Money at 30: 3 Homeowner Costs that Add to Your Monthly Bill

It’s happening again: suddenly my wife and I are finding ourselves spending time searching Zillow and looking at the pretty homes available in our area. Plus, unlike the last time we played this game, the amount of money we have available for a possible down payment is reaching a respectable (but not yet complete) level. But, at the same time, we’re very aware that there are plenty of other monthly expenses that go into owning a home beyond the mortgage itself that tend to make the dream of homeownership less desirable.

Most recently we were reminded of some of these fees after speaking with my mother who purchased a condo just a few months ago. This got me thinking perhaps it was time to revisit this topic and highlight a few expenses that can certainly hike up the monthly price you pay to own your home.

Homeowners association fees

These might not apply to everyone but, when they are in effect, they can be pretty steep. If you’re not familiar, many neighborhoods employ a homeowners association that requires owners in the area to pay dues. These dues are typically paid monthly, quarterly, or yearly and can cover things like community landscaping and various amenities. Of course the HOA will also have a set of rules meant to keep the neighborhood beautiful and quiet that all residents will need to obey. In other words, you may end up paying extra just to have someone tell you what to do.

Obviously the HOA fee will depend on several things, such as how many amenities the community offers. Additionally they are typically subject to go up over time. Because of this you’ll certainly want to not only know what HOA fees will apply before getting your heart set on a house but also understand all the association rules to ensure that your plans won’t run afoul of them.


While not all homeowners will be subjected to HOA fees, the vast majority will be required to have homeowners insurance — at least if you’re financing your house purchase. That’s likely why approximately 95% of those who own homes have a homeowners insurance policy.

In many cases, your mortgage lender will actually arrange it so that you can make your insurance payment with your mortgage. However you’ll still be responsible for choosing your insurance carrier and policy. And of course these premiums will raise the amount you pay each month to own your home, so you’ll definitely want to factor this expense in when setting your house buying budget.

Property taxes

Okay, depending on a great number of factors, you may not end up paying property taxes monthly. Some states may require you to pay them annually while others might be quarterly or twice yearly. However, like with homeowners insurance, some lenders may also enable you to pay off your property tax obligations via monthly payments and an escrow account. No matter how often you end up paying, this is yet another cost you’ll need to consider when house shopping.

After being once again reminded about these expenses and others, it’s easy to see why so many Millennials report regretting their house purchase. Additionally, with these costs in mind, it will probably be a while longer before my wife and I are ready to take the plunge into homeownership. That said, if you’re looking to purchase your first home or a new home in a different area, you’ll definitely want to research these three expenses and ensure that the house you’re eyeing still meets your budget.


Kyle Burbank

Kyle is a freelance writer and author whose first book, "The E-Ticket Life" is now available on Amazon. In addition to his weekly "Money at 30" column on Dyer News, he is also the editorial director and a writer for the Disney fan site and has recently starting publsihing his own personal finance blog at

Other Articles by Kyle Burbank

Money at 30: T-Mobile Dining Rewards

Over the years, wireless network provider T-Mobile has routinely ventured outside of the realm of telecommunications. A prime example of this is the brand's banking account T-Mobile Money. On top of that, the company has been known for its various "on Us" and "thankings" for consumers, such as its T-Mobile Tuesdays promotions. In that same vein, the brand has now introduced T-Mobile Dining Rewards, allowing customers to earn cashback on...

Money at 30: Why Does Decluttering Feel Like Saving Money?

A few weeks ago, I shared that I was going on a bit of a subscription cancelation binge — and, let me tell you, I've been on a high ever since. In fact, after slashing those costs and racking up savings, I was inspired to keep the good times rolling... except how? Well, after sitting with this feeling, I realized that what I really wanted to do was engage in...

Money at 30: Digital Nomadism Revisited

A few years back, I shared that listening to a podcast had sent me down a rabbit hole exploring the world of digital nomadism. At the time, I'd firmly concluded that the lifestyle wasn't for me. Yet, more recently, the topic has once again come up in conversations between me and my wife. That's partially due to our current frustrations with our apartment complex and wondering what surprises await us...

Personally I have been thinking between owning and renting but what keeps me from buying a house is all those responsibilities and membership fees, as of now I think I’ll just settle to renting.

These are of course valid added monthy expenses that comes with owning your own house but it can pretty much get costly.

Comments are closed.