Do you know what your Atlanta house is really costing you? The costs of home ownership are often much more than you might think. In our latest post, we explore what it costs to own a house in Atlanta.
Many people find themselves holding on to a property they might use someday. Or maybe they live in a house that isn’t really right for them because they don’t want to deal with the hassles of moving. Or maybe they are the reluctant owners of a house they inherited and they aren’t sure what to do with it. You should never settle when it comes to real estate. There are so many houses out there, you don’t have to feel stuck or burdened by a house you don’t want. If you need some more motivation to sell your unwanted Atlanta house, take a look at how much it is costing you to own it. Of course, every house is different and will not incur all of these expenses, however here are some numbers so you can get an idea of what you are really paying to own your Atlanta house.
Your mortgage is the largest and most obvious cost of owning a home. This is a huge portion of your monthly income, so make sure it is going to a property you love.
If you opted for an FHA loan when buying your Atlanta house, you are paying for a secondary mortgage insurance. An FHA loan requires a lower down payment than a conventional loan, which means more risk to the lender. Insurance premiums are set by the Federal Housing Authority depending on your LTV ratio.
Property taxes vary by area, but will typically run a few thousand dollars each year. It is smart to set aside a few hundred dollars each month so you are prepared for your property taxes at the end of the year.
Utility payments can vary widely, but we all know how quickly they can add up. When you factor in the electric, water, sewer, trash, gas, cable and internet, you could be looking at a few hundred dollars each month. This can add up to thousands of dollars over the course of a year.
The cost of homeowners insurance varies widely depending on the type of house as well as the location. The average cost is over $1,200 per year for a house valued at $200,000 per insurance.com. Homeowners insurance is there to protect you from damages caused by storms, fire, and lightning. However, some natural disasters aren’t covered by homeowners insurance, such as flooding and earthquakes. Make sure you understand what your policy includes and purchase additional coverage as necessary.
Maintenance and Repairs
Once you own a house, you will find you are taking many more trips to the local hardware store. When you rent, maintenance and repair costs are covered by the landlord. When you start paying these expenses for yourself, you discover just how much it can be. Paint touch ups, cracked tiles, stained carpet, exterior painting and so much more. Often times the major repairs are needed out of nowhere like when the water heater stops working or a major pipe breaks. Once you are a homeowner, these costs are all on you!
Unfortunately, most yards don’t groom themselves. Lawn service can be well over $100 each month depending on where you live and how often your house is being serviced. You might opt to take care of the landscaping yourself, in which case you should factor in how much your time is worth. Even if you love working outside, most people don’t want to spend every Sunday weeding. At some point, you will likely find yourself hiring a professional for one-time or weekly maintenance.
The Value of Your Time
How much is your time worth? As a homeowner, you will spend much more time working on the property as compared to the average renter. You will be spending your free time cleaning gutters, mowing the lawn, cleaning the attic, organizing the garage… all things renters will typically avoid.