$12,000 a Year: The Hidden Costs of Owning a Home in the DC Area

  • August 22nd 2018

by Nena Perry-Brown

While buying a home may be cheaper than renting for those staying put for at least seven years, homeownership costs extend beyond mortgage payments. The most recent Zillow and Thumbtack analysis breaks down the hidden costs associated with homeownership.

The report finds homeowners nationwide can expect to pay nearly $9,400 annually in hidden costs associated with owning and maintaining their home — an increase of $320 from last year. Mandatory costs such as property taxes ($2,239), utilities ($3,001) and homeowner’s insurance ($1,087) make up $6,327 of that total. The remaining costs are for “optional” maintenance, rangin from gutter cleaning to HVAC repair and lawn care.

Given that home prices are high in the DC area compared to the rest of the country, homeownership's unavoidable annual costs are similarly higher, totaling $9,234 ($4,056 for property taxes, $3,181 for utilities and $1,998 for homeowner’s insurance). Optional maintenance in the DC area is less costly, however, coming in at $2,790 annually. Below is a table showing how those costs break down in the DC area.

$12,000 a Year: The Hidden Costs of Owning a Home in the DC Area: Figure 1
Data from Zillow and Thumbtack. Click to enlarge.

Utility costs are from UtilityScore’s zip code-level data; maintenance costs are metro-wide averages of thousands of quotes from service providers on the six most popular services in each area. Homeowner's insurance figures are based on 0.5 percent of the median home value for the metro area.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/12024-a-year-the-hidden-costs-of-owning-a-home-in-the-dc-area/14343.

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