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The hidden costs of owning your own home

13th January 2021 Print

Home ownership can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you have the freedom that comes with making upgrades and changes – since the property is your property. On the other, you’re vulnerable to hidden costs which can accumulate over time, and you don’t have a landlord to turn to. Let’s look at a few of the most egregious of these costs, and how they might be mitigated.


To protect you against sudden financial shocks, you’ll need to invest in various kinds of insurance. Contents insurance will protect you against fire and theft. Other items in your home, on the other hand, might benefit from specialised kinds of insurance. For example, boiler insurance will ensure that you’re protected against sudden breakdown, and get you an engineer when you need one.

Cost of Appliances

The essential items that you need to make a house liveable will add significantly to the cost of your home. If you’re buying unfurnished, then this is something you’ll have to consider – how much are those sofas going to add to the bill. The same applies if you’re moving – getting a chest-freezer from one place to another imposes a not-insignificant cost.

Cost of Repairs

Wear and tear is an unavoidable problem for homeowners. Appliances, plumbing, windows – they will all tend to deteriorate over time. To keep these costs as low as possible, it’s usually best to intervene early. Schedule regular maintenance to essential appliances like boilers – you might find that your warranty requires it.


Your streaming services and television packages are another ongoing cost. Bear in mind that you may be using the internet for work as well as recreation.

Leaseholder’s Costs

If you’re buying a leasehold property, then you’ll need to rent the ground that it’s sitting on. The rate will vary depending on where you are.


Council tax is something you’ll have to contend with whether you’re renting or living in your own home. It’s charged at a rate which differs depending on the area you’re living in and the size of your property


Keeping your home warm can be an expensive business. This is especially so if you’re fortunate enough to live in a large home. Making upgrades to cavity walls, lofts and double-glazing can all make a significant difference – though in some listed properties, obtaining permission to make changes can be difficult. It is also essential that you make sure you bleed your radiators.


Cleaning and vacuuming is a cost that many homeowners discount, as it seems trivial. But if you add up all of the time you spend on looking after low-level clutter and dirt, you might well find that it’s a significant commitment – and that’s not including the cost of vacuum cleaners, dust-busters and other household gadgets. The larger the home, the more difficult it will be to keep clear.