What are the ongoing costs of owning a home?

Average customer rating: 4.3/5
Written by James Hurwood
Reviewed by Stephen Zeller
Updated March 21, 2024

Expert tips for managing the ongoing costs of home ownership

As General Manager of Money at Compare the Market, Stephen Zeller wants to help both seasoned borrowers and first home buyers get a better understanding of their regular expenses, and budget for them better as a result. With that in mind, he has these tips:

Stephen Zeller
General Manager – Money

Add up your known costs

Tally up and budget for your regular ongoing costs like council rates, home insurance and your mortgage repayments – you can’t get caught out by your expenses if you’ve accounted for them and know they’re coming! When both known and unknown costs are on the table, it’s a great ideal to make sure the known costs are taken care of.

Keep a buffer on hand

Unexpected additional costs can blow a hole in your budget if you’re not financially prepared for them, so you may find it beneficial to keep a reserve fund of savings specifically for those irregular and hidden costs.

Be prudent when renovating

Renovations are exciting, but that excitement can potentially lead to a cost blowout if you’re not careful. Whether it’s your first time renovating or you’re a seasoned redecorator, be sure to thoroughly account for the costs of any planned renovations and do your best to stay mindful of your budget throughout the renovation process.

What are the regular costs of owning a home?

Mortgage repayments

Ongoing home loan fees

Council rates

Body corporate fees

Home and contents insurance


What are the irregular costs of owning a home?

General maintenance and wear and tear

Breakages and repairs



Meet our home loans expert, Stephen Zeller

Stephen Zeller
General Manager – Money

Stephen has more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry and holds a Certificate IV in Finance and Mortgage Broking. He’s also a member of both the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) and the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia (MFAA).

Stephen leads our team of Home Loan Specialists, and reviews and contributes to Compare the Market’s banking-relating content to ensure it’s as helpful and empowering as possible for our readers.