November 6, 2022 at 12:49 pm

12 People Share Their Costliest Home Repair Mistakes

by Matthew Gilligan

Owning a home is a great experience…but it also comes with a lot of headaches and problems.

And if you ignore certain issues or make mistakes when it comes to your house, you’re gonna have some serious problems.

Let’s hear from 12 people who opened up about their costliest home repair mistakes.

1. Oops.

“Saving’ $200 by not getting a sewer scope or a septic system inspection.


2. Adds up.

“Not accounting for a lot of unexpected expenses.

Our property transfer tax was over $14,000 and needed to be paid for upfront, isn’t included in your down payment, and couldn’t be tied into our mortgage.

It almost sunk us since we scraped together every dollar we had for the down payment. A big oversight on our end of things, I suppose.”

3. Big mistake.

“We bought a house with a wrap-around deck because it looked amazing! Big mistake. A fresh coat of paint made it so we didn’t feel the need to inspect it closely.

Now, four years later, we have a deteriorating deck that hadn’t been updated in years. It’s a massive safety hazard and it’s going to cost around $50K–$60K to fix.”

4. Stuck.

“Buying in a town I wasn’t familiar with.

I h**e this town, but I have been stuck here for a decade now because I can’t afford to move to a new town.”

5. The divorce.

“The most expensive mistake I made was giving my husband the home in the divorce. I had done a surrogacy and used the money as a down payment on the house.

During the divorce, I was desperate to get away from my abusive husband as quickly and easily as possible. He wanted the house, and I gave it to him.

He sold it months later, and five years later it’s worth more than twice what I paid for it. Women, know your worth and don’t let men take your assets.”

6. Ouch.

“I bought a house as a single woman with a lot of trees. That was 23 years ago, and the trees are getting huge. It’s going to cost me a pretty penny to get rid of the pines.

The walnuts can just get trimmed every so many years. Wouldn’t do that again. Also, before you buy, check on the real estate taxes and school taxes. That can get very expensive too.

My high school in town built an indoor pool, and guess who’s paying for this thing? The taxes doubled.”

7. Too big.

“I bought a house that was way too big for us. It took so much time to clean, and the cost to heat, maintain, and decorate it was ridiculous.

I sold it after just two years for more than I paid but still lost money on commissions and closing costs. I just closed on a smaller house and couldn’t be happier.”

8. Gotta get a survey.

“Not getting a survey. We didn’t want to get a survey because it was an extra £300.

But not doing one cost us about £2K in the end because they found issues they could have found post-survey, and the seller would have paid for them. Do a survey!!!”

9. A big root.

“Not asking about a neighbor’s tree root lifting up the concrete on our side of the fence.

Inspector and owner said it was fine, but long story short, the roots were extensive and growing right into and under my house and up against the foundation.

It cracked pipes and other minor damage. To fix this would be about $15K, all going well, not to mention what other problems that could be discovered.”

10. The walkthrough.

“Not doing a final walkthrough.

I was a first-time homebuyer and didn’t think to ask, since I was present at the home inspection, and my very seasoned agent never offered or arranged it.

Not as much of a horror story as some of the other posts here, but the day I got the keys, I realized the house wasn’t actually fully vacated — clothes in closets, script meds in cabinets, used bar soap in the shower, food in the fridge and freezer, pots and pans in the kitchen, etc.

The selling agent claimed to have ‘cleaned’ the home, but all she did was wipe off counter tops and shop vac the floor. There was nothing clean about it. Also, the sink was completely falling away from the countertop. I ended up having to replace the whole thing. It was improperly installed from the get go, and the home inspector missed it.

Do a final walkthrough.”

11. Sump pump.

“Not paying attention to my outside basement entrance and monitoring the sump pump. You had to walk down some stairs to get to the basement, and there was a sump pump outside the door.

I honestly didn’t check on it regularly, and the pump would die or get clogged with leaves. Rain flooded my basement more than once, and one time it killed my HVAC system in there. I no longer live there and refuse to have a sump pump in any future house.”

12. Water damage.

“A friend of ours had gotten a gorgeous, giant home newly built in a new development.

In the first week, she was trying to install the ice/water line on her fridge and drilled into the water pipe, causing water damage to her basement.”

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