.
  • Property taxes - With ownership of any piece of property comes the obligation to pay local taxes, usually based on a percentage of your property's value
  • Home owner's insurance - Most mortgage companies will want to make sure that your home is protected against loss; most intelligent home owners will want to do the same. Contact your local insurance agent to make sure you have proper coverage in case of catastrophic loss to your home
  • Annual maintenance and upkeep - Like any investment, the more you take care of things, the longer it will last. Appliances are going to wear down and need replacing; roofs will eventually rot and require attention; leaks and drafts may occur and insist on attention