18 Hidden Costs of Owning a Home That Everyone Should Know

Whether you’re buying your first property or moving up the property ladder into a bigger home, owning a house is a huge investment. Homeowners are often not prepared for the unexpected costs that might come their way, so check out these 18 hidden things that might cost you.

Property Taxes

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Property taxes significantly vary between areas, and moving just a few miles for a bit more space or a better location can affect how much homeowners pay in taxes. These rates can also increase over time due to reassessment of the property value and changes in taxation rates.

Maintenance and Repairs

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According to CNBC, in the U.S., “homeowners spent up to $6,000 on average on repairs and maintenance in 2022.” From repairs, such as electrical or plumbing work, to general maintenance, such as gardening or painting, these tasks add up.

Homeowners Insurance

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The cost of home insurance varies by location, home value, and the level of coverage homeowners opt for to protect the building from damage. Lots of policies, for example, won’t pay out for damage caused by flooding or earthquakes unless you have specifically opted for additional protection.

Homeowner Association (HOA) Fees

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According to Investopedia, “the fees range anywhere from $100 to $1,000 per month. The average, though, tends to be from $200 to $300 per month.” They say this cost generally depends on the level of services and amenities the association provides.

Landscaping and Yard Upkeep

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Yards require regular care, especially throughout the summer months. Small jobs such as lawn mowing, tree trimming, and gardening can be done yourself, but if you’re short on time and you decide to pay someone else to do it, the cost does add up. Watering a lawn and garden can also be a significant cost on your water bill, especially in drought-prone areas.

Emergency Fund for Home Repairs

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Being a homeowner is a responsibility, and you have to be prepared for something to go wrong in the building. In order to be able to pay for this, it’s important to have a fund set aside for unexpected home repairs and emergencies to help protect yourself against debt and financial strain.

Closing Costs and Fees

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Buying a home is expensive, and Business Insider reported that “the average closing costs in 2021 were $3,860 without transfer taxes.” When you include the taxes, this cost rose to $6,905. This is on top of mortgage-related fees and payments.

Pest Control

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Ongoing pest control measures are necessary in areas prone to specific infestations; for example, in areas prone to termites, it is important to have regular inspections. This work can be costly, and there’s the potential for expensive repairs if there is any damage.


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The aesthetics of your home are important; ensuring it stays up to date will mean that it retains or increases its value, plus it will make it a nice place to live in. These renovations can be costly and require a lot of time to be invested. Wherever you can, see if you might be able to do the work yourself to save some money.

Technology and Home Automation

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Smart home technology is a fantastic improvement in any home and can help you improve your lighting, energy usage, and security systems. This technology does, however, come with costs, and often the devices require a monthly subscription fee. They will also need to be kept up to date, which can become costly if you have a lot of devices.

Increased Furnishing Expenses

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Moving to a house is an exciting step, but the increase in square footage will mean that furnishing and decorating costs are higher for those used to apartment living. You might have more rooms in a house, which will need to be maintained even when not in use to ensure they’re in good condition.


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Owning a home can lead to higher utility costs in comparison to apartment living. Dwellsy suggests average homeowners pay $200–$400 per month on utilities, compared to the average of $100–$150 per month for those living in apartments.

Moving Expenses

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Hiring professional movers to transport your belongings is a big cost, depending on the number of items you need to move and how far you are moving them. You could save money by moving your belongings yourself; just remember to factor in the cost of packing supplies, truck rental, and any potential damage.

Financing Costs

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Unless you are in a position to buy a house outright, the cost of a mortgage over the years you’re paying it off can be huge. You’ll be paying interest on your loan, as well as lender fees, application fees, and credit check costs. If you have the ability to overpay your mortgage, it can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Loss of Flexibility

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Just as with buying a house, there are significant costs involved with selling a house. From real estate agent commissions to closing costs and potential home staging or repairs, it’s not cheap to part ways with your home. This means you might be tied to a location or risk losing money if the property value declines.

Tax Implications

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As owning a house is such a big investment, you can be taxed when it comes to selling the property. There is a possibility that you’ll have to pay capital gains tax on any profit you make, which can be a big cost for homeowners.

Seasonal Maintenance

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As a homeowner, it is essential that you keep your property in good order to ensure it retains its value. This includes seasonal servicing of HVAC systems, heating systems, and air conditioning to prevent expensive repairs and maintain their efficiency.

Local Service and Utility Deposits

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Moving to a new home often requires paying deposits for utilities like electricity, gas, water, and sewer services, which can add up. There might also be fees for changing your address on your legal documents and vehicle registration. Plus, you might need to set up postal forwarding to ensure any mail gets to you.

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