Home Maintenance Costs Just Hit A Record High

Key Takeaways:

– The cost of home maintenance is rising, with an average yearly cost of $6,548 for a single-family home.
– Factors such as inflation, labor and material shortages, and older homes contribute to the increase in maintenance costs.
– Taking a proactive approach to home maintenance can help save money in the long run.
– Proactive maintenance includes tending to the mechanical room, inspecting the home’s framework, and maintaining its appearance.
– Homebuyers should consider the potential maintenance costs when choosing a house and budget accordingly.
– Properly planning and budgeting for expected and unexpected maintenance and repairs is crucial.
– Failing to save enough for maintenance can lead to more expensive repairs in the future.

Forbes:

The cost of everything is rising, and it appears that home maintenance expenses are no exception. In fact, according to a recent report, it now costs, on average, $6,548 a year to maintain a single family home.

In a previous article, we revealed that on average, homeowners can expect to pay $14,155 a year, or $1,180 a month in hidden costs related to owning a home. These include changes in property taxes, utilities — as well as maintenance costs.

However, the new data, from the Thumbtack Home Care Price Index, reveals that from the third quarter of 2022 to the third quarter of 2023, average maintenance costs increased by $400 (from $6,146 to $6,548). And although the rise in costs has slowed, Thumbtack’s economist, Jack Erb, tells us this is an all-time high.

Factors Fueling The Increase in Maintenance Costs

“There are a number of factors that have contributed to rising home maintenance costs,” Erb explains. “Inflation has increased the overall cost of goods and services, while ongoing labor and material shortages have also driven up the price.” And compared to last year, he says the annual costs have increased in 12 out of the 17 home maintenance categories.

These are the categories and corresponding costs:

“Also, just less than half of owner-occupied homes were built before 1980, and around 35% before 1970,” Erb says. “With demand for new builds outpacing supply, proactive home maintenance and upkeep have never been more important for homeowners.”

Ways To Keep Maintenance Costs Down

Being proactive is always better than trying to react and play catchup when repairs will be more extensive and expensive. “Like the body’s circulatory system, proactive home maintenance ensures longevity and lower costs,” Eby says. He recommends that you start by tending to the home’s heart — your mechanical room. “Regularly change HVAC filters and keep water systems clean, much like monitoring cholesterol levels.”

Next, Eby says you should move on to the home’s framework. “Clean windows and gutters, inspect your roof for leaks, and check for paint wear and foundation issues.” Water damage and structural issues can wreak havoc on your home, so don’t push maintenance down the road.

“Finally, maintain your home’s appearance and health by attending to landscaping and finishes,” Erb says. While

Planning for Home Maintenance and Repairs

Home maintenance is also something that homebuyers should consider when choosing a house, and failing to do so is a typical first-time home buyer mistake. If Thumbtack’s most estimate holds, $6,548 a year in maintenance costs is $32,740 in five years, and $65,480 in 10 years. Admittedly, you shouldn’t need to repair a roof, stain a deck, or have a tree trimmed or removed every year. However, some of the costs, such as window cleaning carpet cleaning, pressure washing, lawn care, and appliance repair, could certainly be ongoing costs.

It is so important for buyers to not spend too much on a house because there are many costs associated with the monthly, quarterly, and annual maintenance of a home,” says Candice Williams, realtor at Coldwell Banker Realty in Houston. “It’s very common for buyers to try to find a home at the higher end of their budget but don’t factor in they risk living pay check to pay check to pay the mortgage.”

And even when buyers predict that they will have enough money to cover everything, Williams recommends creating a buffer. “Life and particularly the economy can be unpredictable,” she warns. “For example, no one could have predicted that millions of people would be unemployed because businesses had to shut down during stay-at-home orders.”

For both present and future homebuyers, the importance of properly planning for both expected and unexpected maintenance and home repairs cannot be overstated. “Budgeting for unexpected home maintenance repairs could be the difference between providing a smooth remedy or one that could cause more disaster in the home,” says Jason Gelios, a realtor serving the Southeast Michigan market. “Considering the average cost to fix a furnace is between $150 and $500, with a total replacement cost anywhere between $5,000 to $8,000, not having the money set aside or resources to fix the issue could cause additional damage in the home and further financial woes.”

