7 surprises of home ownership

Maintenance takes time, money

Unless you live in a condo, you'll be doing a lot of maintenance on the house or paying someone else to do it. Things like mowing the lawn, weeding the garden, replacing cracked lighting fixtures and cleaning are all now up to you.

Of course, you can hire some of these things out. But if you do that for every single thing, the costs add up. It's boring, tedious work, even if, inevitably, someone will tell you that's just part of "the joys of home ownership."

And even if you do it all yourself, the costs add up. The U.S. Census Bureau says the median cost for maintenance is about $400 a year.

That might not be enough.

One rule of thumb suggests you should budget 1% of your home's purchase price each year for maintenance, including repairs, both planned and unplanned. Because you never know when the hot water heater won't heat anymore or the dryer won't dry.

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