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5 Home Maintenance Expenses That Can Drain Your Wallet

When you purchase a home, you try to calculate the costs as accurately as possible. This not only includes similar costs for rentals, although a mortgage replaces your rent and your utilities likely increase, but you also have to consider annual expenses like property tax and homeowner’s insurance. Luckily, these costs tend to be relatively static and easy to plan for. But you will also have to deal with maintenance costs. Some of them you can guess at – after all, your costs for servicing the HVAC, flushing the water heater, and cleaning the gutters annually aren’t likely to fluctuate too much from year to year. Others will be difficult to plan for, though, and some can really drain your rainy day fund. Here are a few you should know about so that you can find ways to cut costs.

  1. Roof replacement. This is one of the greatest potential expenses a homeowner can face, and the longer you live in your home, the more inevitable it becomes. Luckily, you can stave off the major expense of roof replacement with proper preventive care, including annual inspections, seasonal cleaning, and early repairs when you notice cracked tiles, peeling flashing, or leaks. Proper roof maintenance is not totally without cost in and of itself, but the longer you can preserve your current roof, the longer you can save for the cost of replacement.

  2. House painting. The frequency with which you paint your home exterior will depend on several factors, including your environment, the products you use, your siding, and how well everything is maintained in the meantime. But you can cut costs here if you’re an avid do-it-yourselfer. Anyone can handle a brush or a roller, but overcoming your fear of ladders and mastering airbrushing equipment might be a little more difficult. Still, you can save a lot by painting your home if you can get over these hurdles.

  3. Landscaping. This is most definitely an ongoing cost that you may or may not be prepared for. Most homes come with landscaping already installed, but you’ll have to pay to water your lawn, reseed as needed, and maintain and replace plants, in addition to the time you’ll spend trimming, weeding, and mowing. You can, of course, hire gardeners or neighborhood kids to help, but this will require additional expense.

  4. Mold and mildew. While every home has mold spores hanging around, you might not end up dealing with mold or mildew issues, especially if you’re diligent with cleaning and upkeep. Proper preparation can actually help you to keep this potential expense from ever rearing its ugly head. Although you can’t necessarily stop leaks from happening, you can install proper ventilation, control the humidity in your home, and send in test kits annually so you know when levels of mold are on the rise.

  5. HVAC upgrade. HVAC equipment, including your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning components, can last a good long while, especially if you perform annual maintenance and pay attention to best air duct guidelines. But once your equipment gets near the 20-year mark, you’re almost certainly going to have to start thinking about replacement before your units go kaput. Luckily, modern models offer energy efficiency and the savings that come with it, decreasing costs for heating and cooling over time.

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