Press Releases

Homeowners Can Pay Nearly $9,500 per Year in Hidden Costs

Property taxes, homeowners insurance and common maintenance projects can add up to a surprising annual cost

Aug 21, 2018

SEATTLE and SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Homeowners can expect to spend about $9,390 every year on costs associated with owning and caring for a home, according to an analysis by Zillow® and Thumbtack.

When it comes to buying a home, shoppers frequently focus on the sticker price or the monthly mortgage payments, but homeowners are also responsible for additional costs that are often overlooked during the home search, such as property taxes, insurance and maintenance projects.

One-third of buyers say that determining their homebuying budget was a challenge during the home shopping processi. To help understand these additional costs they may face, Zillow and Thumbtack identified several common costs to calculate what homeowners around the country can expect to pay in annual expenses. This analysis also includes utility cost estimates from UtilityScore.

Property taxes, utilities and homeowners insurance are necessary expenses for homeowners. Nationally, these costs add up to $6,327 per year, but can be much higher in more expensive markets. In San Jose, where the typical home is worth $1,287,600, these costs add up to $17,255 per year, the highest of any market analyzed. By contrast, these costs add up to $5,540 annually in Indianapolis, less than one-third of the San Jose total.

Many homeowners also opt to hire professionals for a variety of common home-maintenance projects, including house cleaning, lawn care, carpet cleaning, central air and heating system repairs, gutter cleaning and pressure washing. The nationwide average cost of these tasks is $3,067 per year. Labor costs vary in different parts of the country, so these jobs can be much more expensive depending on where someone lives. In Portland, Oregon, homeowners can expect to pay $3,810 per year for these projects, compared with the $2,570 owners in Miami can expect to spend.

"Ongoing maintenance costs and annual fees are some of the most common surprises for first-time home buyers after they finally become homeowners. While they are shopping, buyers tend to focus on their monthly mortgage payments, but other needs quickly add up after move-in," said Zillow Senior Economist Aaron Terrazas. "The list price is just the beginning of understanding the costs that come with being a homeowner, and it's important to understand what other expenses you may have to account for when determining what you can afford."

"Many basic maintenance costs are often overlooked when calculating the cost of buying a home," said Lucas Puente, Lead Economist at Thumbtack. "It's imperative that those looking to buy a home do their homework to avoid any surprising charges."

Metropolitan Area

Median Home
Value (June

TOTAL Hidden
Costs of

(property taxes,
utility bills)

lawn care,
HVAC repair,

United States





Los Angeles-Long Beach-
Anaheim, CA





Chicago, IL





Dallas-Fort Worth, TX





Philadelphia, PA





Houston, TX





Washington, DC





Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL





Atlanta, GA





Boston, MA





San Francisco, CA





Detroit, MI





Riverside, CA





Phoenix, AZ





Seattle, WA





Minneapolis-St Paul, MN





San Diego, CA





St. Louis, MO





Tampa, FL





Baltimore, MD





Denver, CO





Pittsburgh, PA





Portland, OR





Charlotte, NC





Sacramento, CA





San Antonio, TX





Orlando, FL





Cincinnati, OH





Cleveland, OH





Kansas City, MO





Columbus, OH





Indianapolis, IN





San Jose, CA





Austin, TX






Zillow is the leading real estate and rental marketplace dedicated to empowering consumers with data, inspiration and knowledge around the place they call home, and connecting them with great real estate professionals. In addition, Zillow operates an industry-leading economics and analytics bureau led by Zillow Group's Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell. Dr. Gudell and her team of economists and data analysts produce extensive housing data and research covering more than 450 markets at Zillow Real Estate Research. Zillow also sponsors the quarterly Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey, which asks more than 100 leading economists, real estate experts and investment and market strategists to predict the path of the Zillow Home Value Index over the next five years. Launched in 2006, Zillow is owned and operated by Zillow Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:Z and ZG), and headquartered in Seattle.

Zillow is a registered trademark of Zillow, Inc.


Powering the businesses of hundreds of thousands of local professionals, Thumbtack is one of the largest local services companies in the U.S., offering nearly 1,000 categories, with a working professional in every county in the U.S. Thumbtack has helped customers complete millions of jobs — from plumbing, to catering, to personal training, to math tutoring. Founded in 2008, Thumbtack is headquartered in San Francisco. For more information, please visit:



For further information: Lauren Braun, Zillow,; Justine Gananian, Thumbtack,