The hidden costs of home buyingMichelle McQuade | April 25, 2018
Are you buying a home for the first time? Congratulations! Without a doubt, this is one of the most exciting moments in life. To help you get ready for the process, check out our home buying guides.
Through all the thrill of home shopping, it’s important to keep in mind that the cost of homeownership goes beyond the price of a home. Be prepared for a number of hidden costs that catch many first-time homebuyers by surprise.
Here are some of these costs:
- Home inspection costs
It’s crucial to arrange for a thorough home inspection before you close the sale. This will help protect you from unexpected problems that could come after you’ve already moved in. At the very least, arrange for a general inspection of the home. For added protection, you may also want to schedule more inspections, such as one for termites and other destructive bugs, a sewer inspection, a mold inspection, and so on. More inspections will naturally result in added costs, but if they result in your peace of mind, they’ll be well worth the expense.
- Closing costs
Closing costs are the expenses you accumulate throughout the home buying process. In Ohio, they typically include lender fees, attorney’s fees, escrow fees, insurance, and more. In many cases, closing costs are paid by the buyer, but you may also arrange to share the expenses with the seller.
- Taxes and insurance
Mortgage payments are not the only expense you need to think about after you close a sale. As a homeowner, you also need to pay property taxes and insurance.
In Cleveland, property taxes vary by area. The taxes in the more affluent suburbs are higher than in the city itself, but there are exceptions. In general, the tax rate in the area is about 2.29 percent of your home’s value.
Home insurance is typically required by mortgage lenders. Insurance fees can vary according to the coverage, the age and construction of your home, your credit history, and other factors.
- Maintenance and repair costs
If you have been living in an apartment, the cost of maintenance and repair may have been the least of your worries, as the landlord takes care of most of it. This is not the case if you’re a homeowner. If something breaks down, you have to pay for the repair costs on your own.
You’ll also need to spend on the regular upkeep of your home, such as tending to your yard, cleaning the gutters, maintaining the HVAC, and so on. Regular home cleaning also involves costs, as you need to buy cleaning equipment and supplies.
When you live in an apartment, part of your utilities cost is shared with other tenants and is typically included in the rental fee. As a homeowner, however, you’ll have sole responsibility for the cost of utilities. The average cost in the Cleveland area is at par with that of the United States. Electricity costs here are lower than the national average, but consumption generally spikes during the winter when heating needs increase significantly.
Even with the added costs, there’s nothing quite like having your own home. Let top Cleveland Realtor Michelle McQuade guide you to the property that’s best for you. Get in touch with her at 440-823-2448 or send her an email at MichelleMcQuade(at)HowardHanna(dotted)com.