Most homeowners know the toughest rule of the American Dream: the meter is always running.
The U.S. Census Bureau pegs the average cost of running a household at $1,408 per month. That’s a daily homeownership cost of nearly $47. The cost of your mortgage, home maintenance, insurance and utilities adds up fast. Unfortunately, there are some shocking home costs that are rising seemingly as fast as the sun on tomorrow. Every home owner should be aware of these very real and sometimes very pricy home ownership costs:
Maintenance Costs Know No Season
Like an infant or a hyperactive puppy, a home is always in need of attention. The U.S. Census Bureau reports home maintenance and appliance repairs run on average 1-4 percent of a home’s value. A home’s maintenance percentage steadily rises at it ages. Not surprisingly, home maintenance is the biggest expense any homeowner will encounter annually. The average $200,000 home will require $2,000 in repairs and general maintenance expenses alone annually. Average appliance repair costs range between $100-$350 per year.
As Home Warranty Reviews notes, home maintenance costs “are the reason home warranty plans were invented.” These plans run $200-$600 per year and provide homeowners with discounted repairs and replacements, which can provide thousands of dollars of savings in the long run.
The Property Taxman Cometh And Taketh More Money Away
Along with death, rising property taxes are a fact of life. Average property taxes across the U.S. run between $500-$1,000 and keep spiking. The good news: At least your family’s yearly property taxes aren’t Bill Gates’. The billionaire pays $1 million annually in property taxes on his $123 million Washington mansion and estate.
Staying Warm Isn’t Cheap
Today’s average U.S. home heating costs run $900 for electric heated homes, $1,666 for homes using propane and a whopping $2,400 for homes using heating oil.
Alas, this is just the tip of the rising home ownership cost iceberg:
CNN Money reports rates have climbed an astronomic 69 percent over the last decade to an average of $1,000 a year.
Keep Your Cool For $375 Per Year
The Daily Green reports the average cost for the 85 percent of U.S. homes with air conditioning is $375 in electricity every calendar year. That damage equates to 15 percent of the average annual home energy payment.
Join a Homeowners Association with Caution
Homeowner Associations offer a wealth amenities with a steep bill. Investopedia notes HOA fees on average run $200-$400 per month – an average of $2,400 per year or more.
Finding the perfect furniture match for your hardwood floors isn’t cheap. The Nest reports the average family spends $1,506 per year — $125 per month – on household furnishings like textiles, furniture, flooring and home appliances big and small.
Keep America’s Yards Beautiful
American lawns can hold their own in any beauty contest in part to the expensive fact that American homeowners spend an average $40 billion per year caring for their lawns according to Bankrate.
Pesky Pest Costs
Fixer notes termite eradication and repair runs $1,200 plus, while simple treatments for cockroach, beetles, spider and rat infestations can run $250.
Raise The Roof Budget
Angie’s List notes the standard 2,200-2,600 square foot roof will cost homeowners between $1,000-$4,000 to replace.
Strong Foundations Equal Major Coin
Sleep on a home foundation crack and it may break your checkbook’s back. Home Advisor puts the national average for foundation repair at $4,436 with some homeowners paying as much as $10,000.
Sadly, the hundreds of thousands of hurricane-ravaged American families rebuilding from the devastation inflicted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria will be looking at average water damage costs of $2,500 or more. Wind damaged homes need $5,757 of recovery funds on average while fire and smoke damaged homes from the wildfires that raged through California in October can encounter repair bills of $4,000-plus.
These statistics are scarier than any Halloween horror movie, but homeowners can prevent them from becoming expensive problems by staying on top of needed repairs and maintenance.
For if we’re ready, we can face America’s steadily rising home ownership costs head on and without wallet shellshock.