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Hidden Costs of Buying and Owning a home

Budgeting for Your First Home? Uncover These Hidden Costs of Buying and Owning

Embarking on the journey to homeownership is thrilling, but as many first-time buyers discover, the listed price of a home is just the tip of the iceberg. Hidden costs can sneak up on you if you’re not prepared. To help you navigate, we’ve compiled a list of costs that often fly under the radar of enthusiastic first-time homebuyers.


1. Home Inspection and Appraisal Fees

Before securing a mortgage or finalizing your purchase, you’ll likely need a home inspection and appraisal.

  • Home Inspection: This essential step can reveal potential issues with the property. Costs vary, but according to HomeAdvisor, the national average is between $300 and $500.
  • Appraisal: Lenders require this to ensure the property’s value matches the loan amount. Appraisal costs often range from $300 to $450, as cited by Investopedia.

2. Closing Costs

Closing costs encompass a range of fees and can typically amount to 2-5% of the purchase price. Bankrate provides a comprehensive breakdown, which includes:

  • Loan origination fees
  • Title search fees
  • Survey costs
  • Property taxes

3. Moving Expenses

Whether you’re hiring professional movers or just renting a truck, moving has its costs. Moving.com offers insights into these expenses, which can range from $200 to over $2,000, depending on the specifics of your move.

4. Immediate Home Repairs and Improvements

Your new home might need minor repairs, new appliances, or some personal touches. It’s wise to set aside a budget for these immediate expenses. Websites like The Spruce detail potential costs you might face right after moving in.

5. Homeowner’s Insurance and Property Taxes

Beyond your monthly mortgage payments, remember to account for:

  • Homeowner’s Insurance: Costs vary by location and home value, but the National Association of Insurance Commissioners offers resources to help you estimate.
  • Property Taxes: These can differ widely based on locality. Check local rates and use online calculators like the one from SmartAsset to get an estimate.

6. Maintenance and Utilities

Utility costs can be higher than you’re accustomed to, especially if you’re moving from an apartment. Furthermore, homes come with maintenance responsibilities. From lawn care to seasonal upkeep, sites like HomeZada provide a glimpse into the annual costs of homeownership.

7. Homeowner’s Association (HOA) Fees

If your new home is in a community with an HOA, monthly or annual fees will apply. These can range from $100 to $700 a month, as highlighted by Realtor.com.


While the journey to homeownership is filled with excitement, it’s essential to walk the path with open eyes. By accounting for these hidden costs, you can set a realistic budget and ensure your new home doesn’t break the bank. Preparation is key, and with the right knowledge and resources, you can make informed decisions for a smooth home-buying experience.

Celester Thomas

Company Blog – Soldier to Soldier Hawaii Realty

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