Beyond the mortgage: Other costs for homeowners

May 26, 2022

Learn about the costs associated with homeownership aside from your mortgage so you – and your pocketbook – are prepared.

 

It’s a truth you can’t avoid: A mortgage is hardly the end of a homeowners’ monthly bills. In fact, additional homeownership costs average $9,000 annually, according to a study by Zillow and Thumbtack. To help you prepare, we’ve compiled some other key expenses to keep in mind when crafting a realistic monthly budget as a new homeowner, including contributions to a dedicated savings fund that can help you stay financially secure through it all.

 

1. Tax and insurance

You’re probably aware that your monthly mortgage payments target some principal, or initial loan amount, as well as interest on what you borrowed. But don’t forget to factor in two other expenses: property taxes and homeowner’s insurance.

Your property taxes include annual fees for local municipal services, maintenance and salaries, which can vary greatly from community to community. If escrowed, they would be broken up into installments and paid through your mortgage holder.

Homeowner’s insurance is usually required by your mortgage company to protect their asset (aka your home). And if you put less than 20 percent of the total purchase price down on your home, you’ll likely pay Private Mortgage Insurance, or PMI, too. This is to ensure that your lender still nets some cash if you stop paying your loan. It’s absolutely possible to buy a home with a smaller down payment, but if you do have at least 20 percent available to put down, that could turn out to be a real money-saver in the long run.

 

2. Household necessities and maintenance

It’s easy to underestimate how much you’ll spend at the outset on everyday items that help your home run smoothly. A whole home’s worth of cleaning supplies really adds up, not to mention rugs, shower curtains, garbage cans, organizational helpers, tools and all the many other items that help keep your new home running smoothly.

General maintenance and upgrades are an ongoing expense, too. Think: Furnace filter replacement (every three months!), high-efficiency light bulbs, seasonal HVAC inspections, chimney cleaning, appliance upgrades and more. It all adds up, so be sure to budget accordingly.

 

3. Curb appeal

Your home likely contains some combination of a lawn, walkway and driveway to take care of. Depending on where you live and your commitment level, that means accumulating and maintaining certain tools, such as:

  • Lawn mower
  • Hedge trimmer
  • Weed whacker
  • Rakes
  • Brooms
  • Shovels
  • Sprinklers and hoses
     

You may also want to set aside some extra money for gardening and landscaping costs. (This can include everything from plants, mulch, containers, decorative edging and more.)

Then there’s the exterior of your home. Beyond optional primping, like an eye-catching door color and cheery window boxes, you’ll want to consider siding that may need to be repaired and fences that may need painting. You’ll need to clear your gutters yearly, and perhaps stain your deck and pressure wash your patio, too.

 

4. Interior decorating

Only you can determine your accurate monthly budget for this category, loosely connected to the age and state of your home as well as your HGTV viewing habits and tendency to wander down the Pinterest rabbit hole. From hand towels, rugs and throw pillows to the latest kitchen or home-tech gadget, surely low-key comforts will sometimes show up on your monthly shopping list.

When you start thinking about big-ticket items such as furniture, floors or wall coverings, as well as additions or remodels, it’s time to save or look into a home equity line of credit, which lets you tap into your home’s value for improvements to increase it.

 

5. Emergencies

The sooner you come to terms with the fact that out-of-the-blue expenses are just part of being a homeowner, the better off you’ll be. Pipes burst. Storms damage roofs. Squirrels take up residence in attics. Though you can’t control nature, or the effects of use and time, you can save up monthly for any surprise they’ll eventually spring on you. Have a dedicated savings account for home emergencies in particular, and you’ll rest easy knowing the money’s ready and waiting to do its assigned job.

However you finance these household costs, plan ahead and factor them into your budget so you’re financially prepared to invest in your home and address whatever it needs. Remember, homes offer return on investment when treated right.

 

A mortgage loan officer is a great person to have by your side to help you navigate from beginning to end. Get connected with a mortgage loan officer today.

Related content

Key components of a financial plan

Annual insurance review checklist

Don’t underestimate the importance of balancing your checking account

Multiple accounts can make it easier to follow a monthly budget

Preparing for retirement: 8 steps to take

Financial steps to take after the death of a spouse

Mortgage basics: Finding the right home loan for you

Mortgage basics: How much house can you afford?

Uncover the cost: Building a home

Retirement advice: How to retire happy

10 ways to increase your home’s curb appeal

6 tips for trust fund distribution to beneficiaries

4 reasons why estate planning is important

How to talk about money with your family

Estate planning documents: Living trusts vs. will vs. living will

Reviewing your beneficiaries: A 5-step guide

How to protect your digital assets in your estate plan

LGBTQ+ retirement planning: What you need to know

Retirement income planning: 4 steps to take

Good money habits: 6 common money mistakes to avoid

Is a Health Savings Account missing from your retirement plan?

