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Email Post to a Friend: Budgeting for Hidden Home Maintenance Costs

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Home Maintenance Costs - Wardley Real Estate

Owning a home is a significant responsibility that takes more than merely having the funds to cover the mortgage payment. When you're looking at Las Vegas homes for sale, it's crucial that you thoroughly account for the maintenance and costs that go along with the property. Don't be surprised when the bills come rolling in! The following are five "hidden" expenses that are easily overlooked by home buyers in Las Vegas.

1. Property Taxes & HOA Dues
Property tax rates in Clark County range from 2.607 to 3.3544 percent, and you'll want to make sure the precise tax is included in the MLS listing. It is also advisable to factor in future property tax increases.

If there's an HOA, you can expect to pay upwards of $200 in HOA fees each month. Like property taxes, you should expect these fees to increase over time. 

2. Landscaping and Pest Control
Grass and trees need water to grow, and that means higher water bills. It's one reason that xeriscaping has become popular in Las Vegas. However, even if you have drought-resistant landscaping, you'll need to calculate the cost of regular tree trimming, repairing masonry, fixing sidewalks, pest removal, etc.

3. Exterior & Interior Maintenance
Even the best-built home will develop maintenance issues over time. Shingles will blow off, the siding will warp, insulation will compact, masonry will crack, and air leaks will appear. When these problems occur, prompt repair alleviates the potential for further damage. Most problems will be small and easy to handle. Whether the damage is large or small, you will want to take care of them all because these issues can significantly reduce the home's appeal to prospective buyers.

4. Utility Bills, HVAC Systems, & Water Heaters
How much you spend on utility bills boils down to how you use resources throughout the year. Of all the hidden costs of homeownership, your cooling, heating, water, electric, and cable bills are the expenses you have the most control over.  

You'll also want to consider the cost of maintaining and repairing the HVAC systems and water heaters. Furnaces and air conditioners have a typical lifespan of between 15-20 years, while water heaters last between 8-12 years. The older the unit, the higher your maintenance and operating costs. 

5. Furnishings, Appliances, and Appearance
You'll want to have enough in your budget to purchase furniture and decorations for your home. You're also going to want to update and upgrade as the years go by. Similarly, you should factor in the age of existing appliances and consider how much it will cost to replace these when the time comes.

As with appliances and furniture, you should consider the cost of repainting the interior/exterior of the home. Most homeowners in Las Vegas repaint their home every 10-15 years. However, if you have an HOA, you may need to do this with greater frequency. 

Before purchasing any home, it is advisable to go through a prospective property's expenses. Our real estate agents are happy to do this with you. In most cases, it is possible to get hard copies of tax assessments, utility bills, receipts for repairs, etc. These records can give you a reasonable understanding of the hidden costs behind the captivating facade of your dream home.    

Contact Wardley Real Estate for more information about purchasing property in Las Vegas. It's our pleasure to explain the most common expenses you can expect and to help you find a home that fits squarely within your budget.