Measuring the Cost of Home Upkeep

FinanceBuzz recently surveyed homeowners to find out what home maintenance tasks they are putting off, and the average cost of these delayed maintenance tasks and repairs.

FinanceBuzz’s Josh Koebert analyzed data from 1,000 surveyed U.S. homeowners, aged 18 or older from April and May 2024.

Of those surveyed, a majority of homeowners (three out of every five) or 60% are putting off some kind of necessary repair or maintenance project around the house. And, among homeowners who are leaving these projects for another day, 25% are putting off repairs, 27% are putting off maintenance, and nearly half (48%) are putting off both.

In terms of the tasks being delayed by those surveyed, roof repair or roof replacement was cited as the project most often put off, as nearly 40% polled said they know their roof requires repair, but they just cannot get to it in the immediate future. Replacing cracked and drafty windows at 34% and plumbing repairs (32%) were two other areas being put off.

Weeding the lawn was another maintenance task being put off, as 32% of those polled reported delaying this chore. Weeding was followed by cleaning the gutters, as cited by more than 25% of respondents as being put off, as well as trimming bushes/trees on the property, a task delayed by 26% of respondents.

Barriers to maintenance

Sixty percent of those polled stated that they have put off upkeep and maintenance due to finances. Time to perform repairs was listed as the second most brought up reason for delays, with 32% of those polled simply not having enough time in the day for these projects.

More than three-quarters of homeowners polled by FinanceBuzz (76%) say they actively save money for unexpected home repairs, while 41% have had to shell out for a major home repair they believe could have been avoided if they had been more diligent about maintenance and upkeep.

When totaled, homeowners estimate that maintenance and repair tasks they’re putting off will cost them approximately $5,650. According to FinanceBuzz, that amounts to a little less than 2.5 times the average monthly mortgage payment in the U.S.

A recent report form Bankrate found that 19% of homeowners surveyed have taken on debt to pay for maintenance and other “hidden” costs of homeownership, and alternatively 24% say they have purposely set aside money for home repairs and maintenance.

Of the 19% who have taken on some form of debt to cover the hidden costs of homeownership, 60% took on credit card debt; 33% took out personal loans; and 25% tapped into their equity and took out second mortgages.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Purchase Applications Payment Index (PAPI), found that homebuyer affordability declined in April as a result of rising interest rates in the 7% range, and other costs, increasing from a median payment of $2,201 in March 2024 to a median payment of $2,256 monthly, a $55 increase.

Click here for more information and to view FinanceBuzz’s study on home repairs and upkeep.

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Picture of Eric C. Peck

Eric C. Peck

Eric C. Peck has 25-plus years’ experience covering the mortgage industry, most recently serving as Editor-in-Chief for National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He graduated from the New York Institute of Technology, where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts/Media. After graduating, he began his professional career with Videography Magazine before landing in the mortgage space. Peck has edited three published books, and has served as Copy Editor for Entrepreneur.com.
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