1. Property taxes
Most people determine whether they can afford a home based on the monthly mortgage payment, says Mindy Jensen, a real estate agent in Colorado and community manager of the real estate education website BiggerPockets. But property taxes can add thousands of dollars per year to the cost of homeownership.
In high-cost markets in places like California and New York, Jensen points out, the property tax bill could be more than $1,000 per month.
“There’s not a lot you can do to reduce your property taxes, other than challenge the assessment,” says Jensen, “or move to a state with lower taxes.”