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What Expenses Will I Have When Buying a Home?

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

Many people get so excited at the prospect of owning their own home and dealing with the down payment and mortgage, that they overlook the many expenses that go into buying a home - both at the start and on an ongoing basis. Note that some of these fees might be up front, and others rolled into the total cost of your mortgage, in which case they can have a significant impact on the actual amount you will have to pay in the end each month.

A Deposit

Sometimes you will be asked for a deposit right away to secure a home. It will usually be part of your down payment. It should be refundable if the house does not pass inspection for any reason.

Home Inspection

Every house should be inspected to make sure there are no hidden issues that can end up costing you big time once you move in. The average price is around $500 in the US.

Title Deed Search and Transfer

The paperwork pertaining to the legal aspects of the property and its sale might be billed individually, or as part of the work a lawyer will do on your behalf to make sure the sale goes smoothly. The most important things are to be sure of the extent of the property, the right of the person to sell it to you, and any reasons why the house might not be eligible for sale - such as because it is located in a FEMA Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). This can hold up the whole sale, and/or require you to take out special flood insurance.

Homeowner’s Insurance

This will usually be required by the lender. In some cases, they might insist on their own insurance and add it as part of the monthly repayment. In other cases, you will have to shop around. However, this type of insurance is usually based on one’s credit score, so if your score is not good, you will end up paying more.

Mortgage Repayment Insurance

Some lenders require that you take out insurance just in case you won’t be able to pay back the mortgage. Again, this will usually be rolled into your monthly repayment.

Property Tax

This should be current at the time you are interested in buying the house, but if the sale drags on for some time, you could sign on the dotted line and then get slapped with the bill. In other cases, this will also be rolled into the monthly repayment. Check the due dates.

Closing Costs

There are a number of costs associated with completing the sale and purchase of the home, commonly referred to as closing costs. These can include:

  • Real estate attorney fees

  • Title expenses

  • Mortgage processing fees

  • Title deed fees

  • And others

These costs will be payable on the day of completion. Experts suggest you save 2% to 5% of the purchase price of the house so you don’t get hit with sticker shock.

Moving Fees

A lot of people forget to factor in the cost of moving and/or storage once you buy the home.


The house should be in good repair, but if you plan any major changes to it such as painting or decorating a nursery, set aside money for your projects.


Some people will leave various items behind. Others will take them with them, such as appliances. Be sure what will be included and factor in these extras as needed.

Essential Furnishings, Curtains, Blinds, Carpets

You might be moving from a smaller place to a much larger one. Make a list of the essentials you will need. You probably won't be able to afford to fill every room at once, but shopping strategically can help.

As you can see, your mortgage is not the only cost when you buy a home. Use this list when working out your budget.


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