In Arizona, it's not uncommon to find many homes priced in the low $100's.
Such homes will have monthly mortgage payments just above or below $1,000/month - depending on the loan.
When comparing homes, the buyer will normally be able to add the other monthly responsibilities:
Normally the Telephone and cable bills are very easy to compute. The water bill is not difficult either... they tend not to vary to much from location to location. Transportation costs are a function of location- so this is not difficult math either.
The area most overlooked, in my view, is electric. Note these things, when looking for the home:
- Is it energy efficient?
- How are the windows?
- How is the insulation?
- Which is the power company?
- What is the internal volume of the home?
- Which electric company provides service?
- What is the age of the home?
- Is there a pool?
When someone is on a budget, the heating, and especially cooling costs can add significantly to the monthly payment. Pools can add a couple hundred or more. Some older homes can cost twice as much to heat or cool.
So... when purchasing, be sure to add the utilities to your monthly preparation list.
Chuck Willman is a real estate agent based in Arizona
Photo Credit: "Electric Meter 1" by Kenn Kiser