Things to know about the expensive items in homes


Your house very likely contains (and in some cases is made up of) many expensive items. Some are smaller — like a refrigerator — while others are huge — like your roof. When they break down, you’re faced with a tough call. Repair it or replace it? It’s an especially important question to think about when you’re buying, selling, or trying to maintain a home you’re planning to stay in for some time. Here’s what you should know.


Research First


When it comes to expensive home items, research is your friend. The one thing you don’t want to do is simply run out and replace something before looking into it. You might find that you can repair the item for a fraction of the cost of a replacement. You might even figure out how to repair the item yourself.


Think of the Lifespan


When considering repair/replace, think of the item’s lifespan. If the lifespan is quite long and you plan on living in that home during that time, you might opt to replace the item. Yes, even if it’s seemingly expensive. Consider something like a dishwasher. As US News reports, the average cost of a dishwasher is around $975. Seems steep, right? But consider that the average lifespan of a dishwasher is about nine years, which works out to a little over $100 per year. Now, add in how often you use a dishwasher — likely at least every other day — and you can see the value is there. Here’s a few other average lifespans to consider:


Roof — between 15 and 30 years for shingles and more than 50 for metal

HVAC — 10 to 15 years

Oven — 13 to 17 years

Washer and dryer — five to 13 years

Wood deck — About 20 years

Make the Calculation


Once you have considered all the variables and completed your research, it’s time to make the calculation. Every situation is different. (And right now, you also have to think about whether you’ll be able to get a replacement in short order because of supply chain issues.) If you’re selling your home, you might want to replace an old appliance so the house is more appealing to buyers. If you’re buying a home, you might want the roof replaced before signing off on the mortgage. Think things through and then make your choice.

Chris O’Shea

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