The Hidden Expenses of Homeownership in Kansas City

September 8, 2021
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Homeownership can be great – 

  • You finally have your own space to do what you like. 
  • You can decorate it the way you want – paint the walls, change the floors, build onto the kitchen, etc. 
  • You are no longer restricted by rental property rules and the “lost investment” into rent checks. 
  • If you ever decide to sell, that is “money back in your pocket”. 

It seems like an all-around win! However, homeownership can come at a lot of hidden expenses.

It is not until you become a homeowner that you realize the hidden expenses associated with owning property.  These hidden expenses can vary depending on the location, age, and time of year you purchase your home. Some of these more significant expenses can consist of:

a plant in a clear glass with coins
  • Homeowner Association (HOA) fees
  • property taxes
  • utility bills that are higher than expected
  • hidden home repairs
  • purchasing home security systems
  • commute time to work
  • upkeep on your home’s appearance.

These hidden expenses start to add up over time and can make your investment feel like the wrong decision. 

Common Expenses for Kansas City Homeowners

Depending on the year of your new home, these expenses can vary from reasonable in price to a cause for bankruptcy/foreclosure. Older homes are once again becoming more popular in Kansas City because of the neighborhood’s inherent charm, uniqueness, and general age.  Older homes usually belong to areas with full-grown broad trees, unique historic homes, and established communities. Each historic Kansas City home has a unique history written in the home that could allow for a potential savings incentive. These characteristics draw home buyers into the property without realizing that these homes could carry hidden expenses.

Repairs – Both Big & Small

Without a thorough home inspection, buyers could be buying a home with many problems that require expensive remedies. Issues such as 

  • Termite damage 
  • roof damage
  • faulty foundation
  • outdated electrical work
  • plumbing problems
  • energy inefficiencies 
  • Along with a slew of other potential hidden repairs 

Due to lack of upkeep from the previous owners or simply wear and tear over time. Any one of these repairs could be a $15,000 problem to fix, and from there you are looking at compounding problems.  Plumbing problems and window cracks can cause energy inefficiencies within the home, leading to unexpectedly high utility costs every month (not to mention the potential water damages that are caused by these issues). To correct these problems, homeowners may need to replace windows which can cost an additional 450 dollars per window. 

The upkeep of an older home can be expensive and time-consuming, even if the previous owners did a good job of maintaining the property. And while these problems are more persistent in older homes, new homes are not immune to these same issues, you could be looking at any number of these problems in a “newer” home as well. Making sure your inspection is thorough is just one way of avoiding these larger money pits when buying a home, but that doesn’t mean something couldn’t be overlooked.

The Neighborhood

Have you ever heard the phrase “location, location, location”? As a home buyer, it’s essential to consider the neighborhood in which your home is located. This is for many reasons – school district, proximity to work, accessibility to stores, public transportation, neighborhood safety. One reason that is often overlooked is the Home Owner’s Association (HOA). 

Depending on the neighborhood of your home, homeowners may be required to abide by specific upkeep guidelines set by your Home Owner Association. These guidelines are put in place to ensure your neighborhood keeps its delightful charm that attracted homebuyers in the first place. While a good Home Owners Association may increase the value of your home by holding the area to a certain quality standard, the HOA is by no means free. To keep your neighborhood at a certain quality, the HOA requires homeowners to pay an annual fee for their services and requires the homeowner to adhere to specific upkeep guidelines that homeowners must follow once purchasing the home.  

photography of house in an aerial view

One of the Home Owner Association requirements is to preserve the aesthetics of your home by managing your lawn care and yard work. If you lack time to mow and edge your lawn weekly, you will have to hire lawn services in Kansas City averages at $40.56 per visit and $162.24 a month. In addition to regular yard maintenance, occasional fertilization treatment, and leaf removal add additional costs to your monthly lawn cost, but most HOA’s don’t stop at the yard; your fencing and home appearance might also be part of the general upkeep of the neighborhood. What this means is you must maintain a proper fence (within the restrictions the HOA provides) or pay a fee if not repaired. 

On top of the regulated appearance and your acceptance of them, the HOA itself requires a fee to pay for services that benefit the entire neighborhood. Meaning you likely have an annual or monthly fee that goes directly to the HOA to help regulate your property and fix up the neighborhood.

Not Hidden – But Higher Expenses

In addition to the Homeowners Association fees, each homeowner must pay property taxes based on your county and “amenities given to you”, like school district, public/neighborhood pool, fire station, etc. These taxes go to funding roads, parks, fire protection, public schools, and other local services. The average Kansas City homeowner pays $2,235 annually in property taxes. While this is a consistent fee that comes with owning a home, it can often be forgotten about when budgeting for your new home. Costs like property taxes, when unexpected, can really jump out and surprise homeowners long after purchasing the home. The stress and anxiety that comes with an unexpected large bill like property tax can leave any homeowner feeling overwhelmed and ill-prepared.

You Don’t Have to Suffer from Never Ending Fees – Sell to House Guys USA

When purchasing a home leaves you shelling out more money than your previous monthly rent, it may be time to sell your home for cash. The House Guys USA knows that hidden expenses are not always advertised in the open house. We help alleviate stress for homebuyers who are overwhelmed with hidden costs, we buy houses in Kansas City for cash. Sell your house for cash in any condition to The House Guys USA to stop overspending your hard-earned money. 

The House Guys USA has been helping stressed homeowners since 2013 by cutting out the middleman and buying houses in Kansas City for cash. It’s time to get out from under-investment with no return now. Give us a call today at 816-892-2132 to make a consultation or visit our website to view what your house is worth.


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