Owning a home is a great way to build wealth and equity. Homeownership is a component of the American dream. However, like many investments, there are costs associated with it too. Some underestimate how much home upkeep truly costs. They are unprepared when a major repair comes their way. Suddenly, that home is more of a burden than a benefit. But this doesn’t have to be the case. The key is to not let those repairs take you by surprise.   Then you can decide if you want to take the time to make those repairs or,  sell your house and have cash in hand to buy something new.

1. A new roof:

Replacing your roof is a large cost for your home. However, it shouldn’t catch you off guard. A new roof should last between 20-25 years. How old is your home? When was the roof last replaced? This will help you create a timeline to budget your repairs. The costs of the replacement will vary. If you have the skills to replace the roof yourself the costs will be between $2,000 and $6,000. If you contract out the work, you will pay between $5,000-$12,000. The size of your home will determine how much you spend.

Don’t ignore the signs it’s time to replace or repair your roof:

Some will wait until the last minute to repair or replace their roof. They don’t have the money liquid to make such an expensive repair. They wait until there are leaks in the roof and their personal effects are being ruined by the water damage. It doesn’t have to be this way. Look at your roof. Are there missing shingles? Do you see weak areas on the roof? If so, it’s time to call a roofer before the damage gets worse.

Preventative maintenance:

Eventually, the best roofs must be replaced. But, with some preventative maintenance, you can get a long life out of your roof. Every 5-10 years have a professional come to inspect the roof. This way they can catch damage early before it becomes a huge repair.

2. HVAC:

Your HVAC can last nearly 20 years. Common repairs won’t break the bank either. The average cost for a furnace and air conditioner repair is around $300. Replacement units are a bigger investment. A new AC is a little over $5,000 and a new furnace is about $4,000.

HVAC preventative maintenance:

Once spring rolls around it’s a good idea to have the units inspected. A technician can do a tune-up and cleaning of the units. This will help you get the longest life out of your air conditioner and furnace.

3. Hot water heater:

Replacing a hot water heater is not as expensive as a roof or HVAC. But it will still set you back a bit. The telltale sign it has broken is that cold shower. However, keep your eye out for rust colored leaking and strange noises coming from the tank. These are signs of a problem. Repairs cost around $500 and a replacement tank is around $1,000. Tankless water heaters are also an option. They are more efficient than the standard hot water heater. Yet, they are also more expensive.

Don’t procrastinate with water heater repairs or replacement:

Don’t ignore the signs of a broken hot water heater. If it bursts or begins leaking you will have the water damage bill to pay too. You don’t want to add mold remediation to your list of home expenses.

Hot water heater preventative maintenance:

Every few months check the pressure valve to make sure it’s operating properly. When you are doing your home maintenance during the spring flush the hot water tank. This will get rid of particles and build up that could lead to a burst tank.

4. Foundation repairs:

Do you struggle to close your doors correctly? Do you see cracks in your walls? These could be signs of a foundation problem. If caught early, crack repairs run around $500. You don’t want to ignore these problems as they can turn into safety issues over time. Holding off on leak repairs can lead to mold. A major foundation replacement like stabilizing runs around $10,000-$12,000. A structural engineer can tell you what to do to resolve the issue. Steel beams may need to be installed to stabilize the house.

Foundation repairs and resale value:

Trying to sell a home with foundation problems can feel impossible. But, investing in the foundation can help your resale value. Having the home stabilized makes the home more appealing to buyers.

Budgeting for home repairs:

Your home repairs don’t have to break your bank. But it will require putting aside money each month for potential repairs. Many recommend the square foot rule for budgeting. You should put aside $1 per square foot of home per year for maintenance. If you own a 2,000 square foot home, you should put aside $2,000 per year for repairs and replacements. Another method you can use is the 1% rule. Put aside 1% of your home’s value per year in repairs. These are guidelines for your maintenance budget. But there are other factors to consider.

  • Age: If your home is new you probably aren’t expecting too many major repairs. If the home is 20-30 years old expect to be making some major repairs soon.
  • Inclement weather: If you live in a region that is susceptible to inclement weather your repair costs may differ. Heavy snow and extreme cold are taxing on a home. If you live along the coast you may be at risk for hurricane damage. The climate may allow pests to thrive too. If your area has termites consider pest control and prevention in your maintenance.
  • Flooding: If you are on a floodplain or at the bottom of a hill this will increase your maintenance costs. You may also be required to carry flood insurance on the home. This is a good question for your insurance agent.
  • Single family home, condo, or townhome: If you live in a single-family home you must pay for all maintenance. But if you live in a townhome or condo your HOA dues will cover several costs. You would be responsible for the interior repairs like electrical and plumbing. The HOA would cover exterior maintenance like roofing and foundation repairs.

Home ownership is a great opportunity to build equity. Yet, you don’t want to be drowning in home repair costs. Home ownership is meant to help you build wealth not bankrupt you. Have a budget, manage your preventative maintenance, and anticipate major repairs or replacements. This way your home will be a benefit instead of a burden.

Contact Seller’s Advantage online or call us at 1-800-208-3243 to get a no-cost, no-obligation quote on your home. We purchase homes in AS-IS condition and can give you a cash offer in as little as 24 hours.

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