Homeownership is a huge responsibility, and is a pretty loaded decision to make from a financial standpoint. Though many future homeowners understand how much you'll fork over at the beginning of the process, the "hidden costs" are the expenses that'll get you long after closing day — and they can be brutal.
So, whether you're a first-timer or an experienced homeowner, I want to know about the hidden costs and expenses that came with your home that you were in no way prepared for when you decided to make things official.
Ideally, these are expenses that make themselves known after closing, but if you dealt with any bizarre or unexpected costs during your closing process, we'd love to know about those, too.
Here's an example: Perhaps you waived your home inspection before going into contract, as many buyers are doing these days. All looked good enough to you and your realtor. Then, months later, a horrible storm revealed that roof leak you glossed over (and left you with a hefty bill to repair the water damage).
Let's say you bought the house of your dreams in a walkable, urban area. Winters are snowy where you live, so you're constantly stuck shoveling the sidewalk — or paying someone else to do it — to avoid the hefty fines you never, ever thought about as a renter.
Maybe you felt like you scored the deal of the century on a gorgeous condo with a low monthly maintenance fee. But one day, you got a letter in the mail notifying you (and all your neighbors) of the $10,000 special assessment you owe to replace all those aging elevators.
If you moved from an apartment into a single-family home, maybe you were over the moon about having a big yard for the first time. Well, the joy died when you realized how much time, money, stress, and water that lawn costs you on a weekly basis. (And since your HOA regulations require you to keep that grassy pain-in-the-ass in tip-top shape, you're stuck.)
Or, maybe the biggest hidden "cost" you've run into has nothing to do with money. As a busy parent and first-time homeowner, you had no idea how much of your free time would be devoted to projects and upkeep. Homeownership cost you your old social life, and while you don't regret your decision, you can't help but miss the carefree days behind you.
Whatever the unexpected homeownership cost that you dealt with (or still deal with) was, I want to know all about it. Tell me about your experience in the comments below or through this anonymous form, and your response could be featured in an upcoming BuzzFeed Community post.
Bonus: If you have a photo that helps to depict your unique situation, you can upload it along with your response using the photo icon in the comment box below.