My husband and I are considering purchasing a home soon in Montgomery County, Maryland. We are currently renting in that county, but our utilities have been built into our rent price. We have no idea what it would actually cost us to run a household ON TOP of the mortgage costs.
The house we are currently looking at is old, like most houses in the D.C. region. But it has been updated. It’s not too large, about 1200 square feet. Any guesses as to the costs of utilities?
What is the average electric bill?
Natural gas as it does have a gas stove?
Are there any sewer or trash fees, or can I expect that to be built into the mortgage?
Got news for ya kiddo. Utilities vary from one place to the next for dozens of reasons. Your only hope to get a good estimate will be to talk to home owners in the area you want to buy with similar sized homes. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that ask your realtor to check into it-they have connections that can get you roughly the same estimates.
Again, it depends on the area and your Realtor can find all that out for you. Other good questions are how old are the heating and air systems. How old are the plumbing and electrical systems. The older they are, usually the less energy efficient and more prone to require repair/replacement. Windows, doors ~ do they seal, are they energy efficient. How old is the roof; what type of ventilation system. Many buyers prefer a home that is not all electric due to possible outages and it is usually cheaper to heat / cook with gas. I always peek in attics to see the level of insulation and condition of duct-work. You buy a house with a septic tank or well you need to know the age and maintenance levels of the components. Everyone looks at the price of the house but few look at the taxes, insurance, home owner association fees, etc first.. Those can be as high as your mortgage payment. Buying new is no guarantee either ~ got to check out the builder and specs for that particular build. Builder warranties mean nothing if they close up shop. Look at all the electronics on home appliances that can falter ~ so paying for a home warranty can be cost effective. General maintenance issues, yard care, etc
Conservative average guesstimates : $ 200 month for electricity , $ 50 month for water (sewer usually inclusive in bill, around half the water use cost) , $ 100 a month gas. $ 35 month for trash. To be safe. Figure your total mortgage payment (including taxes, insurance, etc) is a $ 1,000 a month, budget expenses for half that. $ 2,000. a month then budget a third.
Good luck and best wishes.
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