Hidden Costs of Home Ownership

No such thing as a "free" home

From the day they make their first payment, people dream of the day when they finally pay off their mortgage and live "for free." As any long-time homeowner can tell you, though, there's no such thing as a "free" house. In fact, the hidden costs of home ownership can add up to thousands of dollars every year.

The Problem with Hidden Costs in Home Ownership

Owning a home isn’t cheap, and all its expenses can eat into retirement savings. To own and care for a median-priced home, the average Americans will have to spend more than $9,000 per year. Even when the mortgage is paid off, these costs continue.

Even after retirement, ongoing home ownership expenses continue to occur every month, and they increase annually. This includes:

  • real estate taxes
  • utility bills
  • lawn care
  • snow removal services
  • homeowner's insurance
  • homeowner association fees
  • home maintenance
  • home furnishings
  • security
  • trash removal
  • recycling collection
  • and many other costs

Before you know it, you’ll be spending more on some of these unseen expenses than you ever did on your mortgage payment.

Planning for the Unexpected

Beyond the anticipated costs of post-retirement home ownership, you’ll also be facing potential unforeseen emergencies that could result in major maintenance costs for your home.

Among the problems you might encounter at any time (especially if your home has been around for two decades or more) are roof repair or replacement; plumbing projects related to aging pipes or deteriorating heating systems; sidewalk and driveway repair work; and pruning or removal of mature trees due to storm damage. Very quickly, these hidden costs of home ownership can claim significant portions of your retirement savings—especially if you haven’t budgeted for them.

“Free” Houses are Costly

As a rough guideline, housing experts say annual maintenance and repair expenses run about one to three percent of your home's current market value. Even if you no longer perform all regular maintenance yourself, you still must hire and supervise contractors—and they won’t be cheap either. All these home ownership hidden costs add up to unnecessary headaches that turn home ownership into a burden for you during what could be a carefree, joy-filled time in your life. After a lifetime of hard work, do you really want to spend these golden years pouring even more money into your house?

CCRCs: A Pleasant Alternative

In an Acts Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), those ongoing burdens, expenses, and home ownership costs are replaced with an easy, amenity-filled lifestyle—free from worries and cares about home maintenance. You no longer have to worry about unexpected expenses after retirement, and you can spend your carefree days focusing on what really matters to you.

Imagine retiring from your seasonal "hobbies" of shoveling snow, cutting grass, weeding, raking leaves, and applying or removing storm windows and screens. You could finally wash your hands of the day-to-day costs and expensive sudden-repair emergencies.

In addition to their freedom from maintenance expenses, Acts residents also enjoy having their meals prepared by experienced chefs and served in restaurant-style settings. That means less time and money spent grocery shopping, meal planning, and cooking — and more time for pursuing your favorite pastimes! Enjoy living worry-free, without the hidden costs of home ownership after retirement, in an Acts Retirement-Life Community.