Ongoing Costs Of Owning A Home
While home warranties offer great protection when buying a home, the protection typically ends once you've been in the home for a year. Few buyers choose to extend their home warranty and from that point on a homeowner is on their own. Even if a home warranty plan is extended, it's important to understand that it won't take care of items such as gutter cleaning, roof replacement, exterior painting, landscape maintenance, etc. These types of items are a part of homeownership that often get overlooked.
For homeowners who neglect such items, the deferred maintenance almost always leads to bigger issues at some point. It's not uncommon for these items to have to be dealt with at the time of selling a home and it's much better to have dealt with such issues sooner because dealing with them when a buyer has a stake in how the repairs are done can be a pain and prove much more costly for a seller. Some other maintenance items include changing batteries on smoke detectors, replacing light bulbs, cleaning gutters and hosing damaging winter salt off of driveways and garage floors.
To keep up with repairs, homeowners need to budget for future repairs. Maintaining a savings of around 1% of a home's value for ongoing maintenance repairs is a good plan. Just as importantly, taking care of the small things along the way can help greatly minimize the extent of repair costs later and in many cases can prevent small issues from turning into much larger problems altogether.
Be sure to take action at the first sign of dishwasher leaks, dust build-up under the refrigerator, cracked grout or caulk at baths, tubs and countertops, water heater leaks, foundation or basement floor cracks, window leaks, roof leaks and signs of termites or wood rot at the exterior of the home. A hundred dollars today can save you thousands of dollars tomorrow.