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Hey everyone,

I posted a question about buying my first house here a couple weeks ago. Several posted the opinion that I was being too aggressive with the price range I was going after in relation to my income. After some reflection, I think I agree, and I will be looking for something closer to 3.0 times annual gross income.

My new question is related to the overall cost of owning a home. Here is the way I see this:

Net costs = cost minus income

Costs: Interest on mortgage, insurance, maintanence, property tax, possible decline in property value.

Income: mortgage interest tax deduction, possible gain in property value.

So the question:
(1) Am I missing any significant source of cost or income, provided that the home is my primary residence and will not be rented?
(2) Does anyone have good averages for each field as a percentage of home value? I recognize that these will not necessarily hold for any particular property, but they would still be useful for me. For example, what kind of average annual maintanence expense does the average homeowner end up paying?
(3) Are the long-term average price appreciation differ between single family homes and townhouses/condos? How so?

Thanks again for your help.
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