5 Expenses Homeowners Pay That Renters Don't: A Guide for Houston, Texas Homebuyers
Owning a home is a dream for many people, but it's important to be aware of all the costs involved before you make the leap. In addition to the down payment and monthly mortgage payment, there are a number of other expenses that homeowners need to budget for. Here are five expenses that homeowners pay and renters don't:
1. Property taxes
Property taxes are a recurring expense that homeowners must pay to the local government. The amount of property tax you owe is based on the assessed value of your home, and it can vary from year to year. In Houston, the average property tax rate is 1.9%. The money collected from property taxes goes towards funding public services such as schools and roads. While it may seem like an additional burden for homeowners, paying these taxes contributes positively to improving their quality of life.
2. Homeowners Insurance
Homeowners insurance is another essential expense for homeowners. This type of insurance protects your home and its contents from damage or loss due to fire, theft, or other disasters. The cost of homeowners insurance varies depending on the size and value of your home, as well as your location.
3. Home maintenance and repairs
Homeownership comes with the responsibility of maintaining and repairing your home. This can include anything from repairing a faucet to refurnishing the floors. The cost of home maintenance and repairs can vary depending on the age and condition of your home. When you rent a home or apartment, most maintenance and repair issues are handled by the landlord or property management company. However, as a homeowner, it is up to you to take care of these tasks yourself or hire someone else to do them for you. Maintenance includes routine tasks such as cleaning gutters, changing air filters, and checking plumbing systems for leaks. Repairs may include fixing a leaky roof or repairing damaged flooring.
4. Home improvements
Home improvements are optional expenses, but they can add value to your home and make it more enjoyable to live in. Some common home improvement projects include painting, remodeling the kitchen or bathroom, and adding a deck or patio. The cost of home improvements will vary depending on the scope of the project.
5. Real estate agent fees
When you buy or sell a home, you'll need to hire a real estate agent. The realtor’s commission is typically 5-6% of the sale price of the home. This fee is paid by the seller, but it's important to factor it into your budget when you're considering buying a home.
In addition to these five expenses, there are a number of other costs that homeowners may need to budget for, such as HOA fees, lawn care, and snow removal. It's important to do your research and factor in all of these costs before you make the decision to buy a home.
If you're thinking about buying a home in Houston, Texas, be sure to contact a qualified real estate agent. They can help you find the right home for your budget and needs, and they can guide you through the home-buying process.
Here are some additional tips for Houston, Texas homebuyers:
- Start saving early for a down payment. The minimum down payment for a conventional mortgage is 3%, but you may be able to qualify for a loan with a lower down payment if you have good credit.
- Get pre-approved for a mortgage prior to looking for a home. This will give you an idea of how much you can afford to spend, and it will make the home-buying process go more smoothly.
- Be prepared to pay closing costs. Closing costs are fees linked to purchasing of a home. They can range from 2-5% of the purchase price of the home.
- Do your research on neighborhoods and schools. Before you buy a home, it's important to research the neighborhood and the schools in the area. This will help you make sure that you're choosing a home that's right for you and your family.
- Be patient. The home-buying process can be long and stressful, but it's important to be patient and don't give up. The right home is out there for you, and with a little patience, you'll find it.
Homeownership may look glamorous and appealing on the surface, but it comes with many hidden costs that renters don’t need to worry about. Unfortunately, these expenses can add up quickly and put a strain on your finances if you are not well-prepared. Thus, before making the big decision to become a homeowner, it is important to consider all of the potential expenses that come with owning a home so that you can budget accordingly for them. Fortunately, by doing this research in advance you can enter homeownership prepared for whatever unexpected costs may arise along the way!
If you're ready to start your homebuying journey, contact some of the qualified real estate agents in Houston, Texas today. Depending on your budget and needs, they can help you find the right house.
Jay Thomas real estate team qualifies to be among the most credible real estate agents in Houston, Texas. It is an absolute delight for our team to help and guide you through the entire process inclusive of all the direct & indirect expenses involved!