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Buying a Co-op or Condo? Don't Forget New York's High "Hidden Costs."

New York City

apartment buyers, hidden costs, property taxes, co-ops and condos.
June 30, 2023

With most people fixating on higher interest rates, rapidly rising housing prices and the paucity of inventory, it’s easy to forget the “hidden” costs of homeownership, including property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, utility payments and maintenance, The New York Times reports.

According to a recent Zillow study of housing costs in the first quarter of 2023, the median amount of these auxiliary expenses in 39 large U.S. metro areas was $14,155 a year. Among those metros (where sufficient data was available), San Francisco had the highest annual hidden costs (a median of $22,791), New York City was a close second ($22,776), while Las Vegas had the lowest ($9,886).

Overall, maintenance was found to require the greatest median outlay ($6,413 a year), followed by utilities ($3,216), property taxes ($2,827) and homeowner’s insurance ($1,699). Taxes varied the most. It will come as no surprise to New Yorkers that their city leads the nation when it comes to property taxes. The annual median here is $9,145, while the low is just $1,055 in Pittsburgh.

To build the list, researchers used each metro’s median real estate tax and home value, as drawn from the Zillow Home Value Index. Insurance costs were calculated at 0.5% of value. Utility costs were derived from 2022 state averages, while phone bills and streaming-service costs were sourced from Forbes reporting. Zillow collaborated with Thumbtack, a site connecting contractors with homeowners, to determine local costs of maintenance and essential repairs.

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