Everyone needs a place to live and there are two common choices: Rent or Buy. In my lifetime I’ve done both and each have their unique advantages and disadvantages. Today, I’m writing about the ultimate cascading expense: Purchasing a Home.

You’ve searched all the neighborhoods, checked out the schools, looked at the comps, estimated the traffic time, and you’ve found the perfect home. The purchase price is within your budget and you know what your mortgage & escrow charges will be monthly. You’re all set right?

Of all the things I’ve purchased the one purchase that has had the largest and deepest cascading expense has been my home.

We’ll start with what the realtor didn’t tell you about the inside of your home and the hidden cascading expenses that await you!
At some point, depending on the age of your home, you will need to fix, replace and maintain the following items:

  • Water Heater every 6 to 10 years – Cost $300+
  • A/C System every 10 years $2500+
  • Furnace/Heating every 10 years $2500+
  • Refrigerator every 10 years $800+
  • Washer/Dryer every 5 years $600+
  • Roofing every 10 to 20 years $6000+
  • Fencing every 8 years $2500+

Optional items that some people may have/want:

  • Dish Washer every 5 years $350+
  • Ovens every 5 years $600+
  • Stove (tops) every 7 years $600+
  • Microwaves every 5 years $200+
  • Overhead Venting Fans every 10 years $150+

But wait there’s more! Tied into each item above there are subsets of expenses:
A water heater dispenses to:
-Fixtures, aerators, pipes & joints, disposal unit, etc
An Air Conditioning Unit needs:
-Filters, Freon, vent cleaning
A Furnace needs:
-Filters, Gas/electricity

Outside the home are some cascading expenses too!

  • Landscaping $2000/year
  • Lawn Maintenance $40/month+
  • Flowers/Garden $30/month
  • Tree Trimming $300/year+

This is by no means an all inclusive list. There are other expenses that can creep up and be even more costly such as foundation problems, mold, and carpeting/flooring but I think you get the general idea. There are many cascading expenses waiting for you in a new home. It’s prudent to have a plan in place to budget for these items. Ultimately, a home is a place to live and an investment; A well-maintained home will appreciate in value while one that isn’t won’t. Keep these items in mind when contemplating purchasing a home.