You’ve Probably Never Heard of the Most Expensive Home Maintenance Task
You did it. After years of saving, you mustered up a down payment, your credit was strong enough to secure a mortgage, and you were able to fight off the hordes of other buyers to close on a home of your very own. Give yourself a pat on the back! But don’t think your bank account can take a break.
The average cost of maintaining a home is more than $16,000—a year!—according to a recent report from online home services marketplace Porch. And where you live plays a key part in just how much you’re shelling out to keep your residence in tip-top shape.
(To come up with its findings, Porch surveyed more than 200 homeowners, to figure out how frequently they perform various home maintenance tasks, and then analyzed its internal data to figure out how much the professionals charge for those tasks.)
“There’s a little more that goes into budgeting for a home than initial down payments and budgeting for a house,” says Porch’s creative director, Angela Skane. “As a homeowner, if you don’t maintain your home, it’s probably going to end up costing you more in the long run.”
So what’s the most expensive home maintenance task? The extremely unglamorous chore of repairing the subfloor, the foundation for a floor. It can set homeowners back $10,536—but thankfully, it only needs to be done every 7.8 years.
The other most expensive tasks and their total costs include replacing the pool filter system (necessary an average of every 2.3 years), for $1,786; repairing water damage to a home (every 5.2 years), at $3,571; and regrouting a shower (every 4.7 years), for $2,858.
Cleaning the pool is another of the most expensive tasks, and also the one that needs to be done most frequently: every 1.9 months, according to Porch. This chore winds up costing an average $105 each time it’s done.
The next most frequent task was maintaining the lawn, costing about $19 every 2.1 months; fertilizing the lawn, $13 every 6.6 months; aerating the lawn, $27 every 1.5 years; and power-washing the deck, $126 every 1.5 years.
“Some of the biggest costs and most maintenance involve a pool or lawn or driveway,” Skane says. “People just spend a little more time maintaining the [outside of a home]. The outside of your home is the first thing people see when they come to it.”
The most expensive state for home maintenance is none other than New Jersey; in fact, more than half of the states in the top 10 are in the Northeast. Home repairs in New Jersey run homeowners an average of $18,151 a year, while the median home list price is $359,900, according to realtor.com® data.
The state was followed by Washington, DC; Connecticut; Maryland; and Massachusetts.
Meanwhile, the most expensive ZIP code (10514) for home improvement was in the wealthy enclave of Chappaqua, NY, which is filled with sprawling mansions on large grounds with guesthouses, pools, and tennis courts. The town, just north of New York City, is best known as the home of Bill and Hillary Clinton. The median home price is $1.1 million.
“A bigger home needs more to maintain it,” Skane says.
Homeowners in the South spent the least amount on home maintenance. Those in Mississippi spent the least, dropping just $14,890 a year. Home prices in the state are also low, at $194,300. Rounding out the top five least expensive states were West Virginia; Arkansas; Kentucky; and South Carolina.
The cheapest ZIP code (39358) was in Scooba, MS, where homeowners spent just $12,579 a year on home maintenance. It was followed by Sanderson, TX; Thayne, WY; Montezuma Creek, UT; and Post, TX.