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Homeownership... The American Dream

Homeownership is a big part of the American Dream: having a home of your own where you can feel safe, raise your family, share with your friends and enjoy life. The benefits of owning a home are easy to appreciate, but buyers should also realize that expenses for both regular maintenance and also occasional, unexpected (and sometimes expensive) repairs will be necessary to protect their investment.

Property taxes and insurance are often two of the largest expenses for homeowners. However, experienced homeowners know that they must also budget for occasional expenses such as repairing toilets, faucets, windows, appliances, etc. They also know to plan for significantly larger (and sometimes unexpected) expenses, such as water heater, HVAC or roof replacement. Periodic maintenance like painting the interior or exterior, cleaning/repair of flooring, biannual HVAC maintenance, pest control (especially where termites are prevalent), exterior pressurewashing, etc. are also important.

Financial experts suggest that homeowners save 1-4% of the home’s value each year for repairs and maintenance. $2000-$8000/year may sound like more than you’ll need, but better to have additional $ in savings than not enough. The cost of a new air conditioning unit can easily be $6,000+, so while you may not use all that you’ve saved every year, it’s nice to have a “cushion” built up for the years when you do need it.

Without a plan to build savings to cover both regular and unanticipated expenditures, a homeowner could be faced with the prospect of securing a home improvement loan or large credit card payments (at a very high interest rate).

Some homeowners purchase home warranties to counter unexpected costs, paying an annual premium for coverage to avoid an unexpected large expenditure. However, coverage varies from company to company and home warranties are not intended to cover existing conditions, so it’s important to understand what you’re paying for when considering this option.

Appreciation is a distinct benefit of homeownership. Good planning, regular maintenance and smart, thoughtful updates/improvements when necessary can increase a home’s value more quickly and shorten the time it spends on the sales market when it’s time to sell.

Sea Scape Properties can help buyers evaluate potential future repair issues and expected annual maintenance expenses when comparing homes to buy. We can also help sellers understand what valuable repairs and improvements will increase their home’s value the most and reduce time on the market when listing for sale. Call us today to learn more!

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