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Is Maintaining A Property Actually Expensive?

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I hear this spouted all the time that landlords do all this for their renter scum that they allow to live in their property. Or the vast amounts people need in @retirement@ to stop their house from falling down.

But actually is it expensive?

I've referb'ed my tried house and been here almost 4 years and all I've needed to do is replace a broken handle (something a tenant would be charged for) and push a flew roof tiles back into place following gales. Nothing expensive.

Same with my parents 1950s house that they have had for over 40 years, nothing major has ever needed to be done. Odd bits here and there that don't really add up to much.

Maybe if you live in an old place, or a place that is in disrepair this would be different.

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I'd like to hear the answer to this. An approximate estimate has been given sometimes of 1% of the property's value per year on average.

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For real-life figures, look at service charges on flats. That is, those flats owned and managed by the leaseholders on their own behalf, and not paying for things like some poncy concierge. There's a tradeoff between money spent and standard of maintenance.

A house should be rather more, because you're losing the benefits of pooling your resources. But is under your control: you can do nothing for long periods and the house remains perfectly habitable, though it'll lose value.

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It is peaks and troughs really. Also depends on whether you count work done yourself as a cost.

We spent about £5k this year on a new boiler and new guttering.

We've changed the kitchen 3 x in 13 years with the latest costing £5.5k for the units/worksurfaces and the fitting/electrics (previous was smaller and we've moved it so others cost more like £1.5k), and done up the bathroom once (£1.5k)

With an annual boiler service it has probably cost around £1500 a year over 13 years.

However we are about to spend £2.5k on new flooring. If I were a landlord letting the place out I wouldn't be changing the carpets so not easy to compare.

Edited by Timak

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It is peaks and troughs really. Also depends on whether you count work done yourself as a cost.

We spent about £5k this year on a new boiler and new guttering.

We've changed the kitchen 3 x in 13 years with the latest costing £5.5k for the units/worksurfaces and the fitting/electrics, and done up the bathroom once (£1.5k)

With an annual boiler service it has probably cost around £1500 a year over 13 years.

However we are about to spend £2.5k on new flooring. If I were a landlord letting the place out I wouldn't be changing the carpets so not easy to compare.

What does that work out to as an annualised % of home value?

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I think it's also a question of perspective. If you have bought a house for the purpose of living in, you're going to want to keep it in good order and make it a comfortable, homely place to live, so the money and time you spend on maintaining it doesn't seem like a lot.

If you're a BTL slumlord **** who bought the house as a shed to farm people from, and take the view the the comforts of the people who rent it from you are nothing but a pain in your backside and a drain on your profits, then every penny you are forced to spend on it must hurt like hell.

Shame, that.

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My dad would say no. Although as an ex-Bricklayer he did a lot of the renovations himself. The house he and my late mother bought from the council was rock solid, so no major problems there. I vaguely recall the bill for replacing the crittall windows for aluminium double glazed windows was £4k however. :blink:

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What does that work out to as an annualised % of home value?

House purchased for roughly £150k 13 years ago so roughly 1% of initial purchase price. House roughly 90sq m.

Biggest expense (other than cosmetic changes) is the boiler.

Biggest rip off was the guttering where we paid 3x as much as we should as we only got one quote. Since then we've found good low turnover (no VAT) tradesmen and saved a fortune.

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House purchased for roughly £150k 13 years ago so roughly 1% of initial purchase price. House roughly 90sq m.

Biggest expense (other than cosmetic changes) is the boiler.

Biggest rip off was the guttering where we paid 3x as much as we should as we only got one quote. Since then we've found good low turnover (no VAT) tradesmen and saved a fortune.

Many thanks. That aligns pretty closely with my real 1% assumption.

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It is peaks and troughs really. Also depends on whether you count work done yourself as a cost.

We spent about £5k this year on a new boiler and new guttering.

We've changed the kitchen 3 x in 13 years with the latest costing £5.5k for the units/worksurfaces and the fitting/electrics (previous was smaller and we've moved it so others cost more like £1.5k), and done up the bathroom once (£1.5k)

With an annual boiler service it has probably cost around £1500 a year over 13 years.

