The Hidden Costs of Buying a Home: Your 10 Biggest Home Expenses

Planning on buying your first home sometime soon? You should know that you’re going to have to worry about paying for more than just the mortgage every month.

The average American homeowner shells out over $13,000 every year for home expenses — not including their mortgage. These hidden costs of buying a home are what make it so difficult for many people to purchase a house.

Before you go through with buying a house, you should familiarize yourself with these home buying expenses. Here are the ten highest costs you might face as a homeowner.

1. Fixing a Foundation

Before purchasing a home, you should always, always, always have a home inspection done. During a home inspection, an inspector will take a look at a home’s foundation and let you know if it’s in good shape.

If the foundation ever starts to fall apart under your home, it can cause all kinds of issues in your house. It can also force you to do foundation repairs that can cost you thousands of dollars.

2. Repairing or Replacing a Roof

The average roof lifespan can be anywhere from about 15 to 30 years for asphalt shingles up to 20 to 50 years for a tile roof.

If you purchase a house with a roof that’s on the older side, one of the hidden costs of buying a home might be the roof repairs or roof replacement you need to do during the first few years. You could potentially spend thousands of dollars repairing or replacing the roof on top of a home.  Some people might be wise to keep an eye on mortgage refinance rates as that might be a good option for a major expense like a new roof.

This is another reason why it’s smart to have a home inspection done. It’ll let you know approximately how long a roof is going to last before it begins to add to your homeownership costs.

3. Hanging Up New Siding

Much like a home’s roof, the siding on a home isn’t designed to last forever. You can usually get somewhere between 20 to 40 years of life out of it before it’ll need to be replaced.

Vinyl siding will often be the most affordable option for homeowners. But even that will usually cost between $6,000 and $13,000 depending on the size of your home. That might be a lot more than you would expect to pay for new siding.

4. Putting a New HVAC System Into Place

If you live in a home with an HVAC system that’s 20 or 25 years old, there’s a good chance it’s not going to be very efficient. It’s going to cost more to run it than you would have to pay with a newer HVAC system.

At the same time, a new HVAC system is going to cost you a pretty penny. It could easily cost you over $10,000 to install a new HVAC system with new ductwork, which is why you may want to avoid moving into a house with an older system in place.

5. Fixing a Broken Sewer Line

You’re probably will never see the sewer line that runs underneath your home and out to the street in front of it. But it’ll be there all the time doing one of the most important jobs associated with your home.

And if it stops working on you for any reason, repairing and replacing it could send your home expenses skyrocketing. It can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to over $25,000 to replace a single sewer line, depending on what method you use to do it.

6. Installing Replacement Windows and Doors

A home’s windows and doors will serve as your first line of defense as far as home security is concerned. It’s why you’re going to need to make sure they’re standing strong at all times.

As windows and doors get older, they tend to become less and less secure. They also tend to make your home less energy efficient than it used to be.

Replacing them will be a great idea — but it’ll come at a cost. You’ll likely have to pay at least a few hundred dollars per window during window replacement and up to $1,000 for new exterior doors.

7. Replacing an Old Septic System

The vast majority of American homeowners don’t have to worry about a septic system. Only about 20% of people have one connected to their home.

But if you do have a septic system, the cost to maintain and repair it will need to be factored into the cost of buying a house. There will be ongoing annual costs that come along with having a septic system.

You might also have to make sure you’re ready to replace a septic system at some point since they often only last about 40 years. It’s an expense that will need to be on your radar if you purchase a house with an older septic system attached to it.

8. Ripping Out an Old Driveway and Replacing It

Asphalt and concrete driveways will both last you a long time if you treat them right. Asphalt driveways can last for up to 20 years, while concrete driveways can last for up to 30 years.

You will, however, need to put out some money to maintain both types of driveways over time. You’ll also need to put up at least a few thousand dollars to replace them at some point down the line.

9. Trimming and Removing Trees

If there are a bunch of trees scattered around on a property you’re going to buy, you’ll be in charge of managing them yourself. That will mean either trimming them on your own or paying someone to come to your home to do it for you.

It will also mean removing any dead trees or trees that have fallen over. This is going to cost about $700 on average for each tree that you need to remove.

10. Repairing a Home After a Fire

Hopefully, you won’t ever have to worry about a fire breaking out in your home. But fires start in more than 350,000 houses every year, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

If you do happen to have a fire in your home, you could be responsible for paying for the damage that it does if your insurance company doesn’t cover part or all of it. You could also be responsible for paying for the damage done by wind and other weather elements.

Don’t Forget About the Hidden Costs of Buying a Home

When you sit down and crunch the numbers, you might find that you can easily afford to pay the mortgage for a home. But can you afford all of the hidden costs of buying a home?

That’s the real question. Consider whether or not you’ll be able to pay for the types of things listed here. It’ll help you determine if a home is really in your budget.

Read the articles on our blog to learn about some of the other projects you might have to tackle when you buy a home.


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