Survey: 68% of homeowners are overwhelmed and stressed about maintaining their homes.


By David Steckel

We all know that taking care of the things we treasure most — our families, our health, our finances — requires proactive time, energy and investment. We take our cars to be serviced regularly, schedule check-ups at the doctor annually, and budget our spending and savings monthly.

Yet, when it comes to maintaining our homes, expert guidance historically disappears after closing day.

To find out more about how today’s homeowners feel about managing their homes, we surveyed more than 1,700 people from all over the country. What we heard: home maintenance is a major cause of stress — and a problem in need of a solution.

Specifically, we found that:

  • 68% of homeowners report feeling overwhelmed, confused or stressed about maintaining their homes
  • 64% of homeowners said they would feel better prepared with a personalized owners manual for their home
  • The stakes are high: a well-maintained home sells for 10% more than a home in average condition and helps to avoid costly, unexpected repairs

Below we explore the mindsets, behaviors, and needs of today’s homeowners — from where they need the most help to what decisions will maximize their time and money. Learn more from our new research as well as how we’re building new experiences to provide the ultimate benefit: true peace of mind.

What's keeping homeowners up at night?

Feelings among homeowners were resoundingly clear: a majority (68%) say they’re overwhelmed, confused or stressed about maintaining their homes — and this only deepens among millennial homeowners and first-time homeowners (increasing to 80% and 81% respectively). What’s more, nearly one-third (32%) of homeowners are not sure where to begin when it comes to maintaining their home.

One reason why? According to our quarterly Home Care Price Index, the average home in the U.S. requires an annual maintenance budget of $4,994. Yet, 79% of homeowners are under budgeting for this essential annual home maintenance.

This gap has led 1 in 5 homeowners to regret or have second thoughts about purchasing their home. The main reason we heard? Regret for over half (53%) of homeowners stems from not budgeting for repairs and maintenance.

And homeowners told us that the stress of their homes is keeping them up at night. They’re tossing and turning over how to fix something that breaks (35%), the amount of time and effort needed to care for their home (33%) and not being able to afford an emergency repair (29%).

The hard cost of putting projects off.

What’s the financial cost of all of this confusion, stress and under budgeting?

We surveyed more than 1,000 realtors in partnership with OJO and found that a well-maintained home sells for 10% more than a home in average condition, which amounts to an increase in value of $44,000 nationwide. In a market like San Francisco, this nets to around $130,000 or in Austin around $50,000.

What’s more, waiting until critical home systems or appliances breakdown can lead to a snowball effect of emergency repairs and unforeseen expenses. In a nightmare scenario where a home’s central air, water heater, refrigerator and roof all failed at once, it would cost $29,233 on average to repair or replace these essential components.

By contrast, the annual cost of essential home maintenance for these five systems and appliances averages $1,347 a year and that upfront investment could save $3,258 in annual repair costs.

It quite literally pays to not put off home maintenance until tomorrow.

Homeowners deserve better.

At Thumbtack, we know the anxiety of having a leak in the roof and wondering if it’s serious. The frustration of having your refrigerator break before a family event.

Every house is a complex system that does not come with a manual. And homeowners overwhelmingly told us they need more support: 64% said they would be better prepared with a personalized owners manual for their home — a number that increases to 79% for new homeowners, 73% for millennial homeowners and 70% for first-time homeowners.

Managing our most valuable asset — our home — with confidence requires knowing what projects to do, when to do them and who is the best person for the job. (Nearly half of homeowners would prefer to hire a professional to ensure the work is done right.)

That’s why our new home care experience builds a long-term partnership with homeowners to continuously care for their largest asset. From offering proactive, personalized maintenance solutions that stave off emergencies to keeping your home running in peak condition all year, we deliver peace of mind for homeowners every step of the way.

Join Thumbtack’s all new home care experience by downloading the Thumbtack app to become a member (available on iOS and Android).

Survey Methodology: Thumbtack conducted a survey of the general population from 3/7/2022 to 3/10/2022 of 1,720 U.S. adults aged 18 or higher balanced by age and gender according to U.S. Census estimates. Results have a margin of error of +/- 2.4%. New homeowners are defined as homeowners who purchased their home in the past two years.

OJO Methodology: A survey of professional realtors was conducted by OJO from 4/20/2022–5/2/2022. 1068 responses were received. Respondents were asked to provide a response to the sales premium that a well maintained home receives rounded to the nearest percentage point. The median value is reported in the analysis.

Pricing data for maintenance and replacement costs is based on platform data from projects requested on Thumbtack over the past 24 months as reported directly by the independent service professional or individual consumer. Essential components of the home include: central air, heat pump, water heater, roof, gutters, siding, deck, refrigerator, range/oven, and dishwasher. A survey of Thumbtack pros was conducted from 3/25/2022–3/31/2022 to determine the average lifespan of each component, how many years proper maintenance extends to the lifespan, and how many years a lack of maintenance subtracts from the lifespan.

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