Every year I write a post to monitor my housing expenses. Today’s post covers my 2018 housing expenses. You can read my 2016 and 2017 posts here. Even though my condo is paid off, a primary residence has a lot of expenses which I’ll review below.
2018 housing expenses – $5,176
It’s hard to say which has a lower long-term ownership expense, a single family home or a condo. I think a frugal household could come out ahead in a SFH, but not the average person.
Condos uniquely have monthly HOA dues. They also require the approval of the HOA before you can make certain repairs and upgrades. That said, my HOA dues started out at $150/month and then went up to $175/month and now are at $290/month.
Besides that, a condo is a rather low-maintenance possession. I’ve owned this unit since end of 2015.
My spending categories for my condo are as follows:
- HOA dues ($290/month)
- Annual property taxes ($2,200/year)
- Annual condo insurance ($285/year)
- Repairs ($22)
- Cosmetics ($0)
For half of the year I paid $175/month and then the HOA dues jumped to $290/month. At least I didn’t have a special assessment which HOA’s impose from time to time.
My HOA dues aren’t a loss – in return for these payments I get:
- common area repairs (roof, foundation, siding)
- a building engineer
- building insurance
My repairs were simple and I handled them myself. $22 was for the parts I needed. I need to be careful with any plumbing and electrical work because if something goes wrong then I could be on the hook for a lot or even be sued.
$430/month to live in Portland
Looking back on 2018, I spent on average $430/month to live in Portland. The current rent here for something equivalent would be $1,250/month. The lowest rent in a comparable neighborhood here would be $950/month.
It’s worth mentioning that I get to deduct some of these expenses on taxes since I have a home office as well. Still, $430 is a very fair price to pay to live in a large city with solid infrastructure.
If I continue to live here when I’m 70 years old, I suspect I would be able to continue to afford it just fine. However, I suspect that by that age I will get the opportunity to get in on another piece of real estate for a much better price and maybe pay even less.
Regardless of where and how, home ownership has its costs. At the very least there will be property taxes, insurance, utilities, and maintenance. The bigger the house, the larger these costs.
However, the ideal home could allow for some off-grid style living. If once grows some food on there and uses renewable resources for their energy, a lot of the ongoing costs could be decreased.