However we are about to spend £2.5k on new flooring. If I were a landlord letting the place out I wouldn't be changing the carpets so not easy to compare.

Changing the kitchen 3 times in 13 years doesn't sound like maintenance though, unless you've been very unlucky?

A boiler is a big cost that wouldn't be covered on insurance. Buy my local plumber does a service for 60 quid, new boiler for 1.5k if its an easy swap, 2k if it needs to be moved and more work done. British gas charge 2-3 more times.

I'm interested in this as well. In my FIRE planning I'm assuming on average 1% of purchase price (up rated by inflation annually) over the very long term. Hopefully it's conservative.

As an average i'd say that's very conservative.

My LL has spent about a grand over the last year, on repairs/maintenance, house is under 10 years old. It would have been more had there been a letting agent in the loop.

What's gone wrong on it? I'd be wary of ever buying a new build these days. My house is 60-70 years old and it seemed pretty solid when I bought it.

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I've owned my house for 20 years (3 bed semi). Bought (luckily) in last crash. It was in decent but not great condition when I bought it. I'd say maintaining it in that state has cost £1000 a year at most (so indeed about 1% of original purchase price). I'm no DIY expert but painting and general maintenance is simple enough and materials and tools cheap, so big items that have cost have been new boiler (£2k), replacement windows (£4K), fencing £1.5k, flat roof repair on bay window, soffits, needed a plumber once, electrician once too, got a landscaping company to sort garden after moved in (£2.5k), new kitchen £3.5k, carpeting/flooring £3k. Maybe I've been lucky. I've spent a lot more on it, but that was in extending rather than maintenance.

Edited by mikthe20

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I've owned my house for 20 years (3 bed semi). Bought (luckily) in last crash. It was in decent but not great condition when I bought it. I'd say maintaining it in that state has cost £1000 a year at most (so indeed about 1% of original purchase price).

What's that as a percentage of what its "worth" now?

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It is peaks and troughs really. Also depends on whether you count work done yourself as a cost.

We spent about £5k this year on a new boiler and new guttering.

We've changed the kitchen 3 x in 13 years with the latest costing £5.5k for the units/worksurfaces and the fitting/electrics (previous was smaller and we've moved it so others cost more like £1.5k), and done up the bathroom once (£1.5k)

With an annual boiler service it has probably cost around £1500 a year over 13 years.

However we are about to spend £2.5k on new flooring. If I were a landlord letting the place out I wouldn't be changing the carpets so not easy to compare.

I think that the cost of maintenance is a large potential saving when you own your own home. I say potential - when you rent you money goes towards real/actual maintenance costs, but you can choose to save this if you want.

Compared with the costs above, over 15 years I've spent:

£0 on new boilers.

0x 3k for new kitchens (£0k)

Done up the bathroom once (£30 on discount tiles and some bathroom paint)

Hoovered out the boiler a couple of times but no paid servicing (£0k)

When I had children I replaced the carpets with some that had been ripped out of a fancier house (£100 for the carpet and transport).

I've also painted a few rooms (maybe £100 in paint), sorted out a couple of wasp nests in the attic (cost me 2x stings), done up the garden (skip cost £75, fencing was probably £150), re-pointed part of the wall (£30 on mortar), replaced a few tiles (£2), sealed the flashing (£5), fixed the toilet flush (£5 for a few flushes in acid), etc, etc.

I've no doubt that if I'd have been renting the house the boiler would have been newer, the carpets cleaner, the kitchen not missing a knob on the cutlery draw (I'll have to fix that), the taps a bit shinier, my jean knees a bit less worn, etc,etc - but I'd have paid for all that, and I don't really want it.

Or, perhaps, I'd prefer to have the money in return for just a few inconvenient Sundays.

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...

As an average i'd say that's very conservative.

...

I've owned my house for 20 years (3 bed semi). ... (so indeed about 1% of original purchase price). ...

Good news that it sounds like 1% is conservative. Exactly as I want most of my assumptions. The last thing I want to do is be forced to relocate and return to some sort of work.

