Photo: Robert Clark
Finding an affordable home in the US is proving to be a challenge for many homebuyers as affordability erodes thanks to limited inventory and rising prices.
But for some homebuyers, the annual cost of maintaining the typical US home could be a lot more than they bargained for, according to a recent report by the online home improvement marketplace, Porch.
“Maintenance costs should be on the radar for anyone considering buying a house, regardless of the market. In the pricier markets such as San Jose and NYC any potential homeowner should really look into what the real costs of homeownership are,” Porch CEO Matt Ehrlichman tells Livabl.
Experts recommend setting aside one percent of the total home price every year for routine maintenance and home improvement costs.
Nationally, the average cost of maintaining the typical home adds up to just over $16,000 per year — including everything from lawn and pool maintenance to a simple toilet replacement. In 19 states, average annual maintenance costs exceeded the national average.
New Jersey took the top spot, with yearly average home maintenance costs totaling over $18,000. And at $14,890, Mississippi proved to have the lowest annual maintenances costs.
At the neighborhood level, in Kenilworth, IL — a village located 20 miles north of Chicago — the yearly cost of home maintenance is almost $28,000. The median home price in the Kenilworth zip code is just shy of $1.5 million, well above the national median of about $300,000.
More than fluctuating home prices can affect how much a homeowner may have to shell out on maintenance per year.
“The type of house and how old it is could factor into how much you’ll have to pay on a yearly basis to maintain it,” says Porch.
If a homeowner is not prepared financially, those less frequent but nonetheless vital repairs could come with “some rather unsettling sticker shock.”
For example, repairing a subfloor — one of the most expensive forms of home upkeep — is typically only necessary every 7.8 years at an estimated yearly cost of $1,344. In other words, repairing a subfloor is so pricey you’d need to budget an average of $1,344 per year to cover the cost.
And in some states, like New York and California, an exorbitantly inflated cost of living makes certain cities far more expensive for maintaining a home than others.
“Although these numbers could be a breaking point for some buyers, these costs should serve more as a reminder that your investment in a home doesn’t stop when you sign on the dotted line and to plan accordingly,” Ehrlichman says.
Yet, the biggest difference between the most expensive cost for maintaining a home and the least expensive was neither California or New York, but Illinois, where the cost of home maintenance differential was 120 percent.
But New York and California weren’t far behind at 117 percent and 114 percent, respectively.
Meantime, Idaho, Rhode Island, Hawaii, and Louisiana had the smallest maintenance differentials between cities with the most expensive cost of housing upkeep and the least expensive.
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