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The True Cost Series: Home Maintenance


As you look toward the future and begin to consider your options for where the best place to age might be, it’s important to take all the costs of every option into consideration. Homeownership, in particular, has a number of costs that can be easy to overlook when making a decision. In our first installment of our new True Cost blog series, we will put a microscope to the true costs of owning a home.

Home Maintenance

A number of factors can affect the types and costs of maintenance you can expect to need to be performed. The age of your house, for instance, plays a huge role, with older houses progressively requiring more and more upkeep. The weather in your area is another factor. The kinds of repairs you can expect to be making each year include painting and refinishing outdoor wood surfaces, repairing shingles, replacing furnace air filters, changing light bulbs, not to mention yard care services and gutter cleaning. Roll into this other house-related fees like property taxes, unitilities, and homeowners’ insurance, and your total yearly payments are likely in the $9,000 range.

Safety & Mobility Upgrades

If you choose to age in place in your home, certain upgrades will likely be needed over time to help you safely accomplish a variety of everyday tasks. It will be important to add grab bars in the bathroom, for example, to keep you safe when entering and exiting the bath or shower. You also may want to upgrade light switches and faucets with easy-to-operate rocker switches and lever handles. The upgrades to your home may come to include more elaborate modifications as your needs evolve. These could include building a wheelchair ramp, widening doorways, and installing pocket doors to make mobility between rooms easier, and they may even include installing an electric stair lift or an elevator. The costs for all these upgrades can add up to between $9,000 and $12,000.

Emergency Repairs

It’s really the unpredictable costs of homeownership that can cause the biggest problems. You may be getting by perfectly fine, but throw a leaking roof into the equation and your costs can quickly balloon, by $346 to $4,500 dollars or more. And that’s just one of many potential emergency repairs. It can cost between $754 and $12,000 to replace a water heater, between $175 and $450 to fix a broken pipe, and anywhere from $53 and $900 for furnace repairs.

Realtor Fees

Even selling your home has its own costs that it may be beneficial to get out of the way before you need to account for every dollar. For instance, if you use a Realtor to sell your home, their commission will typically cost you 5 to 6 percent. This fee is split between your agent and the agent of your home’s buyer and can be quite substantial.

We would love to discuss with you how the costs of homeownership compare to a home at our friendly senior living community. Contact our caring and professional staff today to learn more.

Living Well