Everyone knows that buying a house these days will cost you — but maintaining it will also take a giant chunk out of your wallet.
But just how much average Americans shell out on keeping their home maintained varies state by state. A new survey by Porch, released last week, has found that while the average household spends just over $16,000 a year on a single-family home, the number can be as high as $18,151 in New Jersey or as low as $14,890 in Mississippi.
In general, East Coast dwellings are at the top of the list — beside New Jersey, Washington, D.C. ($18,119), Connecticut ($17,782), and Maryland ($17,699) clocked in as the most expensive states for routine property maintenance. Meanwhile, West Virginia ($15,068) and Arkansas ($15,115) followed Mississippi as the states where residents spend the least.
That said, how much a family pays varies greatly on the type and size of the house. Pools are notoriously expensive to maintain — cleaning them costs residents, on average, $649 every year. Replacing pool filters adds an additional $772 annually.
But while cheap monthly expenses like keeping a lush lawn and fertilization still add up, it is the less frequent tasks that often end up costing the most. Repairing a subfloor, normally done every eight years or so, can add an average of $1,344 a year to your budget. Repairing water damage and re-grouting the shower will cost $681 and $619 a year, respectively.
“If you’re not expecting it, some of the less frequent jobs you’ll need to do in order to maintain your home could come with some rather unsettling sticker shock,” the study reads.
Zip codes with a large proportion of high-end houses can often shift the median maintenance averages for the whole state, according to the study’s authors. In cities like Atherton, California, which often makes the ranks as one of the most expensive communities in America, home maintenance runs an average of $27,242.
Therefore it’s important for the buyer to keep in mind that even if the original purchase price is low, repair costs can trickle across all home value brackets.
“In some states, an exorbitantly inflated cost of living makes certain cities far more expensive for maintaining a home than others, which means prospective homebuyers need to be even more cognizant of where they’re thinking about living,” the study concludes.