I can’t believe it’s been 15 years since I bought my townhouse. More surprising is the fact that I’m still living here. When I bought it, I figured this would be my starter home and I’d eventually upgrade to a nicer neighborhood. Luckily, the area has improved greatly during this time and I no longer have plans to move.
Think you can afford a house? Here’s how much my 950 sq ft house has cost over the last 15 years:
By far the most expensive cost is the mortgage principal. I bought my house for $87,500 and paid off the mortgage in December 2014. Second highest expense was the mortgage interest, totaling $59,650 – almost as much as the principal! I also paid about $1,500 in PMI since I had an FHA loan when I bought my house. This was eliminated when I refinanced a few years later.
Third highest are my association fees at $28,100. A new roof was installed in 2005, without an assessment, so there is definitely value to the fees besides the included insurance, lawn care, snow removal, and garbage. Through 2016, I’ve paid $12,937 in property taxes. This one is always a little confusing to me since I don’t have yard and don’t really own any land. Since I have a townhouse, I only need condo insurance. Over the years that’s cost about $3,750 total.
I’ve completed about $25,000 in renovations. Almost everything in my house has been replaced, with the only exception being the patio door and the door going into my garage from the house. Everything else is new: kitchen, bathroom, windows, carpet, doors, furnace & A/C, water heater, appliances, etc. Good thing I have a small house, otherwise the renovations would have been much more expensive. There’s something to be said about only having 6 windows in your entire house!
I’m sure I’m forgetting a few other small expenses (e.g. maintenance), but these cover the largest costs over the last 15 years.
Adding all these up, I’ve spent almost $220,000 as a homeowner (~$14,667/year or $1,222/month). The average monthly cost should decline greatly going forward, since the annual cost is now considerably less and I’m not planning any renovations in the near future. For 2016, the total of my association fees, condo insurance, and property taxes will be just over $3,000 for the entire year.
These totals are shocking to me. What has been surprising to you as a homeowner?