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The Top 2 Costs of Homeownership in Arlington, VA, and Elsewhere – Part Two of Two

The Top 2 Costs of Homeownership in Arlington, VA, and Elsewhere – Part Two of Two

HI! Ready for the second part of last week Wednesday’s post of the top 2 cost categories of homeownership?

The second cost category is ongoing expenses. Here are my top 5.
1. Exterior maintenance – If you have other than a condo that has no exterior maintenance done by the owner, you will have maintenance costs on the outside of your home. Big ticket items are roof, driveway, windows, painting and septic and well maintenance, if your home does not have public sewer and water.

"Exterior maintenance is crucial to your home's health." Ken Courtade

“Exterior maintenance is crucial to your home’s health.” Ken Courtade

2. Interior maintenance – You will need to maintain in great working order all appliances, flooring, walls, and electrical and plumbing systems, to name a few items. The latter two are the most costly. Keeping up on their ongoing care, by-the-way, is less costly than an eventual repair or replacement! So, my advice is to put the care in your calendar – one item is to simply replace the HVAC filter regularly.

3. Utilities – If you are buying a house, ask your agent to acquire from the seller their ongoing utility costs. This will give you a good idea of what yours might be, for budgeting purposes.

4. Homeowner (HOA) association or condo association fees – These may be due monthly, quarterly or yearly. Condo fees are typically monthly and HOA fee schedules vary by association. When preparing to buy, ask what the fees cover – some cover little; others cover even water, etc.

5. And the BIG one: Principal, interest, taxes and insurance – known, affectionately, as PITI – If you have a fixed rate mortgage, your payment will remain the same each month, while taxes and insurance may increase. When your property value is assessed by the jurisdiction you live in, as it is in Arlington County, if your tax assessment increases and your lender is escrowing taxes to pay them for you and the full yearly amount is spread over each month, your monthly outlay increases.

I hope this was helpful. Especially if you are a first time home buyer, please look to an expert who will help you to forsee and plan for your costs. A little bit of planning can even help you to reduce some of the costs. Please call on me with questions, or post them here.

Have a great day!


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