Taxes, Insurance and Other Costs Don't Bite S.A. Homeowners Quite as Deep

click to enlarge San Antonio homeowners face $9,171 in "hidden" costs annually, slightly less than the national average. - SANFORD NOWLIN
Sanford Nowlin
San Antonio homeowners face $9,171 in "hidden" costs annually, slightly less than the national average.
The "hidden" costs of home ownership in San Antonio aren't as big a suck on your wallet as it is in other Texas cities.

Or so says a new study by real-estate site Zillow, which tallied all the added expenses of owning a home — namely taxes, insurance, utilities and maintenance — that your parents' warnings just can't fully prepare you for.

Homeowners here sink an average of $9,171 into those additional costs each year, slightly less than the national average of $9,394. That's also considerably lower than the $12,457, $10,712 and $10,110 folks pay in Austin, Dallas and Houston, respectively.

For all four Texas cities, property taxes are the single biggest contributor to the total hidden costs of ownership. And for all four, those taxes are well above the national average of $2,239 per year. S.A's average stands at $3,021, while Austin's is $4,819.

Much of that added expense comes down to Texas' lack of a state income tax. As one of just a handful of states without one, local government agencies rely more heavily on property taxes to fund schools, roads and emergency services.

San Jose, Calif., tops Zillow's study as the priciest city for hidden home ownership costs, which average $20,655 yearly. That stands to reason, since property taxes and homeowner’s insurance tie in to a home’s value — and houses in Silicon Valley don't come cheap.

But San Jose's situation should also serve as a warning.

The recent report from Mayor Ron Nirenberg's Housing Policy Task Force points out that San Antonio's sharply rising appraisals and corresponding tax bills are an emerging barrier to home ownership and may drive low-income residents out of the housing market.

In other words, homeowners, enjoy the reprieve while you can. It likely won't last.

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