Some People Surprised by True Cost of Homeownership: Make Your Buyers Aware

By Kelly Leighton | Feb. 22, 2022 | 2 min. read

Your clients know the expected costs that come with buying a home.

They need the down payment, closing costs and ability to pay that mortgage on time. However, are your clients aware of all the other costs that come along with owning a home? List With Clever recently released a report in which 52% of people surveyed said the true cost of being a homeowner surprised them. It wasn’t just financially either, homeowners reported spending an average of 19 hours per month on home upkeep, an increase since the start of the pandemic.

Whether or not they bought in today’s fast-paced market, 60% said they have experienced buyer’s remorse for their purchase. It could be due to the amount they spent, the report found that 29% of homeowners are spending more than 40% of their household income on housing, up from 16% pre-pandemic. Or it could be due to other circumstances they weren’t expecting. Forty percent said their home requires too much maintenance, 32% said their home is too small or doesn’t have the features they want, 30% cited hidden costs, 28% said their mortgage payments, while 26% said they had high interest rates.

What do homeowners wish they knew then? Forty-two percent said they would have negotiated a better price or contingencies, 29% would have waited to buy a home and another 29% said they would have bought a less expensive home.

About one-quarter (28%) of homeowners reported spending less than $1,000 on maintenance in 2021, while 33% spent between $1,000 and $5,000 and 20% reported spending more than $20,000. Most homeowners reported painting (49%), major appliance repair (46%), plumbing (46%) and electrical (41%) work as the most common home improvement projects. Pest control (38%), landscaping (35%) and housekeeping (34%) are other services that can be costly additions. More than 90% of respondents also said they plan to do an improvement project on their home within the next five years.

Ultimately, 75% of owners say owning a home is worth the extra costs, unexpected projects and headaches. More than half (52%) said they believe homeownership is a good investment, while 42% said they are able to afford more space than renting and 37% were sick of wasting money on monthly rents.

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