7 surprises of home ownership

You will pay more for heating and cooling

If you're moving from an apartment to a stand-alone home, be prepared for utilities sticker shock. It'll cost a lot more to heat and cool when you've got four walls and a roof exposed to the elements than if you were living in a box. You can add or upgrade insulation to keep those costs down, but that process will cost you, too.

The median monthly cost for electricity is $121 for homeowners and $90 for renters, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Natural gas is more expensive, too. Homeowners pay a median monthly cost of $75, while renters pay $54.

Plus, you may be responsible for more utilities than when you rented.

If water was included in the rent, get used to picking up that tab ($42 a month). You may also pay a separate sewer bill, unless you're part of a homeowner or condo association. Even then, you could get additional bills for renovations like painting and roofing, even if you personally think the paint and roofs are fine.

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