Ready to take advantage of Boston condo for sale market and invest in a home? Now’s a great time to start thinking about the costs of home ownership — whether you’re paying in cash or taking out a mortgage. While your mortgage lender can help you figure out what kind of monthly payment you can afford, as a real estate agent I like to remind people to also budget out the funds you’ll need to cover the expenses of actually owning a home that your broker may not of told you.
Mortgage, property tax, and homeowners insurance
The key to understanding your long-term home ownership costs is predictability. Unfortunately, property tax rates and even homeowners’ insurance change over the years (most likely, going up). One way to reduce the variables is to lock into a fixed-rate mortgage when you buy your Boston downtown condo for sale. While variable rate mortgages may seem attractive with a low starting rate, you never know what will happen in the future.
Starting with your mortgage rate, you can begin to figure out your other basic costs of owning a Boston Downtown condo. A good mortgage calculator will allow you to plug in all of the relevant data and see how much your monthly costs will be for a given Boston Midtown home, including property taxes and homeowners insurance. Mortgage rates are determined by national trends, but property taxes and homeowners insurance are very much affected by what part of downtown Boston you want to buy a home in.
Property Tax in Boston
As with elsewhere in the US, each county, city, school district, and other special districts in Boston each raise money through the property tax, so the exact rate varies from year to year and neighborhood to neighborhood. All you have to do is Google the website for the county and enter the address in the appropriate search box once you get there. For currently listed properties, Zillow also puts this information in its website. Not into doing research? Just ask your real estate agent.
The age of your Boston condo, your own credit score and history, and the amount of deductible on the policy all play a major part in how much your monthly homeowners insurance premium in Boston will be.
Boston Condo Fees
Ah, the regular, predictable world of Condominium Association fees! Insert sarcasm. Unfortunately these can also change. Be sure to review the condo documentation to make sure your Condo Assoc is in a strong financial situation and won’t have to suddenly hike up the rates to cover delayed maintenance. Some Condo Assoc will even have caps on their annual increase amounts. You can know exactly what homeowners’ associations expect up front in terms of monthly dues, but you need to watch out as those rates could increase..
Condominiums are increasingly popular among first-time homebuyers – 42 percent of first-time homebuyers now opt for a condominium, compared to 28 percent in 2001. This makes condo fees an increasingly important (if not always top-of-mind) consideration in determining a home’s affordability.
Your real estate agent will be able to tell you the Boston condo for sale that you’re looking at determine cost of the condo fee,The good thing about Condo Assoc. is that they cover many of the costs of home maintenance, which is our next category of home ownership costs!