Real Estate

Here are 3 of the top costly surprises for first-time homebuyers


Prospective buyers visit an open house for sale in Alexandria, Virginia.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

With record-high home prices and soaring mortgage interest rates, homeownership has become increasingly unaffordable — and hidden costs can surprise first-time buyers, experts say.

Indeed, everyday home expenses, including utility bills, property taxes, insurance and home maintenance, cost the average homeowner $14,155 a year, not counting the typical mortgage payment, according to a June report from Zillow and Thumbtack.

Many homebuyers just focus on the principal and interest of their mortgage payment, said certified financial planner Vince Darling at the Stonebridge Group in Forest Lake,…


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