Housing Watch: The unexpected costs as a homeowner

Dale Yurong Image
Tuesday, June 4, 2024
Housing Watch: The unexpected costs as a homeowner
A new survey shows that one in five homeowners has taken on debt to cover hidden costs or repairs.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Spring can be a time when homeowners are hit with unexpected surprises.

Suddenly the air conditioner goes out, the stove doesn't work or that pool filter needs to be replaced.

That can lead to costly repairs or replacements.

"Repair or replace the roof, repair or replace the HVAC. The heating and air conditioning you'll have to call a plumber or an electrician at some point if you're in the home long enough, and some of those more expensive activities can literally get into the tens of thousands of dollars," Mark Hamrick says.

Bankrate Senior Economic Analyst Mark Hamrick says a survey showed 1 in 5 homeowners have taken on debt to take care of hidden costs, or repairs.

Dale: "What did the survey tell you, Mark, about how how folks are are paying for these repairs?"

Mark: "We heard from borrowers that they more often than not leaning on credit card debt. But others also said that they were using other products, such as second, mortgages as well as personal loans. Others may choose to leverage the equity in their home with something like a HELOC, or home equity loan."

Hamrick encourages homeowners to try to set money aside in a savings account, if possible, knowing some items will eventually need to be repaired or replaced.

"Unfortunately, people don't think about the other costs that arise as time passes with home ownership," Hamrick said. "So what we wanted to do here is really shine a light on the inevitability of these costs of homeownership once past the transaction."

60 percent of the homeowners who took part in that survey said they were using a credit card to pay for unforeseen repairs or replacements.

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