You May Need to Factor in This Unexpected Homeownership Cost. Don't Forget It

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  • Pest control is one often forgotten cost that many homeowners face.
  • Pest control could cost several hundred dollars a year and you may need to have a pest control professional visit regularly.

This extra cost might be more expensive than you think.

When you are buying a home, there are many costs you probably have on your radar. For example, you likely know you'll have to make mortgage payments every month, and that you will have to pay things like utility bills and home repairs.

But, there's bound to be some surprises as well. Trying to plan for as many of the expenses that you'll incur is a good idea so you can fully understand how owning your own place will affect your budget. And, in many parts of the country, there's an important expense you may not think about but that you can't forget.

This homeownership cost may not be optional

Depending on where you live, pest control is one expense you may absolutely need to add to your housing budget. 

That's because, in many areas -- especially in the warmer parts of the country -- it's really difficult to keep pests like palmetto bugs or scorpions from becoming a big problem in your house unless you have a professional pest control service that comes in regularly. 

Having these pests in your house can sometimes be dangerous (especially things like scorpions if you have pets or babies) and it can also be really gross and frightening even if the bugs don't present a threat to your safety.

Trying to eradicate them yourself isn’t always effective, and it can be dangerous to deal with chemicals you aren't 100% sure how to use. And some treatments must be applied by approved pest control professionals by law. 

If you find yourself in a house that has regular insect visitors, the last thing you want to do is worry about whether you can afford to get rid of them without busting your budget. So, if this is likely to be a problem in your area -- as it is in many locations across the U.S. -- you should do your research into what this will cost you upfront and factor it in as an essential expense when you are deciding how much house you can afford to buy.

How much will pest control cost you? 

If you are in need of pest control based on a bug problem where you live, it's often most cost effective -- and better for your peace-of-mind -- to have a regular contract with a pest control service. With these types of contracts, they'll usually come out quarterly or even bi-monthly to provide preventive treatments. And, usually your contract will also include additional visits as needed if you spot insects around where you live. 

The costs of these types of contracts varies, but typically you can expect to pay somewhere between $400 and $950 annually. This is a big sum of money, but it can be cheaper than getting periodic emergency treatments done as needed when you see bugs crawling around your home. And, it is likely well worth paying to avoid the unpleasant experience of turning on the light at night and seeing bugs scurrying. 

Just be sure to plan for it, so you don't end up spending more than you should on housing due to this added essential annual expense. 

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