Homeownership comes with many joys and financial perks. But investing in a new home can also include hidden costs you might forget to consider when estimating your homebuying budget.
With the Napa Valley real estate market still highly competitive, it’s important to know before you start looking just what you can afford. That way, you’ll be able to make an earnest money offer more quickly and confidently, knowing you’re capable of meeting your financial obligations.
Buying Napa Valley Real Estate: It’s More Than the Purchase Price
As any qualified real estate agent can tell you, there’s much more to buying a home than the mortgage. Though most buyers know about closing costs and fees, some of the items on this list of nine hidden costs often come as a surprise.
- Property taxes. The “average effective property tax rate” in Napa County is .68 percent, and the median property tax payment is $3,342 on a $571,500 home. Though some lenders roll your property tax payment into your mortgage, you still need to account for them in your budget.
- Homeowner’s insurance. This, too, might be included in your monthly mortgage, and it could go up and down depending on your coverage needs.
- Utility costs. The cost of utilities is often surprising to first-time buyers who are used to landlords covering these expenses. In urban and rural areas, utilities can include water and sewer, septic, garbage pickup, electric, gas, propane, cable, and internet.
- HOA fees. Homeowner association fees are typically found in condo, townhome, and planned single-family home communities. Dues vary widely but generally range from $200 to $400 per month.
- Exterior maintenance. Driveway repairs, landscaping, tree care, deck maintenance, and leaf removal are just some of the services you’ll need to pay for over the course of a year.
- Home improvements. Painting, window coverings, and new lighting are just a few of the items you might need to invest in. And if your home’s roof is up in age, you’ll want to plan for replacing it.
- Appliances. Even if the original appliances are included in the sale, you may, depending on how hold they are, need to replace them within the first few years of homeownership.
- HVAC system. Even if your heating and cooling system is relatively new, you should budget for biannual maintenance and DIY tasks like replacing filters.
- Electrical and plumbing. A home inspection finds significant problems with these systems. However, if they haven’t been upgraded in recent years, you might need to invest in things like a new panel, energy-efficient water heater, or installing a smart home system.
Talk to a Real Estate Agent About Other Hidden Costs When Buying a Home
From security systems to moving costs, your Napa Valley real estate agent can help you identify what other unexpected costs you might encounter when buying a home. Talk to one of the agents at St. Helena Real Estate today to learn more.