A whopping 77% of homebuyers face surprise repair costs during their first year of living in their new home.

Unexpected Repair Costs during First Year of Home Ownership

Surprise!  77% of homebuyers face unpredicted home repair costs during the first year of living in their new home, according to a recently released study from the insurance company, Hippo.

Courtney Klosterman, home insights expert with Hippo, said, “Many homebuyers – are vastly unprepared for what’s waiting for them as homeowners.”

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Some buyers involved with the highly competitive and fast-paced 2021 housing market bypassed the home inspection process in efforts to get deals “done.”  Now that the deals are done, the realities of homeownership and of the houses themselves are on display.

First-Year Home Maintenance Costs

According to the approximately 1,000 homeowners who responded to Hippo’s Homeownership Report, first-year owners paid out the following dollars for repair costs:

– 34% – less than $1,000

– 30% – $1,000 – $2,499

– 23% – $2,500 – $4,999

– 10% – $5,000 – $9,999

– 3% – $10,000 and up

Hippo’s senior underwriting manager Steve Wilson advises homebuyers “…to get (repairs) done… (those repairs) will highlight some of the things that you may need to pay attention to.”

Things to Do to Help Avoid Expensive Repairs

Here’s where you come into the picture, agents.  Encourage your clients to do the following:

  • Know where the main water shutoff valve is in case the client notices a refrigerator or washing machine leak
  • Schedule regular servicing on all main systems in the house such as heating and cooling systems
  • Keep track of how long the home’s main appliances will last. For example, according to Carrier, furnaces generally last 15-20 years if well maintained.  Pay attention to the age of all major appliances including air conditioners, clothes dryers/washers, dishwashers, freezers, ovens, microwaves, refrigerators, water heaters, humidifiers/dehumidifiers, garbage disposal and trash compactor
  • Make sure homeowners’ insurance is adequate and that there’s enough money on hand to pay a deductible if/when there’s a claim.

Various home insurance companies, including Hippo, offer maintenance checklists for their clients.  Agents, encourage your clients to request those checklists and/or to generate maintenance checklists on their own.

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Thanks to CNBC.

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