A Costly Mistake Homeowners Are Making

Many homeowners may be one leaky or burst pipe away from a financial crisis.

Nearly 20 percent of homeowners admit they have no money put aside for an emergency home repair, according to a survey of more than 1,400 homeowners by HomeServe USA. Yet more than half of the respondents say they’ve had a home repair emergency in the last 12 months.

“Part of that can be attributed to the fact that the median age of a home is about 40 years, so that’s telling us that homes are aging,” Myles Meehan, vice president of corporate communication at HomeServe USA, told CNBC. “People should be concerned about maintenance and be prepared for things to break down.

For example, the average cost of installing or replacing asphalt shingle roofing is $7,280, according to HomeServe. Fixing or replacing faucets, fixtures, and pipes can average $304. But delaying such household projects can drastically increase the costs–and cause damage to a home.

Many financial experts recommend stowing away 1 percent of the home’s purchase price each year to cover ongoing home maintenance costs. In addition, people should have savings equal to at least three to six months of overall living expenses in an emergency fund.

Related: How Homeowners Are Funding Home Renovations

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