There are lots of hidden costs that go along with home ownership. First-time homebuyers might be surprised by these home maintenance costs they’ll encounter on their new property.
The Price of Homeownership: Home Maintenance Costs
First-time homeowners are used to paying rent and having the landlord handle any issues that arise. However, when you close on your first house, you have also signed up for maintaining your new residence. Here are some things you might have to spend money on in your new home.
1. New Locks
Though changing the locks seems like the first thing to do after moving in, many people aren’t aware of the cost, which can run anywhere from $100 to $350. While this may be one of the less expensive home maintenance costs, it is one of the most important.
Make sure your home is as safe as possible: call a locksmith to have the locks changed or do it yourself with lock sets from the hardware store.
2. Tree Trimming
If you are new to home ownership you may not think about the costs associated with maintaining a yard. Hire a landscaping crew or do the yard work yourself. Mowing the lawn, maintaining the flower beds, and keeping the walkways neat are just a few landscaping tasks.
Depending on where you live, you may have to trim your trees regularly to be in compliance with local laws. You should also trim branches that are too close to your roof or siding to prevent damage to your home. The cost of tree trimming can start at $75 and can cost up to $4,000 to remove a tree.
3. HVAC Maintenance
A first-time homebuyer won’t be used to maintaining an HVAC system. Routine maintenance for your HVAC system usually happens twice a year and costs between $70 and $150. With some companies, you can sign up for yearly service contracts that typically allow you two check-ups during the year and emergency services.
Along with regular HVAC maintenance, plan to change your air filter as needed. At $10 – $25, most filters aren’t expensive, however, the higher quality HEPA filters will perform better by trapping more particles and are worth the higher cost.
4. Duct Cleaning
HVAC duct cleaning helps keep the indoor air free of contaminants. Though the cost of cleaning the ducts in an average home varies, you may pay anywhere from $300 to $1,000. Through regular HVAC services, the technician can recommend when it’s time for a duct cleaning.
5. Fire Extinguishers are an Important Home Maintenance Cost
You may already have fire extinguishers in your new home, but check and make sure they’re not old and expired. Fire extinguishers are an affordable home maintenance cost, running from $20 to $75, depending on the type. Place them in several key locations around the home like the garage, laundry room, and in an easy-to-reach place in your kitchen.
Don’t be caught off guard by unexpected expenses for home maintenance. Review this guide as you prepare and save for the purchase of your first home.