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A $200,000 home costs more than a $185,000 home, right? Well, yes and no. Assuming the same type of financing for both homes, the $200,000 home does cost more initially. But many factors contribute to the overall long-term cost of a house. Here are some things to keep in mind when trying to determine the true cost of purchasing a particular home:

a�? Does it have a pool or hot tub that requires maintenance?
a�? How much yard maintenance is required and who will perform it?
a�? Are there trees that should be removed?
a�? What are the utility costs? Although your usage wona��t be exactly the same as the current owners, you may be able to get their utility bills for the past year from them or directly from the utility company.
a�? How soon will the roof need to be replaced?
a�? Does the house need repainting?
a�? Does the electrical system need upgrading to handle the load for your appliances and electronics?
a�? Does the home have aluminum wiring, lead-based paint, or other safety or health hazards you will want to address?
a�? Does the house need new carpeting or flooring?
a�? What remodeling projects do you see as a must?
a�? Will appliances need replacing?
a�? What are the estimated property taxes for the property?

Also, be sure to get a professional inspection to identify other potentially costly problem areas.

2004 by the Texas Association of Realtors, All rights reserved.
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