Thursday, October 6, 2016

House Shopping? Don't Forget to Budget These Additional Expenses!

Ah, owning your own home.. What could be better?! I know I'm pretty stoked as a first-time home owner. It's been two months since settling onto my humble lily pad, but something's not quite right with the water...

Analogies aside, where did all these extra home "features" come from?
- Trash
- Electric and Heating
- Property/School Tax
- Public Sewer / Water

:) Ok, the experienced home owners are laughing at me right now, but being a previous renter, I didn't realize how much extra owning a house could cost. It's enough to make you 'croak'.. (Haha, just kidding).

But for future home owners, I've found this to be a helpful to add when budgeting for a new home. It's always better to overestimate than under...

1) $20 monthly for Trash (Ref:
According to "OhMyApt", in 2011 trash pickup was roughly $10 to $40. Looking at what I pay, times haven't really changed. As always, this depends on where you live.

2) $150 monthly for Electric and Heating (Since my heating and water run off electric, I'm guessing the combined electric and heating for separate sources is close)
For a 1024 sqft home that experiences four seasons, I was using from 800 to 1,500 kWh per month (Depends on what season), costing me on average around $150 monthly give or take.

Check this site out! They give you ball park averages for any state in the US ( If you know the house you're interested in, call the electric company that services them, and they can usually go back 2 years.

3) $256 monthly for Property / School Tax
This is definitely dependent on your state, but where I live, the rough estimate is $3 per square foot, so my rough estimate for my home was $3,072 (Ref: Myself. I looked up about 150 homes on, added up the property tax and divided it by the total square footage of all the homes). If you want a more official estimate, try

Also, School Taxes are actually about 50% or more of your property tax (Ref: There's nothing really to say other than, don't like your property taxes, get involved. You could actually be what your town/city needs to help cut cost.

4) $80 monthly for Public Sewer / Water (P.U...)
We have a public sewer, owned by our local municipality, which charges $200 per quarter, or roughly $67 a month (This is high, but hopefully, our community can work together to lower it). Now, I don't pay for public water, but the common theme goes, if you have public water and sewer, take your typical water usage cost and double it. That seems to be how people are being billed by a number of local governments not just Cincinnati (Ref:

In case you'd like to know: A personal septic system can cost roughly $1,000 to $4,000 to install (Ref:, and then you need to pay to service it every 3-5 years. Where I live, that service is mandatory every 3 years and comes with an inspection charge too. When you do the math, $67 a month in the short run via public sewer is a lot cheaper. This is especially true for someone who just signed a gigantic mortgage!

Well, I hope my estimates helps someone with their budgeting, but that is all for now. :)