First Person: The Cost of Moving From an Apartment Into a House

Yahoo Contributor Network

There are lots of good reasons to move out of an apartment and into a house. There are no more communal living rules, no worrying about walking to hard on the floors and no limits on décor' and remodeling or painting. Moving into a house means having freedom, but it also means incurring more bills and expenses.

Water, Sewer And Trash

When I lived in an apartment, the complex paid for my water, sewer and trash. When I moved into my house, I suddenly became responsible for paying those bills. My first partial month water bill was $28, and I expect that my monthly water bill will cost me between $40 and $50. It's an extra $480 a year.

Property Taxes

Property taxes in an apartment are handled by the complex. Owning a home means paying yearly property taxes. Thankfully, this occurred to me before I bought the house, and I asked the seller what the estimated taxes were on the property. They told me I could expect a $100 a year tax bill.

Maintenance

The maintenance in the house is my responsibility. I no longer have the option of calling a staff maintenance man and having them handle the repairs for free. When I moved in, I quickly discovered that the water heater did not work. That was a $30 repair. There were no smoke detectors or carbon monoxide detectors in the house. Those cost me a combined $25. If the pipes burst or the toilet leaks, those are also my responsibility.

Upgrades

Every wall needs painted, three floors need flooring, and one bathroom needs a bathtub. I'm free to choose whatever floors and paint I want, and I'm free to purchase whatever bathtub suits my needs, but I have to buy all of those things. My initial estimates put new flooring at $600, new paint at $500 and a new bathtub at $200. That's $1,300 out of my pocket.

Lawn Care

The lawn care took me by surprise. I'm renting a lot from a mobile home park for a steep $424 a month, and as far as I can tell, that $424 pays for the privilege of keeping my 1,500 square foot mobile home in that spot. They do not handle lawn care. If I choose not to perform my own lawn care or find someone to mow my grass for me, the park will charge me $35 to mow the grass and $15 to weed. I'm pretty sure I can find someone to maintain my lawn for less than $50 a mow, but if I can't, that's another $50 expense.

The freedom of living within my own four walls, will cost me an extra $180 a year over the cost of living in an apartment and $1,300 in one time housing repairs, plus any additional repairs for anything else that breaks.

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