What Is the True Cost of Home Ownership?

While planning to buy a home, you should understand all the costs associated with home ownership. There is the price paid for the home, interest costs (if taking a mortgage), and various other fees to consider.

How Much Does It Cost to Own a Home

Use this handy calculator to find out the real cost of home ownership.

True Cost of Owning Home Calculator

Purchase Information



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Closing Costs

Ongoing Expenses

Optional: Repairs and Improvements Needed

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Results

Payment Per Period:
Mortgage Payment (total per Month):
Total Expenses per Month:
Total Montly Payments:
After Tax Monthly Income Needed:

Cash Needed

Down Payment:
Closing Costs:
Repairs Improvements Needed:
Suggested Repair Fund:
Total Cash Needed on Hand:
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By using this calculator you agree to terms and conditions. These calculators are designed to be informational and educational tools only, and when used alone, do not constitute investment or financial advice. We strongly recommend that you seek the advice of a financial services professional before making any type of investment or deciding on your financial matters. This model is provided as a rough approximation of future financial performance. The results presented by this calculator are hypothetical and may not reflect the actual growth of your own investments. We can't take into account potential lender fees, payoff schedule can be longer than in the estimation. Intelegency and its affiliates are not responsible for the consequences of any decisions or actions taken in reliance upon or as a result of the information provided by these tools. Intelegency is not responsible for any human or mechanical errors or omissions.

How to Use Our True Cost Owning Home Calculator

  1. Enter the maximum percentage of your income you can use on housing expenses.
  2. Input the purchase information in the appropriate boxes.
  3. If the property has condo or HOA fees, select Yes; otherwise, select No.
  4. Select your Mortgage Compound Period and Mortgage Payment Frequency.
  5. The closing cost populates with average closing costs for each category by default. You may use these, or you can enter more accurate values if you have them.
  6. Enter the value for ongoing expenses. Property Tax, Home Insurance and Utilities estimates may be provided in the home listing.
  7. You may choose to fill out the optional section. Hover over the purple circle next to each category name to see the average expected cost for that category.

True Cost of Home Ownership Terms and Definitions

  • After Tax Monthly Income Needed. The after-tax income you require so that your actual housing expenses equal Maximum Housing Expense % of your income.
  • Closing Costs. Fees paid when finalizing a home purchase, paid by either the buyer or the seller.
  • Down Payment. Money paid at closing to initialize a mortgage loan. Down Payment + Mortgage = Purchase Price.
  • Interest Rate. What your lender charges for using their credit, as a percentage.
  • HOA (Home Owner’s Association) Fee. A periodic payment made to the organization of homeowners where the property is located that covers shared amenities and services. These include garbage collection, snow removal, and landscaping.
  • Home Price. The selling price of the property.
  • Maximum Housing Expense % of Your Income. The maximum amount of money dedicated to your mortgage and other home expenses divided by your income, as a percentage.
  • Mortgage Payment. The total monthly payment, which is the sum of the principal and mortgage interest.
  • Mortgage Payment Frequency. The regularity with which you pay towards your mortgage. The table below summarizes the different frequencies.

Mortgage Payment FrequencyPayment TermsPayment Due# of Payments per YearEquivalent “Extra” Payments
Monthly
Monthly mortgage, once per month
Same date every month120
Semi-MonthlyPayment is half of mortgage expense and is sent to lender twice per monthUsually 1st and 15th day240
Bi-WeeklyMonthly mortgage is multiplied by 12 to convert to annual cost, then split into 26 equal paymentsEvery two weeks260
Bi-Weekly AcceleratedPayment is half of the monthly mortgage costEvery two weeks262
WeeklyMonthly mortgage is multiplied by 12 to convert to annual cost, then split into 52 equal paymentsEvery week520
Weekly AcceleratedPayment is a quarter of the monthly mortgage costEvery week524
  • Payment per Period. The amount you will pay over a given period of time. You can make multiple payments towards your monthly mortgage expense. The more often you pay per month the less mortgage interest you will incur. For example, weekly accelerated deposits can save you tens of thousands of dollars in interest over the life of the mortgage.
  • Property Tax. A government tax based on the assessed value of your property.
  • Total Expenses per Month. The sum of your monthly expenses for owning your home.
  • Total Monthly Payments. Monthly Mortgage plus Total Expenses per month.

Understanding True Cost Owning Home Calculator Results

Let’s say you are looking at a $250,000 home. You have a 20% down payment ($50,000) from your grandparents. A maximum of 35% of your income can go to housing expenses. You qualified for a 4.999% interest rate as part of a 30-year mortgage (compounded monthly). Payments will be sent once a week to match how often you receive your salary. The property does not have an HOA fee. You decided to leave the default closing costs as they are. Based on the home listing, your property tax is $2500 per year, and home insurance is $975. Your utility costs average about $400/month, and you pay $60/month for the internet.

True Cost Owning Home Example

The left side is your monthly costs, and the right side is a breakdown of cash needed at closing. Each week you would pay $247.34. Your monthly payments are Mortgage Payment ($1071.81) + Total Expenses ($749.58), which equal $1821.39. You’ll need $5203.97 for your housing expenses to equal 35% of your after-tax monthly income. In total, you will need $62,000 in available cash to cover your down payment, closing costs, and suggested repair fund.

Remember, these results are estimates. While we try to make the calculator as accurate as possible, we do not guarantee you will get these values when you’re closing. When using it, remember that entering accurate information improves the estimate.

Navigate the Costs of Owning a Home Easily

When you know the true cost of owning a home you can begin getting your home purchasing finances in order. You can use these estimates to navigate the complex costs of owning a home. Depending on the realtor and the closing company you use, the closing costs may vary.