The cost of owning a home comes down to more than just your monthly mortgage. Taxes, repairs, insurance, and utility bills all contribute to the final price. And because these factors fluctuate depending on where in the country you live, figuring out the true cost of a house isn't always straightforward. Luckily, Angie's List has come up with a simple way to add up your monthly expenses.
After inputting a few pieces of information like home value, loan amount, interest rate, and location into the home cost calculator on their site, you can view estimates for individual bills and the total cost of your home-related fees. The breakdown includes obvious bills like electricity and insurance as well as expenses that are easily overlooked, like trash removal and routine maintenance. To come up with its calculations, Angie's List used data gathered by the U.S. Census Bureau's American Housing Survey between 2011 and 2013.
If you own a home in California, chances are your monthly housing expenses are on the high end. San Jose was found to be the priciest place to own a home, with median housing costs there reaching $2430 a month. San Francisco, Anaheim, Oakland, San Diego, and Los Angeles—all California cities—made up the rest of the top five. Outside of California, the region with the highest home owning costs is Northern New Jersey, which has the highest real estate taxes in the country.
On the other end of the end of the spectrum, residents of Pennsylvania, Alabama, or Louisiana who use the housing cost calculator can expect more pleasant results. The median monthly housing cost in Pittsburgh is just $796, with the second and third least-expensive regions, Birmingham and New Orleans, not too far behind.
The cost of renting in a city is often used to determine its affordability, but as the map above shows, owning property is a whole different ballgame. If you already live in a region that has promising potential for career growth, figuring out if you can afford to own a home there may be the next step in your journey.