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9 Housing Expenses that are Slowly Crushing Homeowners

Owning a home comes with significant expenses that can strain homeowners’ finances. From property taxes to maintenance costs and unexpected repairs, the financial responsibilities of homeownership can be overwhelming for many. Here are housing expenses that are slowly crushing homeowners. 

Lawn Care

Lawn care can quickly add up to becomes a significant housing expense, especially if you have a big yard to maintain. For example, in the New York suburbs, you can easily pay $1000 a month for a 1 acre lot just to do the minimal mowing of the lawn without any weed control and fertilization. That does not include the fall and spring cleanup that you have to do before each season, which can cost $400-$500 a pop. If you need to trim branches or trees, that’s at least $500 per tree. And don’t forget about tick and mosquito treatments, which can add up to about $1000 per year. Lawn care expenses can add up quickly.

Homeowners Insurance

Homeowners insurance is a significant housing expense for many homeowners. For example, in Florida, homeowners are burdened with one of the highest homeowner’s insurance premiums in the country due to the elevated risk of hurricanes. 

Florida homeowner’s premium averages around $6000 per year. South Florida residents face even higher premiums, paying close to $11,000 a year! To make matters worse, these homeowners are facing premium increases every year!

Real Estate Taxes

Real estate taxes are another major housing expense that is slowly crushing homeowners. Maintaining a home is extremely expensive, especially in places with high property taxes. 

In places like Westchester County in the New York suburbs, annual property taxes for a million dollar home can range from $30,000 to $40,000 a year!  If you are a retired empty nester, maintaining such a home becomes cost prohibitive!

HOA Fees

Homeowner’s Association fees are another housing expense that can get expensive. If you’re not careful, you could easily end up buying a condo or townhouse in an aging complex that requires substantial repair, such as a new roof or repaving. 

Combine that with an HOA that does not have a large cash reserve, and you are looking at getting hit with a large monthly assessment. The monthly HOA fee can start to feel cost prohibitive. 

A high HOA fee can also negatively impact the price appreciation of your condo or townhouse because many potential buyers will be reluctant to buy one with such a high HOA fee.

Significant Housing Expenses


Utilities can be a significant housing expense. Gas, electricity, and water bills can become very expensive, especially for larger homes. You could easily end up paying over a thousand a month in utilities. 

Living in an older, energy-inefficient house with drafty windows and inadequate insulation can make it even more expensive to maintain your home.

Exterior Maintenance

Exterior home maintenance is also another expense that can quickly become very expensive. This is especially true if you have an older home that requires significant repairs because it is starting to reach the end of its life. You’ll need to replace your roof or chimney or even get a new septic tank! 

For example, in the suburbs of New York, repainting the siding can cost around $10,000, and replacing the roof can easily cost $15,000. 

Aging Appliances

Aging appliances are also housing expenses that can hit homeowners hard. Most household appliances have a lifespan of around 10 years. Once they reach this 10 year mark, you’ll start to notice issues cropping up one after another. 

I personally had to deal with a broken washer, then a malfunctioning dryer, followed by a dishwasher and under counter fridge giving out. The appliances just kept failing one after the other, forcing me to purchase new ones. 

That’s why if you’re buying an older home, make sure to check the age of the appliances. You don’t want to be in a situation where you need to replace them shortly after moving in!

Significant Housing Expenses


Similar to older appliances, HVAC systems have a limited lifespan. If you’re in a home with an HVAC system nearing the end of its life, it could cost you a substantial amount. The cost of replacing your HVAC system varies from $8000 to $15,000, depending on your location.

It’s also important to monitor your water heater. Water heaters typically last 10-12 years. Once they reach that age, they can suddenly spring a leak and cause a significant flood. All these costs can really add up quickly!


Maintaining a pool is also another housing expense that can get expensive. For example, maintaining a pool costs around $5000 a year in the New York suburbs. You can expect to shell out even more if your pool is older and needs repairs. 

It’s not worth it if you end up paying thousands each year and only use the pool a few times a year. Ultimately, having a pool can become a significant financial burden if it’s not used regularly. Check out: 11 Signs You are Buying a House that’s a Money Pit

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