The Cost of Maintaining a Home
To age in home, or not to age in home: That is the question many retirees eventually face. One major determining factor is whether they can afford to move into a senior community offering living assistance and nursing care if necessary.
While costs vary from state to state, the 2018 nationwide price for assisted living averaged $3,800 a month.1 From an affordability perspective, it’s important to explore prices in your particular area to make an apples-to-apples comparison with the costs to remain in — and maintain — the family home.
There are ongoing expenses such as utilities, property taxes and homeowner’s insurance to consider, but you also should factor in maintenance. According to Porch.com, an online home-services platform, the average cost of maintaining a home is more than $16,000 a year. The report identified the following projects as the most expensive:2
- Repairing subfloor: $10,536
- Repairing water damage: $3,571
- Re-grouting a shower: $2,858
- Replacing pool filter system: $1,786
Some of the highest ongoing maintenance costs are related to pools, lawns and driveways. Also, keep in mind that the bigger the home, the more expensive it is to maintain. Therefore, even if you aren’t interested in moving into a low-maintenance senior community, it may be worth considering a smaller home or condominium.3
If you have any questions or concerns about planning for retirement, please call our office, and we’ll be happy to set up a time to meet.
1 WGRZ. July 6, 2018. “Financial Assistance & Funding Options for Assisted Living / Senior Living.” https://www.wgrz.com/article/life/family/seniors/financial-assistance-funding-options-for-assisted-living-senior-living/71-571399328. Accessed July 31, 2018.
2 Clare Trapasso. Realtor.com. July 18, 2018. “You’ve Probably Never Heard of the Most Expensive Home Maintenance Task.” https://www.realtor.com/news/trends/wont-believe-expensive-home-feature-maintain/. Accessed July 31, 2018.
Saving Money on Windows
If you’ve wondered whether it’s time to replace your home’s windows, the following are some warning signs: 1
- Rotting window frames, which can promote the spread of mold
- Patches on window panes, which indicate seal leaks
- Broken or cracked window panes
- Inconsistent hot or cold interior temperatures
- Loud external noises heard inside the home
Fortunately, some window manufacturers — such as Pella, Champion and Andersen — frequently offer seasonal discounts of more than 30 percent on qualifying replacements, potentially providing hundreds of dollars in savings. Also, check with your utility company for money-saving offers related to window replacements. 2
Older windows are not as energy efficient as today’s modern versions. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, or DOE, more than 25 percent of air conditioning and heating can be lost through leaky windows. While the upfront cost of new windows may be expensive, Energy Star-approved options can yield long-term savings of up to 40 percent or $465 a year in utility bills.3
Furthermore, HGTV reports that new windows also can increase a home’s resale value, with a return on investment potentially reflecting 60 to 90 percent of the replacement cost.4
Once you’ve installed new windows, consider window dressings as additional ways to save money on heating and cooling bills. For example, window shades and blinds can be customized to block direct sunlight and help control ventilation inside your home.5
The DOE reports that interior blinds — if completely closed and lowered — can reduce heat gain by up to 45 percent on a sunny window. Window shades are not only inexpensive but one of the most effective window treatments for energy savings.6
Outside, awnings made of acrylic and polyester use ventilation to prevent hot air from becoming trapped around a window. Awnings can reduce heat by 65 to 77 percent, depending on the location of windows relative to the direction of the sun.7