HomePersonal FinanceWhen Computing Housing Costs You Have to Remember…

When Computing Housing Costs You Have to Remember…

Money Expenses

When deciding whether to purchase a house, condo, townhouse or co-op most people tend to forget the ancillary costs associated with owning that home.  This topic came up the other week when I asked a buddy how living with in-laws went when he was in house purgatory (sold his house but didn’t close on his new one).   He was ecstatic with how much money he saved month, and it got me to thinking how much money moving in with The Parents would save The Wife and I.

Ancillary Costs of Owning a Home

I am well aware that unless something dramatically changes in my life I will never have a roommate, and it is very unlikely that I’ll ever move in with my parents or the in laws but a guy can dream, right? Vertex has a fantastic spreadsheet to try and help new home buyers, but it only has the purchase price and home improvements, but what else would I save on besides the standard purchase discussion?

  • Electricity/Gas/Heat
  • Cable/Internet ($130/month)
  • Homeowner’s Insurance
  • Maintenance (UGH, $300/month for my Townhouse)
  • Taxes ($4,500/yr)
  • Food (would be lower)

I live in new constructions so I haven’t had to fix many things, but I have still got hit with expenses for:

  • My upstairs toilet leaked causing the infamous bubble in sheet rock on my downstairs ceiling

Since getting anyone to come to your house costs, at a minimum a couple hundred bucks, I could imagine this category could get pricey.  If I ever convince The Wife to move in with The Mom and The Pops the additional savings would probably be over $3,000 a month! Ah living the dream lol.

Enough about me and saving crazy cash, What else should New Homeowners think of?



  1. Very true. Another factor people often forget is inflation. I don’t know what will happen but I am betting (with my investments) that inflation in general, and rental inflation in particular, will be significant (I would guess over 4% annually for the next 10 years). Buying has increased maintenance costs but it also, often (though not always) has increasing monthly rent over time – while mortgage payments increase pretty slowly (due to real estate tax increases – largely on the increasing value). Now it is true we don’t know rental rates will increase but I believe they will.

    • Very interesting point. Inflation also can be brought up in terms of your monthly payment to the company vs your income.

  2. Good points. I would add maintenance even if you don’t pay it monthly. This may include painting the exterior, interior, appliance replacement, carpeting, flooring, etc depending how long you live there. If you live there long enough, you sustain remodeling costs.

  3. You mentioned new constructions and limited early maintenance…that’s a good point.

    My parents moved within the last couple of years. My uncle just so happens to have his own carpentry/construction, single-person “business” so it was good to have his guidance on which builders put out the best homes.

    Some of the homes they considered weren’t on his “well-built” list, but the one they eventually purchased was. So, not only is it important to account for maintenance, but also get some kind of “second opinion” on the build-quality of the home you’re about to buy.

    Sure, homes have to meet inspections, but why not buy a home that not only meets minimums, but beats them with…say, better liner between the walls and showers or adequate fans, etc?

    • Man having someone like your Uncle is so huge! We had my father’s buddy come with us to the home inspection and he just rattled off stuff for the builder to fix.

  4. Don’t forget the water, sewer, and garbage fees.

    Compounds, that’s what we need. Family compounds. Single pieces of property with several dwellings, preferably freestanding with no shared walls. The parents, the siblings, the aunts, the uncles…they all live in the compound and share costs. And the babysitting. And the cooking and the mowing. And the driving. Yup. Sounds better & better the more I think about it.

    • Ha funny you said water…For whatever reason I have never paid a water bill. I called them twice 4 years ago and they just never fixed it ha

      Water by me is really cheap though, like $15 every couple months cheap. But, our electric is INSANE.

  5. Hi there. I just started working for Sam at and am so glad to have you in the network. I can totally relate to unanticipated plumbing and utility issues. Ah they can be such a nightmare. It’s not until something breaks that we can really appreciate how priceless hot running water and heat are.

  6. Transportation costs: getting to and from work, school, grabbing groceries, where their friends and family live if nearby, etc.

  7. Um, drat, everybody already covered the missing gaps…

    There is a small expense because of socialization with neighbors, but that’s not terrible. You’ll have neighborhood parties, not to mention the cost of poker parties! 🙂

    Okay I’m reaching… Your message is great though, especially with the Taxes!

  8. Just moved in the parents, hopefully only for a month. Using their enormous basement for storage, my mom is taking care of our baby (childcare is a killer) and we’re not spending a dime. I know it’s a tough decision but you will save a ton! We bought a foreclosure and i intend on fixing it up while at my parents house. We are moving to a smaller home so my wife can stay home with the baby, hopefully the ancillary costs will go way down.

  9. Most people just think of the mortgage and not about taxes and insurance and all the other costs. If you aren’t aware of them it could lead to a big surprise.

  10. We also pay for garbage/recycling service. Your maintenance fee for the townhome probably includes that & yard service though.


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