The Real Cost of Home Maintenance and Repairs

Making the decision to become a homeowner is a big step in life and owning a home is likely to be the biggest expense you’ll ever have. Unfortunately the actual cost of owning a home goes far beyond the mortgage payment. Before purchasing a home the potential owners must first figure out how much they can afford on a monthly basis. Often times though they forget to add in the estimated cost of the monthly utility bills and hardly ever remember to factor in the cost of home maintenance.

Why Homes Need Maintenance

Homes are constantly in need of updating and repairs. The exterior of our homes are exposed to the elements 24 hours a day. Rain, snow, sun, and wind are just some the damaging elements that can cause homes to slowly deteriorate. The interior of our homes are exposed to the people and pets that live there. Daily wear and tear is normal causing things like furniture, appliances, and flooring to be replaced about every ten years on average.

How to Estimate the Cost of Home Maintenance

The typical cost of maintaining a home is roughly about one tenth of a percent of the purchase price of the home. That means that a house that cost $100,000.00 will cost about $100.00 a month to maintain. A house that cost $200,000.00 will cost about $200.00 a month in maintenance and so on and so on. This figure represents an overall average so it doesn’t mean it’s going to cost money every month but it’s a good idea to save this money and put it aside each month for when the repairs finally become necessary.

Putting off Repairs will Cost More in the Long Run

When it comes time to make repairs it’s better to take care of them as soon as the problem arises. Some problems will lead to bigger ones if they are put off for too long. For example, a leaky roof can be an expensive repair and putting it off can lead to water damage in the home’s interior, which if that’s left alone can even lead to mold. Basically, one thing leads to another, which means the bills can pile up on top of each other quickly and easily.

Home Equity Loans are Commonly Used to Pay for Repairs and Maintenance

Since home repairs and maintenance are rarely saved up for ahead of time most homeowners will visit their local financial institution and take out a home equity loan or remortgage their house to cover the expenses. Fixed and variable home equity loans are the two most common options to choose from although variable home equity loans may be more prevalent for this situation. Either way, the interest on these loans is usually tax deductible and the interest rates are usually ideal.

The actual costs of home maintenance can vary based on certain things like the condition, age, and location of the homes. A skilled handyman will also be able to save more money by doing the repairs instead of hiring contractors to make every little repair around the house. Condos and townhouses usually have monthly association fees that go towards the maintenance of the exterior and common areas which will cover things like roofs, siding, cutting the grass, snow removal, and trash collection.