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This $2,000 expense could blindside some happy homebuyers

Darla Mercado
This $2,000 expense could blindside some happy homebuyers

Enjoy your pristine lawn and beautiful pool: The cost of keeping up these amenities may be burning a hole in your wallet.

Prospective homeowners generally are aware of what it would cost to pay down their mortgage each month, as well as the expense of keeping an insurance policy on their dwellings.

What they may not have considered is the cost of maintaining their humble abode.

On average, that is about $2,000 a year, according to data from Bankrate.com. The personal finance website polled 2,218 individuals online recently.

"When you go looking for a home and you're sketching out your budget, you'll have to account for principal, interest, property taxes, insurance and the maintenance costs," said Taylor Tepper, an analyst with Bankrate.com.


"It's easy to have these costs drip out of your savings or checking account," he said.

Prospective homebuyers should consider budgeting about 1 percent of their home's purchase price each year for the cost of upkeep, including pool care and private trash disposal, Tepper said.

About 6 out of 10 of the homeowners in the survey use at least one maintenance provider on a recurring basis.

See below for three of the most expensive home maintenance services.


Housekeeping

Whether you live on your own or you have a family to look after, most people could use an extra set of hands to keep a home tidy. Housekeeping services run an average of $285 per month, according to Bankrate.com.

Those expenses can vary based on square footage of your home, whether you hire an individual or a professional cleaning service, how often your housekeeper will visit, and where you're based, according to Care.com.


Homeowners association fees

If you live in a gated community or a condo, don't forget you'll have shell out for those association fees.

This can cost an average of $210 a month, according to Bankrate.com. The money goes to repairs and maintenance of common areas.

An analysis by Trulia, a real estate site, found out that the New York metropolitan area was home to the highest average homeowners association fees: $571 per month.

On the opposite end, Nashville was among the cities with the lowest costs, with an average monthly expense of $194.


Landscaping

Whether you're adding a koi pond to your yard or just planting a new flowerbed, budget for landscaping costs if you're consulting a professional.

Surveyed homeowners paid an average of $144 per month for landscaping services, according to Bankrate.com.

The costliest projects include building a patio enclosure, which costs an average of $15,396, and building a deck, which runs an average of $7,084, according to HomeAdvisor.com, a home improvement website.

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