Buying a home
It's likely the biggest purchase you'll ever make, and the costs don't end with the price listed on your sales contract.
When you become a homeowner, you're also incurring one-time loan closing costs, interest expenses over the life of the loan, property taxes, insurance and maintenance expenses for as long as you live in the home.
The average sales price of an existing single-family home in 2011 was $214,300, while the average for existing condo and co-op sales was $211,300, according to the National Association of Realtors. Regional averages for single-family homes were $277,000 in the Northeast, $166,900 in the Midwest, $192,800 in the South and $256,500 in the West.
Bankrate.com's 2011 Closing Costs Survey found that national average origination, title and closing fees totaled $4,070.
Average annual mortgage interest and charges in 2010 added up to $3,351, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The median annual real estate tax paid in 2010 was $2,043, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. And the average annual homeowners insurance premium was $880 in 2009, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
Cluttering your home up with furniture and knickknacks adds even more to the cost.