Preparing to move to a new state can be exciting, but daunting. Figuring out what area of a state to move to, finding the right house, and coordinating the move can all feel overwhelming. On top of that, you’ll also need to estimate the cost of living expenses, to determine if you can comfortably live in a new city.
When moving to Pennsylvania, there are a few cost of living considerations you’ll want to plan for. This guide will walk you through everything from typical home prices and property taxes to homeowners insurance and maintenance, to ensure your budget is as exact as possible before moving to the Keystone State.
Typical Home Prices in Pennsylvania in 2019
On average right now in the United State, real estate markets are hot, favoring sellers over buyers. While that’s typical for the summer time, state and local markets can vary drastically. Right now in Pennsylvania, the housing market is very hot, which means a few things: home prices are typically higher, there’s increased buyer competition, and there’s generally a greater home selection available.
According to May 2019 data from Zillow, median home values in Pennsylvania have risen over the past 12 months by 3.3% to $173,100. These values are predicted to increase by another 1% over the next 12 months.
The median price of homes listed in Pennsylvania is $224,990, while the median price of homes sold is $172,500. This is well below the U.S. median listing price of $291,900 and selling price of $234,900, making Pennsylvania an affordable state to live for many.
While prices are lower than U.S. averages, it’s still important to understand that the Pennsylvania market fluctuates like every other market. Prices are currently at a high and are predicted to drop by late fall, making winter an ideal time for buyers to obtain a home for the lowest possible price.
How Much Are Pennsylvania Property Taxes?
While home prices are pretty affordable in Pennsylvania, it’s also important to factor in how much you’ll expect to pay in taxes each year. While Pennsylvania’s property taxes vary widely depending on the county you live in, overall, the state’s property taxes are fairly high, clocking in at a median rate of 1.58%, according to WalletHub.
The amount you’ll pay each year will depend on your county’s tax rate, as well as your home’s property value. On average, for a $200,000 valued home, you can pay anywhere from $1,800 (0.9%) to $5,000 (2.5%) each year.
Homeowners with a home valued at $200,000 in Philadelphia, for instance, can expect to pay 0.949% in property taxes each year, equalling $2,373, which is on the low side of the spectrum. Homeowners with the same valued home in Allentown, however, can expect to pay 1.761% or $4,403 in property taxes each year.
Your buyer’s agent can help you better understand what your county’s property tax will be, so you can prepare for your taxes ahead of time.
Average Homeowners Insurance in Philadelphia
Homeowners insurance is another expense you’ll want to take into consideration when moving to Pennsylvania. While homeowners insurance isn’t required by law to buy a home, some lenders will require you to purchase it to receive financing.
The overall cost of homeowners insurance each year will vary greatly depending on how much coverage you opt for, the insurance company you partner with, and your home’s value.
In Philadelphia, for instance, average homeowners insurance for a $200,000 valued home ranges from $1,011 to $1,768, averaging $1,493 per year. The same valued home in Allentown, however, could cost only $550 to $1,869 to insure, averaging $869 per year. In Scranton, prices are even lower, ranging from $656 to $935 per year, and averaging $786.
Common Home Maintenance and Repair Costs in Pennsylvania
Homeowners are responsible for maintaining their home and paying for any necessary repairs. While it can be hard to predict when a repair will be needed, the general rule is to plan to pay 1% of your home’s value per year in maintenance and repairs.
Since Pennsylvania has fairly harsh winters, you should prepare to fix freezing pipes, pay for snow removal services, and possible sleet and hail damage. If you have to replace pipes that freeze and burst, you can expect to pay between $620 to $2,448 depending on the damage.
You’ll also want to factor in the age and condition of your home when budgeting for maintenance and repairs. If you have an old roof that will need to be replaced soon, you’ll need to budget between $5,193 to $10,146 to pay for a replacement.
You can work with your real estate agent to go over inspection results during the closing process so you can better plan out your repair and maintenance budget.
Other Costs of Living in Pennsylvania to Consider
While homeownership costs are important to consider when buying a home, if you’re moving to Pennsylvania from another state, you’ll also want to understand the difference between costs of living from state to state. Costs of groceries, utilities, and healthcare are important to factor into your budget.
In Pennsylvania, the cost of living is just slightly higher than the U.S. average. Grocery and healthcare costs are just barely over the average cost throughout the country, while utilities and dining out costs are just under the U.S. average. Transportation costs, which include car insurance, gas, and mass transit are higher than the country’s average, so be prepared to pay more for your car’s upkeep than you may be currently.
You should consult with your real estate agent to find out if there are any other state or local costs to consider when moving, so you can be more financially prepared.
Find a Top Pennsylvania Real Estate Agent
Moving and buying a home in a new state becomes much easier when you partner with an experienced real estate agent. Regulations, and local market trends, your agent can provide you with valuable insight when selecting your new home. They’ll also work alongside you all the way through closing, working on your behalf with the seller’s agent.
If you don’t already have a real estate agent, let Clever connect you with a top-rated agent in Pennsylvania. Clever Partner Agents will help you view homes before other buyers with on-demand showing options and can also offer you $1,000 back in the form of a Home Buyers Rebate at closing.
Learn more and get connected to a local Clever Partner Agent.