Cyberattacks against accounting software firm Wolters Kluwer and the City of Baltimore in May showed how the newest wave of malicious hacking can have significant, often...Technologyread more
The European parliamentary election is the second largest democratic exercise in the world.Europe Newsread more
Buybacks have gotten a bad rap from both Republicans and Democrats. But stocks would be trading at a massive discount without them.Marketsread more
Fiat Chrysler and France's Renault could soon partner up to take on the sweeping changes to the global auto industry, according to a report in the Financial Times. The...Autosread more
When commercial real estate investor Manny Khoshbin spent $2.2 million on the fastest production car in the world, he had no idea it would very quickly also become the...Autosread more
Microsoft shares have gained 133% since November 2015, outperforming a tech "basket of unicorns" over that stretch.Technologyread more
The president's state visit comes amid tensions with carmaker Toyota over potential auto tariffs. Trump has repeatedly threatened Japanese and European carmakers with tariffs.Traderead more
The IRS is about to release a new draft of Form W-4, which will more closely reflect the changes stemming from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. For workers, that means they'll need...Personal Financeread more
The Mega Millions jackpot has spilled over $400 million. It would be the ninth largest winning since the game began in 2002.Personal Financeread more
Trump was speaking at a meeting of Japanese business leaders in Tokyo during his state visit to Japan on Saturday.Marketsread more
The biggest U.S. gasoline price surge in years is running out of steam just in time for the start of the summer driving season.Energyread more
Homeownership might be more expensive than you expect.
Often-forgotten and underestimated costs of owning a home — from utility bills to yard care — add an average $9,080 per year to homeowners' tabs, according to a new analysis from real estate site Zillow and service site Thumbtack. (See a breakdown by major markets, below.)
Hidden costs can be especially dangerous given buyers' tendency to overspend. Nearly 4 in 10 first-time buyers exceed their budget, per Zillow.
"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," Zillow's chief economist, Svenja Gudell, said in the announcement. "Before starting a home search, take a good look at your finances to determine a monthly payment range you can comfortably afford."
To avoid making a purchase you'll regret, make sure to include property taxes, insurance and utilities in your budget, said Kevin Meehan, a certified financial planner and regional president of Wealth Enhancement Group in Itasca, Illinois. (By Zillow's estimate, those three line items alone add more than $500 to the typical homeowner's monthly costs.)
"Without a doubt, those are real concerns because a lot of people focus solely on the principle and interest component," he said. "They sometimes lose the perspective on all those other costs."
Ask the seller to see copies of the property's recent utility bills — and not just the electric bill.
"If you've been renting, you probably never saw a water or sewer bill, " said Keith Gumbinger, vice president at mortgage site HSH.com. "You might not have budgeted for that."
Anticipate future costs, too, Gumbinger said. Check to see if there's a property tax hike or revaluation going into effect, if the local utility providers have announced rate changes, or the condo or co-op board is proposing a maintenance fee increase.
Leave a buffer in your savings and budget for home maintenance costs. New homeowners tend to have a slew of unexpected expenses at the outset that can add up quickly, said Gumbinger — like realizing that now you need either a lawn mower or a lawn-care service to handle your yard.
"There's an upcycling of purchasing stuff for the house, that tends to be more than you'd expect," he said.
Build out your emergency fund to better handle unanticipated maintenance as it pops up, such as a furnace that needs repair, Meehan said. You might also set aside cash in anticipation of known upcoming expenses — say, if your home inspection notes the remaining life of your roof or water heater before they need replacing.