When you built or purchased your home, you probably thought the expenses were over when you paid off the bank. Of course, you have your mortgage payment unless you purchased it outright. But, how much thought did you give to the home maintenance costs?
In the US, the average home costs about $360,000. That is before the monthly maintenance costs. That is just the down payment and mortgage. The average monthly maintenance costs about $1,204 which comes to $14,448 per year.
What costs so much and how can you save your money? You can cut expenses in all six major cost areas of the eight required to maintain a home.
1. Reduce Your Utility Bills
You need water, electricity and trash removal. The typical home spends about $21 per month on trash removal. The average homeowner spends $114 per month on electricity and $65.54 per month on water.
You can lower these costs by installing CFL bulbs and installing a smart thermostat that helps you control HVAC use and lighting use. Use a water recycler to reuse what you can. Smart homes cost less money to maintain so adding appliances that are Internet of Things capable can also help you reduce long-term costs.
2. Home Insurance Requirements and Costs
You can shop around for home insurance, a cost that comes to about $952 per year or about $79 a month. In the past ten years, homeowners’ insurance costs rose by about 50 percent.
You can save money by bundling your other insurance expenses, such as auto insurance, with your home policy. When you use the same insurance carrier, you can significantly reduce your costs, sometimes by as much as 25 percent, says III.
3. Mortgage Insurance
Many banks and lending institutions require you to obtain private mortgage insurance if your down payment is not large enough. This is easy to fix by putting at least 20 percent down on the home purchase.
You can save yourself about $158 monthly by making the larger down payment. You will also need a smaller mortgage loan this way which will require you to pay less in interest, another way this saves you money.
4. Lawn Maintenance Reductions
Your landscaping will probably cost about $160 per month. The national average is $158 per month for lawn care. Of course, that varies on the landscaping you choose and the size of your lawn. You can install artificial turf which will cost more at the outset, but reduce your maintenance costs to near zero. Another plus is that your lawn will always remain green.
Depending on where you live, you need snow removal, too. This costs an average of $115 per month during winter months.
5. Reduce Costs of House Repairs and General Upkeep
You probably spend roughly $150 per month on repairs and upkeep. A homeowner of a $200,000 home spends an average of $168 per month. That evens out to about one percent of the cost of the home as an annual expense.
Rather than let repairs go, use a home repair calculator, like the one from Home Guide before you undertake any repairs or home improvements. You can cut costly expenses by undertaking do-it-yourself projects and planning ahead by purchasing materials for future projects when they go on sale.
6. Property Taxes
Okay, you cannot reduce this one without moving to a cheaper home or to a bad neighborhood. Keep it static. The cost of property taxes varies by state as well as by county. You can calculate what this will cost you using the national average of 1.31 percent of the property’s value.
Homeowners or Property Owners Association Fees
Like your property taxes, only moving can reduce these. They do typically remain static though, so you can plan ahead for them. Budget for them each month although you usually pay them at the end of the year. The national average ranges between $200 to $300.
This article was authored by Aniyah Wicks. Married to a computer geek and raising 2 future nerds, Aniyah is a passionate DIYer and gardening enthusiast. When she isn’t wondering if she has had watered her indoor plants, she writes short articles so that, in due time, she can write a book one day!