Expenses involved with owning real estate?

How much should I expect to pay each year in expenses while owning real estate worth $550k with a newly built house? I’m expecting property taxes, maintenance, insurance, and utilities. My property tax rate looks to be about .4% so that’s less than $200/month. How much should be saved for/spent on maintenance? Utilities probably $300/month. What about insurance? Am I forgetting anything?

4% sounds high, but if it is 4% for property taxes they will run closer to $2k a month, not $200 a month on a $550k property

Call your county’s tax assessor office to be sure. Are you talking about a house that is marketed for 550k or one that has a tax assessed value of 550k? There could be a big difference between the two values where you are. I seriously doubt you’ll pay less than $2,400 per year in taxes for a half million dollar house. Utilities vary widely depending on how you live. Do you have a pool? The pool pump uses a lot of electricity. There shouldn’t be a lot of maintenance on a newly built home. All your appliances, hvac, etc will have warranties.

.4% sounds like an unusually low mill rate. I’d double check that figure and see if there are separate fees like education mill rates, etc. In my city, the mill rate with education tax is 1.8%. I read in Detroit that the mill rate is 6.5% without homestead. So on a $550K house in say Indian Village, you’d pay roughly $35,750 a year in property tax.

I mean, to have a .4% mill rate, you’d get no municipal services, ex. septic and well water, no street lights, dirt roads, private policing provided by a Neighbourhood Association (which means dues to the association), private garbage collection, etc. .4% is really low.

Insulation and type of heating plays a big factor in the utility bill too. My dad had a 1,800 sq. ft second house in Central Europe built a couple years ago. Can you believe that it’s so well insulated and energy efficient that he spends only $400 a year in electricity/gas?

Insurance can vary depending on the location. Without saying where it’s at, it’s hard to tell.

.4% sounds like an unusually low mill rate.
Call your county's tax assessor office to be sure.

I just spoke with them and it’s right around .4%, not 4%. Wow, that’s low and I told 'em so. :slight_smile:

Are you talking about a house that is marketed for 550k or one that has a tax assessed value of 550k? There could be a big difference between the two values where you are.

Could you tell me more about that? If I buy land for $350k and I make improvements and build a house totaling $200k, how do I figure out on what principle my property tax is calculated?

I don’t know how your area is for calculating taxes. We own a small multi-unit building where the tax assessed value is just a fraction of what it’s actually worth. Our personal house (in a different state) is assessed for probably around 80% of its actual value.
You should be able to find other houses in your area valued for around what you’re planning on building. Get those addresses and look up their assessed value and annual property tax amount. That information is public record. Where I live, that info is online. If you can’t find it online, you can contact your county tax assessor’s office.

An effective property tax rate of 0.4% of assessed value would be a pretty close estimate if this property is owner occupied and located in my area.

On my personal residence, there is a formula for the property taxes that multiplies a percentage of the tax value by a millage rate to determine the property tax. Once the state, the county, the school district, the fire dept, and the municipal services all get their piece, my total tax bill for the year is about 0.37% of the property’s tax assessed value.