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Changing the kitchen 3 times in 13 years doesn't sound like maintenance though, unless you've been very unlucky?

A boiler is a big cost that wouldn't be covered on insurance. Buy my local plumber does a service for 60 quid, new boiler for 1.5k if its an easy swap, 2k if it needs to be moved and more work done. British gas charge 2-3 more times.

As an average i'd say that's very conservative.

What's gone wrong on it? I'd be wary of ever buying a new build these days. My house is 60-70 years old and it seemed pretty solid when I bought it.

Fence repairs and various boiler plumbing problems/leaks.

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It depends........

I've lived in Victorian doer-uppers which were money pits and my current less than 10 years old Barrett box. I know which I prefer from the ongoing maintenance point of view. The trouble with old houses is the hidden problems which are not even picked up in the survey eg tree roots growing into drains; rotting joists (my daughter had this unseen horror and it was very messy, disruptive and expensive to fix). Everything in an old house is expensive unless you are a dab hand at DIY.

My current house may not look so pretty and some of the fixtures eg patio door handles are not of brilliant quality but the basic building is sound.

I think Krusty and Phil have a lot to answer for when they go on about "feastures" in old property. They're not the ones doing the work or picking up the bill for it. How many fall for the dream but when it comes to getting the work done find it's a nightmare.

I've also lived in an 80s house and grew up in a 60s house. Both needed to replace windows and updating of kitchen and bathrooms but nothing major.

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It all depends if the house is solid and what improvements you want to make.

Ours had a few issues when we bought it as the maintenance hadn't been done. However some of the repairs ive done are probably once in 50 year+ jobs. For example i had to repair the chimney stack by relaying bricks with rotten mortar and recap it. Cost me about 650 with the main cost being the scaffold.

All depends on the property.

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We bought our place from an old couple that had thought they were handy at DIY but hadn't done any maintenance in the last 20 years of owning the house. So a lot of the work we've done I wouldn't really classify as maintenance more putting right what they'd done wrong (live wires all over the place, plastering across the damp proof course, etc.). We'd spent a lot in total (~£30k) but only 1/2 of this is actual maintenance, some things are also personal choices such as built-in wardrobes that we wanted but could never pretend we needed.

Our biggest problems were in buying a house that had been neglegted and having the survey completed by an incomptent dishonest firm of surveyors. There were a lot of problems they didn't list but when challenged they said you should expect that in a 1930s house.

Edited by assetrichcashpoor

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I've been in rentals where the landlord ran the boiler up to it's economic life. The boiler was rusty as hell and just about passing the annual safety check. Even the gas-safe man thought it would be condemned. The shower was over bath but being gravity fed had no pressure. The bath was 2mm acrylic and cracked easily.

Saying that I did live in a flat where the landlord had 50+ properties and everything was new there, and always got fixed.

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I'm interested in this as well. In my FIRE planning I'm assuming on average 1% of purchase price (up rated by inflation annually) over the very long term. Hopefully it's conservative.

Don't know what real life is like, but I think the assumption that it will need 100% repair/maintenance over 100 years is reasonable. In that time you will need a new roof, new doors and windows, brickwork repointing (at least once), possibly new flooring and replastering, repainting every ten years, new boiler and heating every 20 to 50 yearts, rewiring every 20 to 50 years. That's as % building costs, of course, not land.

(Incidentally, one of the reasons I don't worry too much about the climate botherers saying we will all be underwater 100 years from now. The built estate will effectively need to be completely replace in that time anyway)

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1% a year averaged over time sounds about right. Assuming you don't want to live in a dump, there's ongoing cosmetic stuff like painting then, every now and again, a big lump of cash on something like a new boiler, re-roofing, new windows etc. If you buy a place that's already in good order then move out after only a few years you can probably avoid all the expensive stuff and do it for less though.

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Iv spent £7k in 18 years,house about £130k.£900 new boiler.£1400 block paved front.£2200 new windows and door.£450 new guttering and all new pvc facia boards.£1k new bathroom.Rest paint,wallpaper etc.

Only thing it needs is a new kitchen,20 years old,but change worktops for £120 quid and paint doors every five years is good enough.

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