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Homebuyers Unprepared for the True Cost of Homeownership.

HomeAdvisor’s data reveals that majority of homebuyers will face an unexpected costly emergency in first 12 months of homeownership

June 16, 2015 (Golden, Colo.) — Homebuyers are unprepared for projects and expenses that come with homeownership, according to a recent survey and data* from HomeAdvisor. Within the first year of owning a home, 57% of homeowners encountered unexpected home projects, 46% spent more money, and 51% spent more time on the projects than originally anticipated.

HomeAdvisor’s data reveals that homebuyers focus on home improvements that increase curb appeal in the first year of homeownership. In fact, homebuyers are almost two times as likely to hire a professional to install a sprinkler system and landscaping compared to current homeowners. Other frequently competed outdoor projects include: installing a wood fence, building a deck, and hiring a lawn care professional. Homeowners spend an average of $12,850 on outdoor projects according to HomeAdvisor’s True Cost Guide.

“Homebuyers prioritize projects that increase curb appeal, however, they are often taken by surprise by unexpected costs and expenses,” explained Marianne Cusato, special housing advisor to HomeAdvisor. “The survey data revealed that more than three quarters of homeowners encountered a home emergency in the first 12 months of homeownership.”

The most frequent emergency projects reported by homebuyers include: blocked toilets and pipes, a clogged drain, a broken heating or cooling system, and water leaks. These unexpected projects can cost homeowners anywhere from $199 to fix a clogged drain to $2,068 to repair water damage.

“My recommendation for homeowners is to take a few simple precautions before moving into their home,” added Cusato. “Complete a sewer inspection, check that the insurance policy covers water damage, and set money aside for home emergency projects. Homeowners should plan on spending 1% of their home’s purchase price on repairs and emergencies each year.”

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About HomeAdvisor is the nation’s leading home services marketplace providing homeowners the tools and resources for home repair, maintenance, and improvement projects. HomeAdvisor’s marketplace lets homeowners view average project costs coast-to-coast, find local pre-screened home professionals, and instantly book appointments online. Access to all of HomeAdvisor’s resources is free for homeowners, with no membership or fees required. HomeAdvisor is based in Golden, Colo., and is an operating business of IAC (NASDAQ: IACI).

*This data was collected from homeowner service requests submitted on between January 2013 and April 2015. Additional data is based on a survey conducted among 647 homeowners, of which 223 moved into a home in the last five years, by Survey Monkey between May 26, 2015 and May 30, 2015.

About Marianne Cusato

Marianne Cusato is a special housing advisor to HomeAdvisor on topics relating to architecture, design, and home building trends. Recently selected by FORTUNE Magazine as one of the Top Women in Real Estate, Cusato is internationally renowned for her design of the Katrina Cottage. She is the author of two books: The Just Right Home and Get Your House Right, a blogger for the Huffington Post and a Professor of Practice at the University of Notre Dame.


Irina Woelfle