Ways to cut down on home maintenance costs in the new year


It’s no secret that cars are more expensive as well as costlier to maintain these days. Well, guess what? So are homes.

Realtor.com’s Larissa Runkle says while the pleasures of owning a home are many, you can’t just sit back and watch your home equity grow. “To keep your property in tip-top shape, you also have to shell out for the expense that never goes away: home maintenance. Combine that outlay with your monthly mortgage payments, homeowners association dues (if any), and utility bills—and you’re staring down a big chunk of change.”

To help you keep as much of your money in your bank account, Runkle reached out to the experts for advice, having them break down five of the most expensive home maintenance tasks.

So why is owning a home more costly than ever? For years, the rule of thumb on annual home maintenance costs has been to expect to pay between 1% and 4% of your home’s value. That means a house valued at $400,000 might require an outlay of anywhere between $4,000 and $16,000.

Runkle reports, however, that in recent years, homeowners have reported spending closer to the top of that range maintaining their homes. “Some more significant fixes, like septic repair, are known to cost an arm and a leg. Yet lately, the cost of smaller jobs, like landscaping and cleaning your chimney, has increased dramatically.” She goes on to reveal a study by home services company Thumbtack, which recently reported home maintenance costs had reached an all-time high after increasing 8.5% year over year, from $5,984 in 2022 to $6,493 in 2023.

The first good way to cut down on maintenance costs is to look to your appliances. Appliance repairs typically cost as much as $500, depending on where you live and what needs fixing. This cost only increases if you end up needing to replace the appliance.

“Luckily, you can cut down on these outlays by simply giving your appliances some TLC,” says Runkle. Mallory Micetich of Anti (formerly AngiesList) says, “Maintaining your appliances is a great way to avoid repairs. This can be as simple as keeping your oven clean, using a vacuum to clean your dryer vents, and making sure the coils on your refrigerator are clean.”

Other tasks Micetich recommends include regularly replacing the filter in your HVAC system and scheduling a check-in at the midpoint of an appliance’s lifespan, generally about five years.

“It might be worth hiring a professional for a tuneup to help extend the appliance’s life and avoid having to pay for a replacement,” says Micetich.

HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems are one of those often forgotten parts of our home—until they stop working. “While HVAC repairs typically cost $350 on average, they can run as much as $3,000,” says Runkle. “Avoid these expenses by monitoring your system and learning what you can do to keep it humming”.

Home inspector Steven McCullough agrees. “Homeowners should change their filters regularly. Also, they can consider lowering their thermostat settings in the winter and setting it a little higher in the summer to help prolong the life of the units.”

Did you know that refinishing a deck is one of the most expensive maintenance items on Thumbtack’s annual report—costing an average of just over $1,000 to complete? If you plan to replace any boards or upgrade the design, that cost will only rise, according to Runkle. “While quality paints and stains aren’t cheap, labor drives this project’s price,” she says.

“This is a DIY job,” admits McCullough. “Even if sanding or repairs are involved, homeowners should be able to apply stain and sealing with just a little research and minimal tools.”

Lawn care and tree trimming count among maintenance costs that can get pricey. “Full-service lawn care costs about $100 to $400 per month, depending on the size of your lot, while tree trimming can run as much as $475 to $1,267 per tree,” says Runkle. “A bit of elbow grease and weekend motivation can save you thousands per year on both of these fronts.” Ahhh. Where are the days when a neighborhood kid would mow your lawn for $10?

As for trees, if they aren’t too tall and you have the right tools for the job, it’s totally doable, according to Micetich. “If the trees cross any electrical lines or are very tall, it’s time to call in a pro.”

Realtor, TBWS

All information furnished has been forwarded to you and is provided by thetbwsgroup only for informational purposes. Forecasting shall be considered as events which may be expected but not guaranteed. Neither the forwarding party and/or company nor thetbwsgroup assume any responsibility to any person who relies on information or forecasting contained in this report and disclaims all liability in respect to decisions or actions, or lack thereof based on any or all of the contents of this report.

Paramount Residential Mortgage Group
Corporate NMLS ID:  75243
Privacy Policy:  https://www.prmg.net/privacy-policy/

Brian Voytko

Mortgage Advisor

NMLS: #437292

The Mortgage Whiz

Company NMLS: 338923

Cell: 215-407-3832

Email: BVoytko@PRMG.net

Web: http://www.mtgwhiz.com


Brian Voytko


Mortgage Advisor

NMLS: #437292

Cell: 215-407-3832

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