The Life of Your Home: How Long Do Things Last?

Dated: October 29 2020

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Homes need maintenance just like cars do… thankfully, not as frequently. I hope the following information will help you prepare for these expenses so you can avoid a last-minute budget crunch.

Most appliances need to be replaced within 10-15 years. Here are some estimates for the life expectancy, repair & replacement costs of the most common home appliances:

  • Refrigerator. If you clean the dust behind your refrigerator a couple times per year, it should last around 13 years. When it stops working properly, repair or replacement is often urgent. On average, you should expect to pay between $200-$400 for repairs or $700-$2,100 for a replacement.
  • Oven/Cooktop. Ovens and stovetops have an average life expectancy of 15 years. When it starts acting up, most repairs will set you back $100-$200. There is a large price range for replacement… between $350-$15,000, depending upon brand & features.
  • Microwave. Microwaves typically last around 10 years. When it malfunctions, many people simply replace it for $50-$500, instead of spending around $100-$150 to repair it.
  • Dishwasher. Dishwashers last longer with regular use, which reduces dry-rot, mildew, and other problems. Typically, they last 6-10 years, cost $200-$300 to repair or $400-$700 to replace.
  • Washer and Dryer. To extend the lifespan of your washer beyond 10 years, periodically add bleach and vinegar to remove buildup, hard water & soap scum. Most repairs cost between $120-$500, while the replacement cost varies widely based on brand & features - anywhere from $200-$2,050.

In addition to major appliances, here are other major items that often need replacement every 10-15 years:

  • Carpeting. A carpet will typically last between 8-10 years. The best way to extend its life is to keep it clean. The average carpet will cost $63-$108 per square yard, including all materials and labor. A bedroom that is 12’x15’ or 180 sq. ft. would set you back $1,260-$2,160 ($63 x 20yds or $108 x 20yds).
  • Exterior and Interior Paint. Both exterior & interior paint usually look good for 5-10 years. When you opt for a paint job, both will cost around $2 per sq. ft. Extensive trim around floors, ceilings, doors & windows will increase the cost of interior paint, while the tall homes with multiple peaks and extensive details will increase the cost of exterior paint.
  • Garage. Garage door openers generally last 10-12 years. Many newer models will warn you before completely dying. When the time comes for a new one, professional installation runs from $600-$800.
  • HVAC. HVAC Systems should receive professional maintenance twice a year to ensure the best performance & greatest longevity. Well-maintained systems should last 10-15 years. A maintenance visit will usually take 1-2 hours and cost $50-$70 per hour. In comparison, a good annual maintenance contract will only cost about $150 and cover the cost of two maintenance visits per year and cost of labor associated with any other repairs required throughout the year.

As a house ages, its parts mature at a different pace. Though basic, I hope this guide gives you a helpful frame of reference for how long major items should last, along with typical costs for repair or replacement. I specialize in the representation of homeowners from your community and believe my knowledge of your local market can ensure the successful sale of your home. If you require the services of a real estate professional in the future, please feel free to contact me.

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Anne Butcher

Award-winning agent including America's Top 100 Real Estate Agents from 2019 and 2020. A full-time Real Estate Agent since 2003 and a certified negotiation expert. Awarded eXp Realty Icon Agent Statu....

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