Homeownership is often seen as a marker of success and stability. However, according to a report by Real Estate Witch, 90% of homeowners surveyed underestimated the cost of homeownership, including maintenance and repairs.
The report highlights that many homeowners do not have a full understanding of the ongoing costs associated with homeownership. For example, while homeowners may be aware of the initial costs associated with buying a home, such as the down payment and closing costs, they may not fully appreciate the ongoing expenses of maintaining a home. These can include everything from routine maintenance, such as landscaping and cleaning, to unexpected repairs, such as a leaky roof or a malfunctioning furnace.
The survey also found that many homeowners are unprepared for these costs. Nearly one-third of respondents indicated that they had to dip into their savings to cover unexpected expenses related to their home, while nearly one-fifth had to take on additional debt. The implications of these findings are significant, as they underscore the importance of having solid financial planning and guidance when it comes to homeownership (prior to purchasing, and during the years they are living in the home).
Another surprising piece of information was the cost relating to man-hours associated with homeownership. Respondents said that they spend an average of 17.1 hours per month dealing with ongoing home maintenance and repairs.
Overall, the report serves as a reminder that homeownership is not without its costs, both in terms of dollars and general sweat equity. Additionally, many homeowners looked back at their purchase with a hint of regret, as they felt they were unprepared for and/or uneducated about the true costs and responsibilities that homeownership bring.
Real estate and mortgage professionals should take this data to heart, as they consider making the transition into becoming a trusted advisor for all things home (not just the transaction-related elements).
Luckily, Milestones provides homeowners with a single place to manage their home, including:
- Real-time access to home equity and value
- 1000s of educational articles and videos on home management, maintenance, and repairs
- Trusted home service provider marketplace (for those jobs they want to hire someone to do)
- Built-in chat for streamlined communications with real estate advisors
- Cloud-based document storage
The real estate professionals who will own the future know that client relationships extend for decades beyond the closing table. Imagine the trust that can be built by providing clients with long-term guidance and technology to ensure their home is not only a place to live, but a wealth-building asset that brings peace of mind instead of anxiety, or worse, regret.