Pittsburgh homeownership may come with some unanticipated costs to the new owner. Closing costs, down payment, and moving costs were covered when you purchased the home.
There is more to the cost of Pittsburgh homeownership than those initial costs incurred. Here are some of the hidden costs of homeownership.
- Home maintenance and repair.
Costs for home maintenance and repair can be a significant expense. If you had a home warranty provided with your home purchase, you might be able to alleviate some of the cost of repairs. Some areas of maintenance and repair include:
- Lawn maintenance
- Gutter maintenance
- Pest prevention
- Exterior maintenance
- Roof maintenance
- HVAC maintenance
- Plumbing maintenance
- Emergency repairs
- Home Owners Insurance
Home owner’s insurance is an expense you would expect to have during your Pittsburgh homeownership. Your mortgage lender probably required you to escrow for your insurance payments. Where most homeowners are surprised by is learning what is and isn’t covered under their policy. You need to understand what your policy will cover and the deductible you would be expected to pay out of pocket if you needed to utilize the policy.
You may also need to obtain additional insurance. There are specific riders available that will cover items not covered under the basic policy. Examples would be a personal property rider or a sewer and water line rider.
It is essential to review your policy periodically with your insurance agent and keep it up to date.
- Property Taxes
Your property taxes may increase throughout your ownership. An increase could be due to a change in your property assessment or an increase in the tax rate. If the assessed value of your home is significantly lower than the sales price, there is a possibility that you will experience an increase early in your homeownership. Proper planning can help eliminate the surprise of any increase in property taxes.
- Utility Expenses
Finding out the total utility expense to maintain a home can be surprising if you have not previously owned a home. Renters may have had their utilities included in their rent and may not have seen a monthly utility bill.
Costs can also vary from season to season.
We recommend that you ask for an average utility cost from the seller before closing on a home to give you an idea of what you will need to budget. The number of household members may vary, making a difference in cost, but their numbers will give you a good basis to budget.
- HOA Fees
If you live in a community with a homeowners association, you most likely will be paying a monthly, quarterly, or annual fee to the association. These fees vary from community to community-based on what the association will cover for the homeowner.
Be sure you understand the items that are the association’s responsibility and the things that are the homeowner’s responsibility. You may assume something is covered, and when you need the repair later, learn it will be your responsibility to repair.
Your new home may be further from your place of employment than your old home. Whether you are driving or taking public transportation, you may experience an increased cost in getting to work.
These are some of the hidden costs of Pittsburgh homeownership that you may not have considered. Understanding these costs and preparing for them in your budget will help you create a realistic spending plan.
The SAYHAY Team offers a free consultation to home buyers and home sellers to help eliminate some of the surprises of homeownership. Contact The SAYHAY Team to schedule your free consultation at 412-755-3600.