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The Hidden Costs of Buying a Home: What You Need to Know

Ilan Benshoshan is a 25-year real estate agent at CRG PROPERTIES , I understand that purchasing a home is one of the most significant investments you’ll ever make. While the initial cost of buying a home is substantial, it’s essential to be aware of the ongoing expenses associated with homeownership. Here, we’ll explore the costs you must consider maintaining your investment and ensure a smooth homeownership experience.

1. Property Taxes

Property taxes are a significant ongoing expense for homeowners. The amount you pay depends on the assessed value of your property and the local tax rate. Property taxes can be particularly high in New Jersey, so it’s crucial to factor this into your budget. Property taxes fund essential services like schools, roads, and emergency services, making them a vital part of homeownership.

2. Homeowners Insurance

Homeowners insurance is a necessity, providing financial protection against potential losses or damages to your home and personal property. The cost of insurance can vary based on factors such as the location of your home, its age, and the coverage you choose. Make sure to shop around for the best rates and coverage options to protect your investment adequately.

3. Maintenance and Repairs

Regular maintenance and unexpected repairs are inevitable parts of homeownership. From minor issues like a leaky faucet to significant repairs like a new roof, these costs can add up over time. It’s wise to set aside a maintenance budget, typically around 1-3% of your home’s value annually, to cover these expenses.

4. Utilities

Utility costs, including electricity, water, gas, and trash removal, are ongoing expenses that can vary widely depending on your location and usage. It’s essential to be mindful of these costs and practice energy-saving measures to keep your bills manageable.

5. Homeowners Association (HOA) Fees

If you purchase a home in a community with a homeowners association (HOA), you’ll likely need to pay monthly or annual fees. These fees cover the maintenance of common areas, amenities, and sometimes even certain utilities. Make sure to understand what the HOA fees include and budget accordingly.

6. Mortgage Insurance

If your down payment is less than 20% of the home’s purchase price, you may need to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI). PMI protects the lender in case you default on your loan. This cost is typically added to your monthly mortgage payment until you reach 20% equity in your home.

7. Pest Control

Regular pest control is necessary to protect your home from infestations that can cause damage and health issues. Depending on your location and the type of pests common in your area, this could be a monthly or quarterly expense.

8. Landscaping and Lawn Care

Maintaining your home’s exterior is essential for curb appeal and property value. Landscaping and lawn care costs can vary depending on the size of your yard and the level of maintenance required. Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, be sure to include this in your budget.

9. Appliances and System Replacements

Over time, major home systems and appliances will need to be repaired or replaced. This includes your HVAC system, water heater, kitchen appliances, and more. It’s a good idea to have a reserve fund for these inevitable expenses to avoid financial strain when they arise.

10. Security Systems

Investing in a home security system can provide peace of mind and protect your property. The cost of a security system can vary based on the level of monitoring and features you choose. Monthly monitoring fees are also something to consider.


Owning a home is a rewarding experience, but it’s essential to be prepared for the ongoing costs associated with maintaining your investment. By understanding and budgeting for these expenses, you can enjoy your home with confidence and peace of mind. At CRG HOMES, we’re here to help you navigate every step of the homeownership journey. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions or for personalized advice on your real estate needs.

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