Your 4-step guide to financial planning

How grandparents can contribute to college funds instead of buying gifts

Saving vs. investing: What's the difference?

How does money influence your planning?

4 ways to free up your budget (and your life) with a smaller home

Loud budgeting explained: Amplify your money talk

LGBTQ+ financial planning tips

Do your investments match your financial goals?

The secret to successful service provider integration

Insource or outsource? 10 considerations

Housing market trends and relocation impact

Retirement savings by age

5 things to avoid that can devalue your home

What are conforming loan limits and why are they increasing

Key milestone ages as you near and start retirement

Should I itemize my taxes?

8 steps to take before you buy a home

Preparing for retirement: 8 steps to take

Unexpected cost savings may be hiding in your payment strategy

Lost job finance tips: What to do when you lose your job

Money Moments: How to finance a home addition

Checklist: 6 to-dos for after a move

Transitioning from the military to the civilian workforce

Finance or operating lease? Deciphering the legalese of equipment finance

Working with an accountability partner can help you reach your goals

What to do with your tax refund or bonus

What’s the difference between Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

High-cost housing and down payment options in relocation

3 financial tools to help automate your finances

How I did it: Bought a home without a 20 percent down payment

Crypto + Relo: Mobility industry impacts

Changes in credit reporting and what it means for homebuyers

For today's relocating home buyers, time and money are everything

How to increase your savings

How to gain financial independence from your parents

How to Adult: 5 ways to track your spending

Checklist: 10 questions to ask your home inspector

Closing on a house checklist for buyers

How compound interest works

How to track expenses

How to build wealth at any age

5 tips for parents opening a bank account for kids

Investment strategies by age

These small home improvement projects offer big returns on investment

5 financial goals for the new year

How to get started creating your business plan

How to financially prepare for pet costs

The lowdown on 6 myths about buying a home

What documents do you need after a loved one dies?

Checklist: financial recovery after a natural disaster

3 steps to prepare for a medical emergency

Family planning for the LGBTQ+ community

How to plan and save for adoption and in vitro fertility treatment costs

Preparing for adoption and IVF

11 essential things to do before baby comes

Webinar: Uncover the cost: Starting a family

3 tips for saving money when moving to a new home

5 ways to maximize your garage sale profits 

Pros and cons of a personal line credit

Tips for handling rising costs from an Operation HOPE Financial Wellbeing coach

Tips to earn that A+ in back-to-school savings

How to manage money tips

For today's homebuyers, time and money are everything

Mindset Matters: How to practice mindful spending

Uncover the cost: International trip

Uncover the cost: Wedding

What is Medicare? Understanding your coverage options

Using 529 plans for K-12 tuition

Retirement plan options for the self-employed

How to open and invest in a 529 plan

How to manage your finances when you're self-employed

Safeguarding the payment experience through contactless

COVID-19 safety recommendations: Are you ready to reopen?

Buying or leasing? Questions to ask before signing a contract

Does your side business need a separate bank account?

How to choose the right business savings account

The costs of hiring a new employee

5 steps to take before transitioning your business

Make your business legit

How to establish your business credit score

Talent acquisition 101: Building a small business dream team

10 tips on how to run a successful family business

How to sell your business without emotions getting in the way

How to save money while helping the environment

How to expand your business: Does a new location make sense?

Is raising backyard chickens a good idea financially?

7 steps to prepare for the high cost of child care

How to decide when to shop local and when to shop online

5 myths about emergency funds

How to save for a wedding

How I did it: Turned my side hustle into a full-time job

Stay on budget — and on the go — with a mobile banking app

5 things to consider when deciding to take an unplanned trip

5 tips for creating (and sticking to) a holiday budget

How to test new business ideas

How can I help my student manage money?

Bank from home with these digital features

7 steps to keep your personal and business finances separate

8 steps to choosing a health insurance plan

7 things to know about long-term care insurance

Year-end financial checklist

4 steps to finding a charity to support

How to winterize your vehicle

What you need to know as the executor of an estate

How to build a content team

Year end tax planning tips

How to manage money in the military: A veteran weighs in

How do I prequalify for a mortgage?

Can you take advantage of the dead equity in your home?

Home equity: Small ways to improve the value of your home

Is a home equity line of credit (HELOC) right for you?

How to use your home equity to finance home improvements

Should you get a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit?

6 questions to ask before buying a new home

What is an escrow account? Do I have one?

Quiz: How prepared are you to buy a home?

10 questions to ask when hiring a contractor

What to know when buying a home with your significant other

What is a home equity line of credit (HELOC) and what can it be used for?

Dear Money Mentor: When should I refinance a mortgage?

Building a dream home that fits your life

Are professional movers worth the cost?

Beyond the mortgage: Other costs for homeowners

How I did it: Bought my dream home using equity

Get more home for your money with these tips

Saving for a down payment: Where should I keep my money?

