Buying a house is a dream for most Americans. It's great to have a place that you can call your own. With that said, when you're on the market for a home, you shouldn't just look at the listing price when determining whether a property is affordable or not. There are plenty of additional hidden expenses that you'll need to pay for each year that can really affect whether a property is affordable or not. This article will look at 3 of these hidden expenses to take into consideration before making an offer.
The Rising Cost of the Annual Property Tax
Even though the home may seem affordable from its listing price, it's crucial to consider whether you'll be able to afford the annual property tax attached to the home. In some cases, the property tax could exceed thousands of dollars. If you fail to pay the property tax, it often becomes a lien against your home in most states. This means that the tax collector will have a right to sell your home when they attempt to collect past payments. Property tax is often a huge burden for homeowners. In fact, the average household spends $2,127 each year on property taxes.
Speak to a realtor to determine what the estimated annual property taxes for the home may be. It's also vital to consider whether the property taxes have risen in cost in the past couple of years so you know what you can expect in the future.
The Price Tag for Sufficient Insurance Coverage
Renovating and repairing your home can be costly in the event of a natural disaster or an unexpected event. For example, you definitely don't want to be held liable for paying for all of the repairs needed after a flood. To protect yourself and your belongings, you should definitely purchase a home insurance plan with sufficient coverage for the area that you live in. The price tag for an adequate insurance policy will depend on the area that you live in and the risks that are involved with living in that area. For example, if you live in an area that is prone to floods, you'll likely have to pay extra for flood insurance.
The cost of your home insurance plan will also depend on how secure your area is and whether or not you've made any claims in the past. Although it's tempting to pay for less coverage, keep in mind that there are risks involved. With less coverage, you won't receive the compensation that you need should anything unexpected happen. As a result, you might end up paying for some expenses from your own pocket.
The Amount of Fees Payable to the City for Their Services
In addition to property tax and home insurance, you might also be responsible for paying certain fees to the city for the services that they provide. For example, if you rely on the city's sewer system or their waste removal services, you should expect a bill at the end of each year. The cost of these services should also be taken into account, as they are often mandatory services that you simply cannot unsubscribe from. The cost of these services can amount to several hundred dollars a year.
On top of service fees, it's also vital to consider whether there are any bylaws that you need to be aware of. Violations of certain bylaws can come with hefty fines and penalties. Although you can obviously do your best to avoid violations, it's still a good idea to take a look at the penalties and fees that are typically charged to determine whether you would be able to afford living in the community.
Buying a place is often not as simple as it looks. There are many factors that will weigh into your decision and need to be taken into consideration. To determine whether a place is affordable or not, you should speak to your realtor. Your realtor will be able to provide you with some further insight.