A friend recently forwarded an interesting feature from Bankrate.com entitled How Long Will Your House Last. The story points out a few interesting things:
Items that can last a lifetime include: “cabinets in a garage or laundry room, brick pavers, a concrete or cast iron waste pipe and copper rain gutter downspouts, natural stone or tile countertops, fiberglass, wood or fire-rated steel exterior doors, copper wiring, wood floors, walls, ceilings and most types of insulation.”
But there are many items in a home don’t last that long. Here are some common elements and their average lifespan.
- Enamel steel sinks (five to 10 years)
- Carpet (eight to 10 years)
- Faucets (10 to 15 years)
- Garage door opener (10 to 15 years)
- Air conditioner (10 to 15 years)
Most appliances last under 10 years, with the exception of the range, which typically makes it to 15 years.
My two takeaways from the story:
- Be sure to plan your short-term savings around the age of your home. If you have a brand-new home under warranty, your savings needs are less. If you have a 10 year old home, the thing is literally a ticking time bomb of emergency fund withdrawals. Be sure to beef up a home repair savings fund for the 10 year mark.
- When purchasing an older home, ask about repairs and replacements. Review receipts and ask for manuals if they have them. Factor in expected expenses based on the averages above to determine the true cost of owning that home. Look at the appliances closely. Often the manufacturing date is printed on them.
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