New Owners Face Unexpected Costs Within Year

A woman assess chipping paint on the corner of an enclosed porch’s exterior wall.

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Seventy-seven percent of homeowners say they faced an unexpected issue or repair with their home in the first year of ownership, according to a recent survey from the insurance company Hippo. Many recent buyers who have stretched their budgets to afford ownership then find themselves facing unexpected costs for repairs.

Thirty-four percent of respondents say they faced first-year home maintenance costs of less than $1,000; 30% say they experienced repairs between $1,000 to $2,499; 23% saw repairs between $2,500 to $4,999; and 10% faced repairs of $5,000 to nearly $10,000.

Having a plumbing-related loss alone could cost anywhere between $10,000 to $15,000, Steve Wilson, senior underwriting manager at Hippo, told CNBC.

With some home buyers waiving home inspections in bidding war situations, the repair costs may come as an even bigger surprise. Inspections should still be done “even if it wasn’t part of the purchase,” Wilson says. “It will highlight some of the things that you may need to pay attention to.”

Homeowners should be aware of the age and upkeep of major housing systems. For example, furnaces usually last 15 to 20 years. Further, owners should ensure their homeowners insurance is up to date and that they could afford their deductible in the event of a claim.