How I did it: Built living spaces to support my family

Managing the impacts of appraisal gaps in a hot housing market

Is it the right time to refinance your mortgage?

Spring cleaning checklist for your home: 5 budget-boosting tasks

Overcoming high interest rates: Getting your homeownership goals back on track

Home buying myths: Realities of owning a home

House Hacks: How buying an investment property worked as my first home

Should you buy a house that’s still under construction?

10 uses for a home equity loan

Know your debt-to-income ratio

Your guide to breaking the rental cycle

Travel for less: Smart (not cheap) ways to spend less on your next trip

Should you buy now, pay later?

U.S. Bank asks: Do you know what an overdraft is?

Tips for working in the gig economy

Which is better: Combining bank accounts before marriage — or after?

Tips to overcome three common savings hurdles

Money Moments: 8 dos and don’ts for saving money in your 30s

Save time and money with automatic bill pay

Money Moments: 3 smart financial strategies when caring for aging parents

Helpful tips for safe and smart charitable giving

Growing your savings by going on a ‘money hunt’

Why a mobile banking app is a ‘must have’ for your next vacation

Tips to raise financially healthy kids at every age

Is it time to get a shared bank account with your partner?

How I kicked my online shopping habit and got my spending under control

Friction: How it can help achieve money goals

It's possible: 7 tips for breaking the spending cycle

What to consider before taking out a student loan

Financial checklist: Preparing for military deployment

Here’s how to create a budget for yourself

Webinar: Common budget mistakes (and how to avoid them)

Checking and savings smarts: Make your accounts work harder for you

Are savings bonds still a thing?

3 awkward situations Zelle can help avoid

Allowance basics for parents and kids

9 simple ways to save

Do you and your fiancé have compatible financial goals?

3 ways to keep costs down at the grocery store (and make meal planning fun)

What military service taught me about money management

From LLC to S-corp: Choosing a small business entity

Is online banking safe?

Recognize. React. Report. Caregivers can help protect against financial exploitation

College budgeting: When to save and splurge

How I did it: Paid off student loans

How to save money in college: easy ways to spend less

Costs to consider when starting a business

Questions to ask before buying a car

Adulting 101: How to make a budget plan

You can take these 18 budgeting tips straight to the bank

How I did it: Learned to budget as a single mom

Multigenerational household financial planning strategies

Buying a home Q&A: What made three homeowners fall in love with their new home

Working after retirement: Factors to consider

Personal loans first-timer's guide: 7 questions to ask

Consolidating debts: Pros and cons to keep in mind

Improving your credit score: Truth and myths revealed

Dear Money Mentor: How do I set and track financial goals?

Understanding guardianship and power of attorney in banking

What I learned from my mom about money

6 ways to spring clean your finances and save money year-round

How to cut mindless spending: real tips from real people

What financial advice would you give your younger self?

How to stop living paycheck to paycheck post-pay increase

Practical money tips we've learned from our dads

What you need to know about renting

What’s in your emergency fund?

Certificates of deposit: How they work to grow your money

Dear Money Mentor: How do I pick a savings or checking account?

Car shopping: Buying versus leasing your next vehicle

How I did it: Deciding whether to buy an RV

What you should know about buying a car

Take the stress out of buying your teen a car

Practical money skills and financial tips for college students

Tips for navigating a medical hardship when you’re unable to work

Money management guide to financial independence

Money Moments: How to manage your finances after a divorce

Personal finance for teens can empower your child

5 reasons why couples may have separate bank accounts

U.S. Bank asks: Transitioning out of college life? What’s next?

How to use debt to build wealth

How having savings gives you peace of mind

30-day adulting challenge: Financial wellness tasks to complete in a month

Money Moments: Tips for selling your home

How I did it: My house remodel

First-timer’s guide to savings account alternatives

Does your savings plan match your lifestyle?

3 tips for saving money easily

Resources for managing financial matters after an unexpected death

Webinar: Uncover the cost: College diploma

Crypto + Homebuying: Impacts on the real estate market

Myths vs. facts about savings account interest rates

Military homeownership: Your guide to resources, financing and more

U.S. Bank asks: Do you know your finances?

Webinar: Bank Notes: College cost comparison

Do I need a financial advisor?

Healthcare costs in retirement: Are you prepared?

Good debt vs. bad debt: Know the difference

Preparing for homeownership: A guide for LGBTQ+ homebuyers

Parent checklist: Preparing for college

U.S. Bank asks: What do you know about credit?

7 financial questions to consider when changing jobs

Webinar: 5 myths about emergency funds

How to best handle unexpected expenses

Unexpected cost savings may be hiding in your payment strategy

Start of disclosure content

Loan approval is subject to credit approval and program guidelines. Not all loan programs are available in all states for all loan amounts. Interest rate and program terms are subject to change without notice. Mortgage, Home Equity and Credit products are offered through U.S. Bank National Association. Deposit products are offered through U.S. Bank National Association. Member FDIC.