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How Much Does Homeownership Actually Cost?

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How Much Does Homeownership Actually Cost?

A new study breaks down the costs of owning a home, from the initial down payment to utilities and everything in between

September 7, 2023
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Image: Achira22 / stock.adobe.com

Buying and subsequently owning a home entails more expenses than just a down payment and a mortgage approval. A recent study by Self, a credit-building company, looked at the real costs of homeownership nationally and in each state. Assuming 13.2 years of ownership and a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage at 5.26% (rising since), the study factored in closing costs, moving expenses, insurance, property taxes, maintenance, and utilities. 

On average, a three-bedroom home valued at $355,892 required a total expenditure of $623,290, with $270,593 allocated to mortgage payments and $192,139 to maintenance. Hawaiians spent the most ($1,482,229) and West Virginians the least ($321,194) over 13.2 years, The New York Times reports.

So, that average-value three-bedroom home ended up requiring an outlay of about $623,290 over 13.2 years of ownership. Mortgage payments alone accounted for $270,593 of that, with maintenance and repairs adding up to $192,139. Utility payments came out to $54,662, surpassing the initial down payment of $46,266.

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