Apart from being a good investment, owning a home has far more advantages than renting, especially when you compare mortgage repayment with rent.  When you own a home, expenses are more than repayment of the mortgage. You are responsible for an array of recurrent costs. Apart from the regular utilities you need to pay as a tenant, here are some of the single-family home expenses to expect.


Monthly Costs in a Typical Single-Family Home

Mortgage and Home insurance

With your mortgage repayment comes home insurance. Your mortgage will not go through until you have it in place. Mortgage repayments are usually combined with home insurance premiums and protects against theft and fire.  Natural disasters are generally not covered, and you might require an additional cover for the same.

Property Tax

It is a mandatory tax determined by your municipality or city and assessed according to your home’s value.  The tax is calculated for a whole year then divided monthly, and it varies from state to state and sometimes at the county level. While some counties pay up to 1.89% of the home value, residents in California1  get to enjoy an average tax of 1.07% on property tax.  Therefore, choose your home wisely if money for additional expenses can become an issue. 


Maintenance can end up carrying the largest share of single-family home expenses.  You will need to set apart some amount for maintaining the home. Think of all the maintenance needs that a single home might require, whether it’s plumbing, electrical issues, and replacements of roofs or tiles.  Most of the maintenance issues may not occur every month, but there is a possibility of a maintenance issue arising anytime.  

Homeowners’ Association Fees

Buying a home within an association attracts a fee that can either be paid monthly, quarterly or annually.  The subscription may take care of communal expenses like plowing of snow and garbage collection. The cost is not standard and can go up depending on the projects being carried out by the association to better common arrears or facilities.


These are the same as your cost of living while renting, only higher since you will need to pay for water and sewerage, gas, and electricity.  As a tenant, most of the basic utilities are usually factored in the rent.  See an estimate of the cost of living in California2 to understand how much in your budget should go to utilities as a homeowner, a single-family home, or otherwise.

Single-family Home Expenses 

From the above, it is clear that there are many factors a homeowner needs to consider when buying a home.  Mortgage repayment is not the only expense. In any case, it may end being lower than the rest of the expenses. Being the owner makes you responsible for every repair and maintenance need, landscaping, fumigations and mold control, and such expenses.  When you factor in the common utilities, this side of expenses can easily outweigh mortgage repayment.  Be prepared to bear the cost of homeownership.


“About Mountain West Financial and the CalPATH Home Loan Program

Mountain West Financial is the exclusive lender offering CalPATH, the #1 home loan program for Teachers, Police Officers, Firefighters, and other public employees who serve our local California communities.

You may contact our CalPATH Hotline @ 800-310-7577, seven days a week from (8:30 am to 8:00 pm). A CalPATH advisor will be standing by to answer (any & all) questions you may have about the home buying or refinance process.

We look forward to working with you soon!


Joe Moore

Branch Manager”


List of external links 

  1. California Property Tax Calculator https://smartasset.com/taxes/california-property-tax-calculator
  2. The Cost of Living in California https://smartasset.com/mortgage/the-cost-of-living-in-california