I was so fixated on what living in a particular was like I didn’t even think about the hidden costs that would make it hard to live there. These websites don’t show the states in the same location so it’s interesting to compare and get an overall sense of the different taxes in comparison to other states.
Worst States to be a Taxpayer. This shows as a map and tells you about state and local taxes.
Total Taxes by State. This shows the total taxes with the highest state first. This site provides information on the states with the highest income and sales tax.
Other taxes to consider. If you’re looking to retire this site has other taxes to consider like medical, military property taxes.
Your House’s Value as a Comparable
Sometimes what you can buy is dependent on what you sell your current house for (if you own). I didn’t realize how important it was to know the comparables in the area because what I thought it was worth based on city assessment might not be what someone would buy it for. This would in turn impact how much of a down payment we would have. Trulia helped me understand how comparables work so I could have a more realistic perspective on our house’s worth.
Another thing I didn’t think of was mortgage insurance. If you don’t have a large enough down payment you’ll have to pay mortgage insurance or PMI. This can really impact the house you get because it can add a lot to your monthly payment. I like this calculator because it incorporates taxes, down payment, mortgage insurance, and even expenses to help you know how much you can afford and what your monthly payment would be. Mortgage calculator.
You see a great house on Zillow or Trulia but you didn’t even know it was in a housing development. Sometimes they list the HOA fees and sometimes they don’t. A good indication that the house has HOA fees is it has a neighborhood name like Silvercrest or Maple Meadows etc.
Are there other hidden costs people should be aware of?