How much does a house cost? A story of numbers in your home


Many people aren't too fond of math, but there will inevitably be situations in your adult life when you need to buckle down and crunch some numbers. This is especially true when you own your own home. You'll find yourself calculating mortgage payments, interest rates, utility bills, repair costs and more – together, these numbers tell an interesting story about your home.

Mortgage payments 
If you're in the process of paying for your home, your mortgage is probably the biggest number related to your house. The U.S. Census reported that in 2010, the average cost of a new home in the U.S. was $272,900. That's surely not a price tag to scoff at, but it's the price you pay – literally – to provide your family with a beautiful residence where they feel safe and comfortable. 

Utility bills
Your mortgage may be the biggest home-related expense, but it's not the only one. The American Housing Survey revealed that the median cost of utilities in 2013 were as follows:

  • Electricity: $111 per month
  • Natural gas: $50 per month
  • Fuel oil: $167 per month
  • Water: $42 per month
  • Routine maintenance: $33 per month
  • Trash removal: $23 per month

Naturally, these numbers will vary depending on where you live, the size of your house, the needs of your family and other essential factors. 

Credit card debt
After you pay your mortgage and utilities each month and buy your family necessary supplies, you may not have as much cash left as you'd like. At this point, many homeowners turn to their credit cards to make extraneous purchases throughout the month. However, before you swipe your plastic, note that the average American household has $7,200 in credit card debt and this statistic is expected to rise by 5 percent in 2015, according to CBS News.

"We've now had six consecutive quarters of year over year increases in our credit card debt load," credit card comparison company CardHub explained. "As a result, we must strive to remember the corrosive impact of debt on household finances during the recession and work to get out from under its influence before the burden becomes unbearable again."


                                       Don't let your credit card balances get out of control. 

Appliance repairs
The numbers detailed above are mostly regular payments that you can anticipate and plan for each month. However, there will be times when something goes wrong in your home and you're stuck with an unexpected repair cost – in fact, there's a 65 percent chance this will happen to you this year. According to data from TotalProtect, you can expect to pay the following out-of-pocket sums for the repair or replacement of household appliances or systems:

  • Oven or stove: $330-$2,750
  • Water heater: $535-$1,605
  • Refrigerator: $605-$1,650
  • Washer or dryer: $330-$825
  • Plumbing system: $214-$2,140
  • Air conditioner: $1,631-$6,995

This caliber of repair bill can put a serious dent in even the most savvy planner's budget. Protect yourself from appliance and system breakdowns with a TotalProtect Home Warranty. When your covered appliances have problems due to wear and tear, we'll help to cover the costs so your wallet stays plenty padded. 

The information in this article is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.