These Overlooked Home Maintenance Costs Can Add Up to Thousands Per Year

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  • Homeowners must have the money for their mortgages, but also for maintenance costs.
  • There are many types of routine maintenance that may be required. 
  • Maintenance costs such as lawn care and trash service can add up, and they can come as a surprise.

Don't end up with bigger bills than you expect. 

When you buy a home, chances are good you'll plan to ensure you're able to cover your monthly mortgage payment. But this isn't the only expense you will incur once you own a place of your own.

As a homeowner, you're going to be responsible for routine maintenance of your property as well as for any major or minor repairs that crop up. And unfortunately, even those who plan for the fact they'll need to take care of the home often end up forgetting about some of the routine maintenance tasks that come up on a regular basis. 

These tasks can cost you thousands, so be sure not to overlook these four expenses that are often forgotten when considering what your budget will be like after buying a place. 

1. Snow removal

If you live in a colder climate, you may have to pay a snow plowing service to come and clear your driveway when the weather is bad. In many cases, homeowners end up signing an annual contract for this service in order to ensure a plow comes with every storm so they can get out of their driveway and get to work without having to go out and shovel every morning.

If you opt to sign a contract with a plow service, you'll likely have to pay several hundred dollars every single winter regardless of whether you actually get blizzards. And if you don't sign a contract, paying a plow service to come whenever it does snow could end up costing a hefty sum as well, since you may not get discounted rates and storms could crop up frequently. 

2. Lawn care

Many homeowners have lawns to maintain, and this can result in lots of expenses. You may need to pay for mowing services unless you plan to buy a mower and cut the lawn yourself. And if you want to keep your lawn lush and green, you may also have to pay for regular fertilization and for pesticide applications to control weeds and insects that damage your lawn.

Letting your yard get overgrown may not be an option, even if you want to, since many townships have ordinances dictating lawns must be maintained. If you live in a neighborhood with a homeowners association, the rules are also likely to be very strict when it comes to lawn care. You could find yourself paying several hundred dollars per month just for mowing services and other lawn maintenance. 

3. Trash service

Trash pickup is sometimes included in your property taxes or neighborhood association fees, but it could also be a separate added cost you are required to pay. Garbage pickup isn't usually optional since most people don't want to take their trash to the dump themselves, so you can expect to spend a few hundred dollars a year for it. 

4. Gutter cleaning 

Finally, if you have gutters on your home, you may need to pay to have them professionally cleaned out at least once a year. This could be crucial to avoid getting clogged gutters that affect your drainage and potentially compromise your foundation or lead to leaks. 

All of these types of maintenance may not be something you think about, but as soon as you own a home, you'll have to make a plan for tackling these tasks. Hiring professionals to perform these services can come at a hefty price, so make sure you're prepared to pay it. 

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