A worrying number of homeowners are desperately short of cash, and just one major problem, such as leaky pipe, could see them end up in dire financial straits.
According to a survey of 1,400 homeowners by HomeServe USA, around 20 percent say they have no money put aside for emergency home repairs, CNBC reported. That’s despite half of the respondents admitting that they’ve faced such an emergency within the last 12 months.
“Part of that can be attributed to the fact that the median age of a home is about 40 years, so that’s telling us that homes are aging,” Myles Meehan, vice president of corporate communication at HomeServe USA, told CNBC. “People should be concerned about maintenance and be prepared for things to break down.”
The costs of home repairs are not insignificant. According to HomeServe, the price to install or replace asphalt shingle roofing comes to an average of $7,280 per home. And even smaller problems, such as replacing broken faucets or fixing pipes, can average $304 to repair. Meanwhile, homeowners who choose to delay such fixes will likely end up paying more as they can lead to additional problems, HomeServe said.
The survey authors recommend that homeowners save 1% of their homes’ purchase price each year to pay for ongoing maintenance costs. They also recommend keeping savings of at least three-to-six months’ living expenses as an emergency fund.