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How Much Does it Cost to Maintain a House in Fairfield County, Connecticut?

Posted by Patricia Rattray on August 21, 2023
When you’re a homeowner, you know that your monthly housing expenses consist of a lot more than just that mortgage payment. But what does that monthly maintenance cost? And, perhaps most importantly, how can you lower those costs?

What goes into maintaining your home in Fairfield County, CT?

Depending on the size of your home and property – and the features and amenities you have – there may be several monthly or regular costs you need to consider. Some of them include:
  • Property taxes
  • Homeowner’s insurance
  • Mortgage insurance
  • Utilities (including electricity, gas/oil, cable/internet, and more)
  • Landscaping (lawns, gardens, water features, etc.)
  • General maintenance (plumbing, electrical, or other general repairs)
  • Maintenance or replacement of larger housing systems (your roof, water heater, HVAC system, gutters, etc.)
  • Home security
  • Smart home technology
Depending on your home, you may have even more costs than these. For instance, if you have a pool, you’ll pay for chemicals and cleaning. But the above covers most of the monthly or regular costs you can expect to pay. The question remains: how much should you expect to pay for these?

How much does it cost to maintain your home in Fairfield County, CT?

The costs will vary depending on the size of your home and property. And, of course, if you have an unexpected event like a severe storm or the breakdown of a key system, like your water heater, your costs can spike. Generally, you can estimate your own monthly costs for each of these.

Now, if you want a quick and dirty formula, American Family Insurance recommends two different methods. First, they recommend estimating about $1 per square foot of your home per year. Another method they suggest is to set aside 10% of your mortgage, property taxes, and insurance to cover monthly expenses. Based on my experience selling hundreds of homes, I advise my clients to save 2% of their home’s values each year to cover repairs and unexpected expenses.

Of course, it’s better to be specific about your own costs. For example, if you have a large lawn with many gardens and water features, your landscaping costs can run you $5,000 or $10,000 of dollars per month. The same goes for your heating costs. If you have many rooms and large ceilings, your heating bills may be $2-3000 per month. And if you have a security system and a fully equipped smart home, you may end up paying $10-20,000 a month or more for these features. Costs will really spike if you need to replace an expensive feature or home system, like your central air, siding, windows, or your roof.

How can I save money on these costs?

While there are some costs you can’t avoid – property taxes, insurance, home security contracts, etc. – there are ways to ameliorate the amount of money you must lay out each month
For example, it may be tempting to hire gardeners or landscapers, but if you have the time and interest, you can do a lot of this work yourself. If you lay out the initial cost to buy a riding mower, an edger, and the other landscaping equipment, you can maintain your lawn on a regular basis with few additional costs. Furthermore, if you know your neighbors, sharing garden and lawn care equipment is a great way to minimize upfront expenses.
You can also take on a lot of maintenance tasks yourself. Even if you’ve never replaced a flapper on your toilet or rewired a three-way switch, you can pop onto YouTube and view tutorials on how to perform many of these tasks. Just purchase the supplies you need and then teach yourself. Your neighbors can also come in handy when you need to do basic repairs. If homes on your street were built at the same time, they will have already figured out how to repair many of the features of your home. Don’t be shy about asking for help or advice.

You can also take courses on basic home maintenance. The Home Depot, for example, offers an array of courses for do-it-yourselfers homeowners. Watch videos on topics like plumbing, electrical, and lawn basics as well as specific tasks, like installing flooring or repairing drywall. Chances are, if you have an upcoming project, you can find a tutorial walking you through it. You can watch the video and decide if you’re up to the task. For example, when it comes to a floating floor installation, you can save approximately $3 per square foot by doing the labor yourself.

Finally, develop a relationship with a handyman that works at a reasonable price. Often, he and she can teach you how to do basic repairs so you can become more confident doing your own repairs over time.

There are a lot of costs and responsibilities associated with owning a home, and these costs can add up. But if you take the time to learn about and budget for them, they can be anticipated and controlled. Take the time to master home management and get the entire family involved. You will feel great about learning how your home works, acquiring new skills and developing relationships with neighbors that last a lifetime.

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