You might end up paying $9,400 more than you budgeted for.

By Sarah Yang
Updated January 02, 2019
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When you’re searching for a home, you know how important it is to set a budget—for your monthly mortgage payments, any renovations that might need to be done, and other miscellaneous needs. But once you’re settled in your new house, you might be surprised to find that there are some unexpected costs, especially if you’re a first-time home buyer.

Real estate site Zillow and home services site Thumbtack took a look at the unexpected costs of homeownership around the United States and found that homeowners in the U.S. can plan to spend an average of $9,400 a year on things they didn’t account for while shopping for a home. This total includes an average of $6,330 each year on mostly unavoidable costs such as homeowners insurance, property taxes, and utilities, plus an average of $3,070 on maintenance costs such as carpet cleaning, yard work, HVAC repair or maintenance, and more.

Of course, these costs vary by region. Homeowners in San Jose, California, paid the most in hidden costs, with the average cost totaling $20,660. San Francisco and New York rounded out the top three cities, averaging $17,758 and $15,721, respectively. On the other end of the scale for the largest 35 metro areas in the United States, homeowners in Indianapolis and Tampa, Florida, paid an average of $8,220 and $8,305 in hidden costs, respectively.

“Determining how much a home will ultimately cost you each year and what you can afford is one of the most challenging aspects of home buying, especially for first-time buyers,” Svenja Gudell, Zillow chief economist, said in a press release for the 2017 survey of hidden costs of owning a home. “Before starting a home search, take a good look at your finances to determine a monthly payment range you can comfortably afford. While that big back yard or larger home may be appealing, it is important to consider how much maintaining those spaces could cost you.”

Take a look at the top 10 metro areas with the highest average total in hidden costs below:

  1. San Jose, California: $20,655
  2. San Francisco, California: $17,758
  3. New York, New York: $15,721
  4. San Diego, California: $14,257
  5. Boston, Massachusetts: $14,221
  6. Los Angeles, California: $13,892
  7. Seattle, Washington: $12,729
  8. Portland, Oregon: $12,612
  9. Austin, Texas: $12,457
  10. Washington, D.C.: $12,024