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Old 12-22-2012, 01:44 PM
 
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I'm curious as to what utilities cost in Massachusetts for a house that is around 2500-3000 square feet. Trying to budget for the future as I plan to start looking into houses.

What is the annual electricity bill (I know it will vary by month whether it is summer with central AC or winter)?
What is the annual gas bill (again, it will vary because of heat during winter)?
What is the annual water bill?
Am I missing anything else? Are there separate bills for trash, sewer, etc?
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:29 PM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
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I'll try to help you out the best that I can:

Electric:
We have central air. I work from home and have low tolerance for heat and humidity, so we keep it quite cold. Last year, it cost $2100 for electricity.

Oil:
I don't have gas heat; I have oil. Again, because I work from home, I can't have it too chilly during the day. From 5:00 AM to 9:30 PM, it's kept at 68 degrees. At 9:30, it starts dropping down to 59 degrees until 5:00 AM rolls around again. I'd say that it probably costs approximately, with fluctuations in oil prices, $2000 for the year.

Water and sewer:
I think that this is a combined bill here. I also think that we get this bill quarterly, and it's around $120 each time. So just under $500 for the year.

No separate trash charge; that's part of our city property taxes.
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:38 PM
 
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Electricity--depends on if you cooking or heating, washing, drying or not--probably as low as low as $80 to 200-250 a month;
Gas--I would estimate that for cooking, heating, water heater you will be looking at $1500-2200 year;
Water, sewer and trash are assessed per towns, check with relevant departments of towns you are interested in buying;they can differ very much from one town to the next;
Property tax, home insurance, PMI if you are not putting full 20% or more down-payment, local motor vehicle excise tax, cable, phone, internet...
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Old 12-23-2012, 10:12 AM
 
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Thank you for the estimates. This will be helpful in my planning. As for the other bills (property tax, home insurance, PMI, etc etc) I can roughly estimate already.
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Old 12-24-2012, 09:17 AM
 
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In a smaller home than what you have described above:

Electricity Running pretty consistently about $100/month in a home with a lot of electronics -- this spikes in July/August for wall unit a/c, but not by much.

Water/Sewer/Trash is a combined bill in my City, so about $1200/year, billed quarterly

Gas for oven and dryer only - $15-20/month (Water can be really brutal in some towns, so check the specific town and don't assume that Massachusetts is standardized -- the MWRA puts the screws to the Towns it serves, as a way of making back certain cleanup costs).

Oil for heat, not Gas (not uncommon here, and more expensive than gas) -- we have a five-six month gap during the warm months where we don't need a single re-fill, and pay nothing. Therefore, it is a painful, ugly time when the bills start rolling in during the winter, and even in the smaller house, can be $1800-2000 for the six-seven month period, depending on how cold a year it is.

This link will take you to a list of the Massachusetts property tax rates by City and Town. Again, be sure to check out the specific Towns you are interested in, there are wildly different rates.
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Old 12-24-2012, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Boston Suburb
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I'm assuming you are asking about Eastern MA since most questions in this forum is about locations close to Boston (vs Western MA)....2500+ sq ft is considered a huge house around here. If you can afford that big a house, you shouldn't be worried about utilities cost, which would be a bare fraction of your mortgage and property tax bill.
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Old 12-26-2012, 04:01 PM
 
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Also to consider is that some towns charge for school bus pickup. Some towns also don't have recycling.
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:13 AM
 
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I think the heating cost estimates here are on the light side. Older homes greater than 2000 square feet that are not properly insulated can cost double, even triple the money to heat to a reasonable 68 degrees in the winter.

Just keep that in mind when house shopping. The housing stock in massachusetts of by in large, quite old and therefore not energy efficient. Further, even if there are claims that a home is 'insulated' that doesn't mean that it is WELL insulated.
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:48 AM
 
Location: New England
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I agree with Chaxey utility costs can definitely vary by home age, location in MA and by gas vs oil. For myself my previous home was a 1875 victorian roughly 1800 sq ft and had oil heat. From about end of Oct. until April I spent roughly $800 per month on oil and that was keeping the house at 60-63 degrees. That house was extremely inefficient and that was with new windows! The heat just seeped through the walls. My current home is a little smaller and newer, a 1952 dormered cape about 1500 sq ft and I have gas heat along with a gas stove. My current heating bills during the same months are around $200 per month at around 63-65 degrees. My current home is far better insulated. I also live in WMass where it tends to be colder and snowier in the winter months. Good luck!
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Westwood, MA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaxey View Post
I think the heating cost estimates here are on the light side. Older homes greater than 2000 square feet that are not properly insulated can cost double, even triple the money to heat to a reasonable 68 degrees in the winter.

Just keep that in mind when house shopping. The housing stock in massachusetts of by in large, quite old and therefore not energy efficient. Further, even if there are claims that a home is 'insulated' that doesn't mean that it is WELL insulated.
Even if you're house is not insulated, there are generous insulation programs offered through the Mass Save program that will pay or subsidize many insulation efforts. It is worth looking at when you do get settled.
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