Homeownership means tackling home maintenance head on. When considering the purchase of a new home, be sure to speak with the owner about the age and maintenance of items within the home. The age of major items and appliances are a good indication of when future replacement or repair will be necessary.  Overlooking this step could be costly and lead to future homeowner headaches.

 

Prepare yourself for future expenses by taking into consideration the age of the following home items:

 

Roof. The lifespan of a roof depends on the material type used, the climate, the geographical location, as well as other factors. On average, a roof’s lifespan is 30 years.

 

Septic System. The average lifespan of a septic system is roughly 25 years, but whether a system will continue to be trouble-free for that long depends on how well the system was designed and how well it has been maintained. Inquire about maintenance records to get a better understanding of its future use.

 

Water Heater. The life expectancy of a water heater is about 8 to 12 years. This will vary depending on the location and design of the unit, quality of installation, maintenance schedule and water quality.

 

Windows. There are various types of windows, however, on average, the lifespan of windows is 20 years. Be sure to open and close windows to make sure all windows are functioning properly. Warped or broken windows will require replacement, whereas a weatherstripping or hardware issue can typically be repaired.

 

HVAC System. Generally, the lifespan of an HVAC system is 15-20 years. However, you can extend the lifespan with preventive maintenance. Getting the unit professionally serviced at least once a year helps to identify problems early and keeps the unit working at its best.

 

Appliances

 

Refrigerator. 15 years

Dishwasher. 8-10 years

Stove/Oven. 10-15 years

Washer/Dryer. 8-12 years

 

 

 

Summary

 

Consider the overall condition of the home. An older home is expected to have older items throughout. It’s best to be aware of the future upkeep required and the potential timing of when improvements will need to be completed. When considering making an offer, be sure you can afford the current mortgage payment plus the ongoing cost of maintenance. If in doubt, utilize a home inspector to evaluate the remaining life and replacement cost of these expensive items.

 

 

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