The Hidden Costs in Home Buying

hidden costs in home buying
hidden costs in home buying

San Francisco resident Mike S. thought he had a handle on the costs associated with home buying. Down payment -- check. Mortgage -- check. HOA dues -- huh? "The dreaded homeowner association dues," as he calls them, would add hundreds of dollars to his monthly nut, an outlay he hadn't figured when he calculated his home buying expenses.

Whether you're buying a house, a condo or a co-op, there are plenty of hidden costs that are easy for first-time buyers to overlook. Ingrid Hess, a real estate agent for more than 20 years, has seen these home buying costs turn into pitfalls for new homeowners. She advises first-time buyers to hook up with a seasoned professional who can act as their guide through the process. "When you buy, you have to ask the right questions," says Hess, with William Pitt Sotheby's International Real Estate in Darien, CT.

Hess has prepared a list for new homebuyers of potential hidden costs in home buying that can bust a buyer's budget. Understand them, and you'll be able to enjoy your new home free of unanticipated financial burdens.