April 15 is a wake-up call for many of us. It is a time when we re-evaluate our finances, determining where we are spending our money and how we can save more of it. Unfortunately, for those who live in a home, the “saving money” part of the equation seems elusive. Every time they feel like they are making progress on bills and savings accounts, some new expense comes along to hamper their goals. An appliance stops working. A water pipe breaks and floods the carpet or wood flooring. The sod has to be replaced after a rough winter and pressure from the HOA.
There is an endless list of unplanned-for expenses that pile up. And these are not even the regular, monthly expenses. In addition to high utility costs, homeowners are paying mortgages, property taxes, lawn and landscaping fees, and a host of other home repair and upkeep expenses. The burden of mortgages – which are still disproportionately high after the housing bubble burst – and the other expenses is what has led many homeowners to switch to apartment living.