Even if you plan on living in your house until you're carried out doesn't mean you'll never buy another house
That is, live somewhere long enough, and you'll begin replacing certain parts of your house - the roof, the windows, the heating and cooling system or water heater, say. Eventually, you may start to feel like you've bought another house without actually moving.
And each time you replace part of your house, it can be intimidating. You may not be shelling out what you would buy a home, but items like new roofs and windows aren't cheap. According to HomeAdvisor.com, the current cost of an average roof replacement is $6,570, and while it can run as low as $2,000, it can easily cost you $12,000 or more.
Windows? You'll want to jump out one when you begin pricing them.
According to paid-membership review service Angie's List, a standard-size, double-hung, double-pane, vinyl window will generally cost between $450 and $600, including installation. That may not sound too bad until you begin tallying the windows in your home. And if you have wood windows, you're talking $800 to $1,000 per window, including installation.
So if you're going to be sinking more money into your house, try the following to avoid being sunk.
Leslie Bryant, a health care communications professional in Los Angeles, says she and her husband replaced their roof a few years ago. They felt that they had little choice.
"The roof looked awful. It was very old wood shingle and it had just run its course," she says. "Not leaking, but every time we had major winds, there were about 20 shingles on our front lawn."
Bryant says you really need to ask for estimates - and stand your ground if you receive blowback.
Do your research.
You may not be interested in roofs, windows or septic tanks, but if you're going to replace something sizable in your home, you'd be wise to get interested, fast. That doesn't necessarily meaning reading up on, say, roofs and septic tanks though it couldn't hurt - but at least, when you're getting estimates (you are getting estimates, plural, right?) ask a lot of questions of the people you're hiring to do work.
David Feldberg, who owns a residential real estate brokerage in Newport Beach, California, says that he and wife recently bought a house built in 1958.
"We are the second owners and I don't think the prior owners had done anything over the prior 25 to 30 years," he says.
Feldberg says he and his wife had the roof replaced, walls removed and flooring and ceiling changed, among other things before moving in, and since then, they've purchased a new heating and air-conditioning system with brand new ducts. They've also replaced most of the windows. To pay for it all, they predominantly pulled from their savings; some of it, a home improvement loan with no interest for a year, "and we plan to pay it off before then," he says.