When buying your first house, you budgeted for the mortgage, insurance, and closing costs. You probably set aside money for utility deposits and to pay the movers. For many first-time homebuyers, home maintenance costs come up unexpectedly. Be prepared for the upkeep that will be necessary for your new property.

Common Home Maintenance Costs

HVAC System Maintenance

Your HVAC system maintains the temperature in your new home year-round. You’ll need to regularly replace the HVAC filters to keep your system running efficiently. These can be expensive if purchased one at a time, so it’s best to buy them in bulk. Service by an HVAC professional is also recommended one to two times a year.

Home Maintenance Costs Include Plumbing Upkeep

Water flows in your home through faucets, showerheads, toilets, and water heaters. Any of these can leak and pipes can burst. Leaks often remain hidden until the damage has already been done. Watch your monthly water bill for any unusual jumps in usage. This could signal that you have a leak somewhere.

Pest Control Measures

Schedule routine pest control services for your home and learn how to best prevent unwanted guests inside. Look for signs of wood-destroying insects like small holes in wood and piles of droppings, also called “frass.”

Roof and Gutters

Your roof will need upkeep and, depending on how old it is when you purchase your home, eventual replacement. Storms, harsh weather, and fallen limbs or trees can wreak havoc on roofing. Be sure to make regular inspections of your roof. While you’re up there, take a look at the gutters. Regular gutter cleaning is critical so that water runs off of your roof and away from your home.

Windows Should be Included in Home Maintenance Costs

Check around your windows for any leaks or drafts. Use a candle to detect drafts. Move it around the window frame and look for any air currents. Replace weatherstripping whenever needed. Cleaning windows, inside and out, should also be on your list of necessary home maintenance.

Outdoor Deck or Porch Care

While the inviting backyard deck or cozy front porch may have convinced you to buy the house, they won’t stay nice without a little attention. The elements affect the wood and it will need to be cleaned, stained, and painted regularly. Outdoor furniture also requires upkeep.


Creating curb appeal and a backyard where you love to spend time takes work. You can hire a landscaper or do it yourself. For the yard, you may want to install a sprinkler system. If you have lots of trees, they will need trimming or possibly removal at some point. Yard maintenance can add considerably to your home maintenance costs.

Homeownership is an exciting thing, but it comes with many unexpected costs and requirements, especially for first-time homebuyers. Keep the tasks on this list in mind and you’ll be prepared and can budget for improvements.

GET Home Inspections provides inspection services to Central Minnesota. Contact us to request an appointment.