A division of SEA Construction, Inc.

No Shades of Gray in Hidden Costs

Posted by Petalyn Swartalbert

Aug 2, 2013


"...except that neither our realtor nor our bank 
ever mentions the added cost of maintaining a home." 

 What Will It Cost to Maintain My Home

'Raising' Your Home Right

"..Do you remember the first home you ever purchased and how amazing you felt?..."

There are few acquisitions available to us that has the power to shelter and protect our loved ones, be handed to them as an investment in their future, or fund the dreams we manage to keep once our nest is empty again. Earning that position in life to make such a purchase was a rite of enormous pride for most of us -as well it ought to be. A home is the harbor of memories and daydreams, along with tears and tender moments that fuses personal promises and secret bucket-list to heart and spirit.  

Sound dreamy? Good, because a home is all of these... but as you know, it's so much more. 

Do you remember the first home you ever purchased and just how amazing you felt? Ok, you were probably scared out of your mind as well, but your were likely (mostly) proud.
Sure the payments took all you had and the kitchen was too small; or maybe there weren't enough bedrooms for the family you were growing, but it was home.


Then... it happens without warning

"...so, what will it cost to maintain my home in the San Mateo Bay Area?" 

What Will It Cost to Maintain My Home

The day came, as suddenly as a crack of thunder in a mid-western sky, when you had to do it; you HAD to address that flood in the basement, or maybe it was your roof and dry-rotted window frames that simply couldn't stand up against another rainy winter. Or was it that furnace you swore had to be haunted, that (heat loving poltergeist or not) had to go!

 That's when the HD lenses of cold 'reality' go on and you realize -yet again- you're not is Kansas anymore.

How to Calculate for fan-hitting 'stuff'!

No matter how long you've been a homeowner you may never have had what it would cost to simply maintain your purchase, explained to you in quite this way (...no one ever told me either). Although there’s no way to forecast your costs for certain, the mortgage-data firm HSH Associates (updated for 2013) suggests that homeowners should assume their yearly home maintenance costs will average about 2% of the property’s value, yes...every year! 

Here's the really funny part (you'll love this). The examples sited by organizations like HSH, and then repeated by the vast majority of the articles on the internet -using dated information they read on other dated articles that still say 1% is the rule of thumb- is as follows:

"... if your home cost $300,000, you should budget $3,000 per year for maintenance."

See? I knew you'd like that! They've clearly never house-hunted in the Bay Area! 
Nevertheless, the rule is a good one. In fact, the smart articles suggest that although this is an average over about 10 years, its better to be safe and budget for a bit over that so you're not caught off guard. Fact is, you could double up on your house payments and pay off your mortgage is 15-20 years or you can save that amount in an interest bearing savings account each month so you're prepared for anything.


List of (Potentially) Higher Costs

cost to maintain homeYou don't need us to tell you to change the batteries in your smoke detectors every 6 months (although you should), because you can get that information anywhere -you can Google it with your eyes closed. But we do want to make sure you are aware of the things that can throw you through a loop if you aren't ready for them. Here's a time-line and a short list of the most -potentially- cost intensive items:  

Be sure to check our Home Repair Timeline cheat-sheet of important things to do:

  • Monthly
  • Yearly
  • 5-10 years
  • 10-20 years. 

It's important!


Replacing or Remodeling? Factual average cost and ROI

If you want to be part of the smart crowd, don't go wondering off on some

cost to maintain my home fiscal driven by what things cost if you're in the mid-West, or what they did 20 years ago. (Sorry to be so blunt but its for your own good!) fantasy

This is one of the few yearly publications that will steer you toward safety and avert embarrassing conversations with qualified professionals during your interviews with them.

...Wondering how they arrive at their numbers? We thought you might be because it's the first question we'd ask too. Here's a snapshot of their published methodology for your convenience:

Cost to Value report methodology

We really do love hearing from you. Leave us a comment at the bottom of this post. We'll be so thrilled that we'll even answer. 

Steven and Petalyn Albert

S.E.A. & Peninsula Siding

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