Home insurance costs an additional consideration

First-time homebuyers need to look beyond the house price tag - additional costs add up fast

Incentives like the government's first-time homebuyer tax credit coupled with falling home prices are enticing some individuals and couples to enter the real estate market.

While some looking for a new home are contemplating scooping up a property in foreclosure, others are just taking advantage of falling prices. According to the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, home prices continued to fall at record rates during the first quarter.

But Charleston, South Carolina ABC News Affiliate News 4 warns that there are a number of prudent steps to take before putting down money on a property.

The news source first advises home buyers to evaluate comparable properties with the one they are interested in by using the real estate tool MLS.

After assessing the type of mortgage payment that is affordable, News 4 advises home buyers to be aware of additional costs. Home insurance and taxes alone could "almost double" a mortgage payment, it says.

In addition to home insurance, some types of properties also require condo fees or homeowner's association fees that could drive monthly housing expenses higher.

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Posted: June 01, 2009

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