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8 Expenses Every Custom Homeowner Should Expect

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Everyone dreams of owning a home. However, some people who work towards building their homes focus mainly on the construction process, forgetting additional costs incurred after completion of the project.

But as long as you set a budget and break it down, you’ll be able to stay on track and manage all expenses. Continue reading to learn about the expenses you should expect as a custom homeowner.

1. Design

It’s necessary to consider the costs of design since professionals offer different prices, depending on their skill level, quality of service, and project size and scope. However, most architects and designers typically charge about 10 to 25% of the overall home builder’s cost. You can do online research to find a reputable company and visit their site to inquire.

2. Property Taxes

Property taxes are some of the most crucial expenses of a homeowner. If it’s your first time owning a home, you might be surprised by how property taxes can take a huge chunk of your budget. Therefore, you need to know how much tax you’ll have to pay for your property before closing a deal.

Although some listings would provide estimates of property taxes, you need to make sure you understand those figures. For example, senior homeowners enjoy tax breaks in some cities or states. So, if you buy a house from a senior homeowner entitled to tax breaks, your property tax bill will be a lot higher.

Furthermore, property taxes vary in each state. For instance, residents in New Jersey need to pay more in property taxes compared with residents in Colorado.

To prepare yourself, discuss property taxes with your real estate agent.

3. Homeowners Insurance

Also known as hazard insurance, homeowners insurance protects homeowners from financial liabilities in case of property theft, damage, or other unexpected circumstances. Because it can provide financial protection to your home before the loan is paid, most mortgage lenders require it.

Similar to property taxes, homeowners insurance can be different from state to state. It will depend on the coverage you need and how much your property costs. Take, for example, homeowners insurance in Louisiana, a place prone to hurricanes and flooding. It costs almost USD$2,000 a year. And if your property is expensive, you’ll need more coverage.

4. Utilities

When you rent a home, like an apartment, the utilities you pay for are already part of the rent. For instance, the rent costs USD$1,200 and utilities, USD$100 every month.

But when you own a home, you’ll have to pay for both your mortgage and utilities. This means that you might have to pay USD$100 a month for just electricity, on top of other utilities, such as garbage and recycling pick-up, gas, and water.

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5. Communal Upkeep Fees

Communities with homeowner’s associations typically pay upkeep fees, which are commonly known as homeowner’s  association (HOA) fees. Communal upkeep fees are for the maintenance of common areas within the community. They vary, depending on the amenities of the community and its location. So, if there’s a homeowner’s association, you’ll have to pay communal upkeep fees.

6. Home Maintenance, Renovation, Or DIY Expenses

You might want to renovate some areas in your place, like your bathroom or kitchen, to improve the look of your home or increase its value. However, keep in mind that once your home’s reseal value increases, you’ll have to pay more in property taxes.

Unlike a landlord who takes care of maintenance costs of a rental, a custom homeowner has to deal with maintenance and renovation costs. For instance, you’ll have to pay for repairs and labor if your home has issues like leaking pipes.

Or you can resolve the issues yourself. In fact, do-it-yourself projects are becoming more common these days. You can learn how to take care of the problem by checking out DIY videos and television shows. A DIY project can be a lot cheaper than professional assistance. For example, you need a roofer to replace your roof’s eaves, but it will cost you USD$700. Instead of hiring an expert, you can try fixing the roof on your own, which will probably only cost you less than USD$350.

7. Lawn And Garden Expenses

Maintaining lawns or gardens can be costly as well. You can do this yourself, but you’ll need enough budget for this since you’ll have to spend on tools and supplies, such as lawn mowers, watering systems, seeds, and fertilizers.

8. System And Appliance Breakdowns

Eventually, your home’s systems and appliances will malfunction, and breakdowns can cost more than you expect. For instance, replacing a HVAC system can cost thousands of bucks.

However, you can apply for a home warranty plan, which will help lower costs. So, if your plan includes water heater coverage and your water heater stops working, you can just pay the service fee instead of paying hundreds of dollars for repair or more than a thousand bucks for replacement.


The feeling of owning a home is indescribable. But you’ll have to deal with a lot of expenses after closing a deal, such as utilities and maintenance costs. With this helpful guide, you’ll be better prepared as a custom homeowner.