Buying September 7, 2023

Homeowner Costs

When starting your homebuying process or journey, it is important to take a deep dive into your financial situation. That is because when you purchase a home, there are a variety of homeowner costs to consider. Some costs are regular costs that are easy to anticipate, such as a mortgage and utilities. Other costs correlate with the maintenance of a home, such as cleaning supplies, landscaping fees, and pest control. And then there will be surprise costs, like water damage from a leaky pipe or a surprise HVAC issue. While we are not insisting that you go all Doomsday and prepare for the downfall of your home, it is still important to make sure you are financially able to cover all types of homeowner costs and expenses. Let’s look at this further.


This is the most common cost future homeowners consider when they plan for a new home. A mortgage is the monthly cost of a home and includes the principal payment, the interest on the specific loan, taxes, and insurance. Combining these costs into one mortgage payment amount simplifies this aspect of homeowner costs. Keep in mind that if 20% is not put down, you will have to pay an added Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) until you have paid that 20% off. To get a good estimate about what your mortgage payment may look like, we recommend utilizing a mortgage calculator. To get the best estimate, try using a more thorough mortgage calculator, such as the one from This one includes information about property taxes, insurance, and even HOA fees.

HOA fees

Many communities have Homeowner Associations (HOAs) that require residents to pay additional fees. HOAs are made up of residents of the community, who try to make sure all rules are followed, and that the community is well-kept. The amount of HOA fees you will be required to pay will depend on the community and what is being offered. For example, a community that maintains shared grounds will have much lower fees than one that has a community pool requiring insurance to be taken out, or one that pays utilities for their residents. Regardless of the amount, it is important to take these fees into account when determining all of your required homeowner costs.


In addition to your mortgage and any HOA fees, you will also be responsible for paying for any utilities you use. This can include water, sewage, energy, gas, and garbage and recycling pickup. While some of these might be flat rate costs (for example, garbage and recycling pickup), others can greatly vary depending on your usage and home size. Naturally, a home that is larger is more likely to see an energy bill that is higher, simply because they are using the service for a bigger area. Likewise, someone who likes to keep their home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter will incur higher fees than those who are utilizing their air conditioning and heat less. While total utility costs can be hard to predict, it is still important to plan for these in your homeowner costs.

Cleaning Fees

Another thing you will want to budget for is either the supplies you will need to clean your home each month (believe us, these can add up), or the amount charged by a hired cleaning crew. Regardless of your cleaning method, it is important to consider these costs as you are reviewing your financial situation. Being aware of all of the things you will need to pay for can guide you to a more accurate estimate of what price range you focus on when searching for a new home.

Other Specialized Homeowner Costs or Services

Furniture & Décor

Although this is typically an upfront cost, you will want to factor in the costs of furniture and décor. If you are moving into a larger space, it is likely that you do not have the amount of furniture you may need when you move into a bigger place. This can be hard to predict before beginning the homebuying process, as you really won’t know how much furniture or décor you will want or need until you have your actual home. However, you will still want to be mindful of the potential cost.

Pest Control & Lawn Maintenance

In addition, many of our clients have opted to use pest control and lawn maintenance services upon purchasing their new homes. Often, these costs are quarterly, rather than monthly, and range depending on the types of services included or the size of the lawn. If these services are ones you wish to utilize, make sure you save them a spot in your budget.

Annual Homeowner Costs


A few annual services you may want to consider (if applicable) are fireplace, HVAC, and termite inspections. From our experiences, we recommend all of these to our clients. In North Carolina, termites are not uncommon, and one of the best ways to make sure these pests don’t invade your home and wreak havoc is by having your home inspected for them annually by professionals. Depending on the age of your HVAC system, you may find an annual inspection to be unnecessary. However, far too many of our clients have had issues, even with brand new systems. Having someone come and inspect your HVAC each year may help you prevent costly damage and ensure that your heat doesn’t go out in the middle of winter or your air conditioning in the middle of summer. If your home has a fireplace, we also recommend an annual inspection for that. According to Today, your chimney should be inspected each year and cleaning should be done as necessary. Ultimately, these inspections are not mandatory but if they are something you are considering, make sure you financially plan for them.

Unpredictable Homeowner Costs

While most of these costs are fairly predictable, unpredictable expenses can also arise. Bursting pipes, leaky roofs, mold damage, oh my! While these home emergencies are usually covered by your homeowner’s insurance (if you choose to file a claim), you will still be responsible for your deductible.

It can be overwhelming to think about all the costs associated with homeownership, but important, nonetheless. If you have clear expectations about what your financial responsibilities will be, you will be more equipped to take on the homebuying process.

Our final recommendation? Pair up with a professional and knowledgeable realtor. We have helped many clients throughout the years develop a better understanding of what being a homeowner financially entails, and would love to help you, too. Please contact us here or email us at