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  • Writer's pictureMeredith Adhate

If I’d Only Known… (Pt. 3)

Now for the final installment of this series – repairs and $$$. When buying a house, always make sure you have at least some money stowed away for a rainy day, for when something breaks, fails, or dies. Think of your house or condo as a live being – just like a human, something is going to hurt or break or act funny. So let’s take a look at some of the things you might not have thought about (and some estimates of what those repairs/replacements cost). Also, consider how handy you are and what you (or some family/friends) may be able to tackle vs. what you’d really need a professional for.

Exterior Repairs

Always have your roof checked out during a home inspection. Ideally the seller will know how old the roof might be. Most roofs last about 20-30 years, so the newer, the better. Depending on the size of the house and what material you use (let’s assume asphalt shingles), replacement could be between $6000-$15,000.

Now some of my banes – landscaping, lawn, and trees. These prices can all vary a ton depending on what you want to do. If your house already has well-maintained landscaping, great! Our house was landscaped by the previous owners and we hate it, but the costs to change it up and remove bushes and bricks can be (and currently is) a bit prohibitive. It could be $100 just to remove one bush (I think we have 5 out front). As for lawn care, you’ll have to decide if you want to mow the lawn yourself or hire a company (or opt for a tiny yard with little or nothing to mow!) You can get a push mower for about $150-200, or a riding mower for larger lawns for about $1200 minimum. Other option is have a company do it for you, usually ranging from about $30-75 a week. (My biggest peeve with lawns is that we only keep them nice because everyone else’s is nice to make ours look nice. Adam Ruins Everything had a good piece on this).

Then we have trees. TREES. They think they’re SO pretty and tall and good for birds, but then they die or one of their giant branches falls on your deck. Then you realize how many trees you have and how close they are to your house. And the fact trees can cost over $1000 to remove, not even including stump grinding (which can be another few hundred!)

$400 or cat/squirrel perch? Meow.

Interior Repairs

I don’t think I could actually come up with a complete list of things that could need repair, replacement or updating in your house but I’ll try my best.

Kitchen – A full kitchen remodel can cost upwards of $20-30,000. Barring a full upgrade, what could need fixing? Oven, microwave, dishwasher, refrigerator, sink, faucet, garbage disposal, lights, cabinets, doors, cabinet pulls or shelves.

Bedrooms – ceiling leak, floor damage, window replacement, closet doors

Bathrooms – A full bathroom reno can be over $10,000. Individual fixes can include new toilet or toilet ring, lights, exhaust fan, shower head, tub drain (I bought one of these to pull hair out of the tub or sink and it’s SUPER GROSS but very effective), new/repaired plumbing for sink or shower.

Basement: leaks, waterproofing system, washer and/or dryer, water heater, water softener, furnace, oil tank, air conditioning unit, foundation cracks.

Garage: New door or repairs, new opener.

You, after ONE more thing breaks

Hopefully I haven’t scared you away from buying a house but I like to be honest and up front with buyers and sellers about what can happen with a house. New construction can have its problems, too; it’s not just specific to old homes (which we have tons of in CT). My takeaway here is to always have some back up money in order to deal with issues which can and will arise when you own a home. We’ve had our AC leak in the attic and had to replace some ceiling and paint. We have buried cables in our neighborhood (which is great for storms!) but one of the cables died and we had to pay out of pocket to have someone come dig them up and swap them out, rebury them, and pave part of our driveway again. Like I mentioned earlier and in other blog posts, a giant branch hit our deck a few years ago and the tree had to be removed, too. All of these things come, literally, with the territory 🙂

#construction #homebuying #dryer #replacement #neighborhood #repairing #furnace #trees #waterproofing #lawncare #oven #realestate #faucet #repairs #handyman #roof #sink #foundation #properties #airconditioning #homereno #refrigerator #windows #microwave #landscaping

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