And if you don’t save up enough for maintenance, he warns that it could end up costing you more in the long run. For example, if you don’t handle missing shingles and rotting vent boots on your roof, as well as clogged gutters, these small problems can lead to substantial roof damage, which will cause significantly more to fix.

“Maintaining a home should be a top priority for every homeowner because you never know when something could go bad,” Gelios says. “And gomeowners should apply regular maintenance to their home to not only reduce the chance of a big surprise issue, but also to extend the life of the home.”

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Property Chomp’s Take:

Hey there! Let’s talk about home maintenance costs and how taking a proactive approach can help you save money. We all know that the cost of everything is rising, and unfortunately, home maintenance expenses are no exception. According to a recent report, it now costs an average of $6,548 per year to maintain a single-family home.

In a previous article, we discussed how homeowners can expect to pay $14,155 per year, or $1,180 per month, in hidden costs related to owning a home. These costs include changes in property taxes, utilities, and maintenance expenses. However, the new data from the Thumbtack Home Care Price Index reveals that maintenance costs have increased by $400 from the third quarter of 2022 to the third quarter of 2023. This increase brings the average yearly maintenance costs to an all-time high.

So, what factors are fueling this increase in maintenance costs? According to Thumbtack’s economist, Jack Erb, there are several contributing factors. Inflation has increased the overall cost of goods and services, while ongoing labor and material shortages have also driven up prices. Compared to last year, annual costs have increased in 12 out of the 17 home maintenance categories.

Additionally, the age of homes plays a role in maintenance costs. Nearly half of owner-occupied homes were built before 1980, and around 35% were built before 1970. With demand for new builds outpacing supply, proactive home maintenance and upkeep have never been more important for homeowners.

Now, let’s talk about ways to keep maintenance costs down. Being proactive is always better than trying to react and play catch-up when repairs become more extensive and expensive. A good place to start is by tending to your home’s mechanical room, which is like the heart of your home. Regularly changing HVAC filters and keeping water systems clean can go a long way in ensuring longevity and lower costs.

Next, focus on the framework of your home. Clean windows and gutters, inspect your roof for leaks, and check for paint wear and foundation issues. Water damage and structural issues can wreak havoc on your home if not addressed promptly.

Lastly, don’t neglect the appearance and health of your home’s exterior. Attend to landscaping and finishes to maintain your home’s curb appeal and overall well-being.

When it comes to planning for home maintenance and repairs, it’s crucial to consider these costs when choosing a house. Failing to do so can be a common first-time homebuyer mistake. If Thumbtack’s estimate holds, $6,548 per year in maintenance costs adds up to $32,740 in five years and $65,480 in ten years. While not all maintenance tasks need to be done every year, ongoing costs like window cleaning, carpet cleaning, pressure washing, lawn care, and appliance repair should be factored in.

Realtor Candice Williams advises against spending too much on a house without considering the associated maintenance costs. Many buyers aim for homes at the higher end of their budget but fail to consider that it could lead to living paycheck to paycheck just to pay the mortgage. She also recommends creating a buffer for unexpected expenses, as the economy can be unpredictable.

For both present and future homebuyers, properly planning for expected and unexpected maintenance and repairs is crucial. Budgeting for these costs can make a significant difference in the smoothness of your homeownership journey. Not having enough money set aside for repairs could lead to more significant damage and financial woes down the line.

Realtor Jason Gelios emphasizes the importance of regular maintenance to reduce the chance of surprise issues and extend the life of your home. Neglecting small problems like missing shingles and clogged gutters can lead to substantial damage and cost more to fix in the long run.

In conclusion, home maintenance costs are on the rise, but taking a proactive approach can help you save money in the long term. By staying on top of regular maintenance tasks and budgeting for unexpected expenses, you can ensure the longevity and value of your home. So, don’t wait until issues become costly emergencies—start taking care of your home today.

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