So now you own a house!  Or maybe you’re thinking of owning one.  After that big expense of buying it has passed, the question arises: ” How much should I spend annually on keeping it in good shape?”  Well, there are a variety of answers.  Read on to get some info. A recent survey found that the average homeowner pays $2,000 per year to outsource maintenance services such as housecleaning and landscaping.

  • Sixty-three percent of homeowners use at least one recurring home-maintenance service provider.
  • Housekeeping is the most expensive service to outsource, an average of $285 each month.


Most prospective homebuyers have considered the major costs of ownership, including the down payment, the monthly mortgage payment, and property taxes. But it’s quite possible that many home shoppers may not factor the costs of home-maintenance services into their budgets.

A new Bankrate survey found that the average American homeowner pays $2,000 each year to outsource home-maintenance services. Nearly two-thirds of homeowners use at least one recurring service provider, while 35 percent use two.

A housekeeping service is the most expensive home-maintenance chore to outsource, with the average owner incurring $285 per month on cleaning fees. Buyers who opt for a condominium may need to factor in monthly homeowner association dues, which average $210 (and more than 10 times that at some ultraluxury new buildings in San Francisco). Hiring a professional landscaping firm costs an average of $144 per month, while homeowners can expect to shell out $130 for security and monitoring services.

“These figures illustrate the hidden costs of homeownership, and it’s important to note they don’t include repairs such as a broken refrigerator, washing machine, or air conditioner,” Bankrate Analyst Taylor Tepper told the National Association of Realtors. “These are just ongoing, routine tasks like keeping your house and yard clean.”

To plan for home emergencies like the aforementioned ones, Bankrate recommends that homeowners sock away three to six months of home-maintenance funds — or else undertake routine chores themselves. One Washington, D.C. homeowner told the company that he saves $100 to $200 per month to plan for unexpected property repairs.

Home-maintenance services aside, buyers who are eyeing fixer-uppers can expect to incur costs far higher than $2,000 per year. According to Houzz’s 2018 U.S. Kitchen Trends Study, the average large kitchen-remodeling project costs $42,000. In San Francisco, renovating a kitchen costs $70,000, more than anywhere else in the country.

valuable information on the subject, particularly on outsourcing the work.

Clearly, the most expensive way to do regular maintenance is by outsourcing, but it may be well worth the extra expense when you factor in your issues with scheduling, overseeing the work and finding the proper expert to do the various types of work.  On our own home, we do some work ourselves, outsource some and go on a contract by contract basis, depending on what is being done. Your decision may be further impacted by the type of property involved.  You might go one way for your own residence, while taking a diametrically opposite tack for a vacation home or investment property.

If you’d like to chat more in depth on the subject, give us a call. We’re always available to assist.  Our numbers are: Peter: (415) 279-6466; Jane: (415) 531-4091.  We look forward to talking with you.