Household Items,

Costly Home Repairs and Their Price Tags

Whether you’ve been a homeowner for a long time or are a renter looking to buy your first home, you know one thing for sure: homes and the items that go in them are EXPENSIVE. No matter where you live, there are certain things you may have to repair or replace. When things break down, it can seem like the expenses just keep piling up, putting you in a mountain of debt. Don’t stress, we can help. At Availa Bank, we have plenty of options available to you to prevent you from tearing your hair out the next time the dryer makes a weird noise.

How to Start the Buying Process 

The first and best rule of thumb is always to do your research. Without researching the items you need to buy, you may end up with a product that only causes you headaches down the road. What’s the best way to do your research?

  • Look up reviews online from several different sources. Sort by the highest and lowest reviews to see what issues people are having with the product. Compare these to other reviews of different brands to get the most accurate picture.
  • Ask your family and friends. It’s likely someone has bought the same product or will have a great recommendation based on personal experience.
  • Compare prices at no less than 4-5 different stores before you buy something.
  • Look into all warranty and repair information on each product. What is covered in the initial purchase? Does the store guarantee any kind of repair or return window where you can get some of your money back if things go wrong?
  • Research installation information. Is this an easy product to install? Can you do it yourself? Do you need the help of an expert in the field, and will you need to include these costs in your final item price?

What Common Expenses Do I Need to Plan For? 

In Iowa, you might find these items are common expenses for the average homeowner:


$4,000- $11,000 on average depending on roof size and materials used


$4,000 - $16,000 depending on home’s size and materials used


$5,000 - $10,000 depending on severity of problem


$3,000 - $80,000 depending on the size of the space and what needs to be completed


Per room, it could be $1,500 - $5,000 depending on size and flooring choice


$3,000 - $13,000


$2,000 - $15,000 depending on severity of problem


$500 - $1500 each


$4,000 - $10,000


1-car: $7500 - $14,200
2-car: $19,000 – $28,000
3-car: $28,000 – $42,700


$700 - $2,000


$400 - $800 per window


Bathtub: $1,500 - $5,000
Shower: $2,000 - $9,000


$400 - $700

Lawn Mower


Calculating Value vs. Cost

Looking at this list, it’s easy to see how the cost of upkeeping your home can skyrocket. If one problem isn’t fixed, another one may pop up (and another and another) until it feels like you’ll never dig yourself out of that hole. When considering a purchase, it’s extremely important to measure the overall cost of the item against:

  1. The average lifespan of the item
  2. How often you’re going to use the item
  3. Whether or not the item gives your house extra value or curb appeal (if you want to sell soon)
  4. Timing of purchase – Is there a sale coming soon? If it’s a time of inflation, like right now, you might want to wait a while longer to see if prices will go back down before purchasing.
  5. How badly do you need the item? Can you wait for a sale or a better deal to come along? Is the house inoperable without it? Would it result in more expenses if you didn’t replace it?

Considering all these things will help you choose the best item at the best cost.

Take this example:

You have an older oven in your home. It works fine, it’s just not the style of current models. You recently did a kitchen renovation and want to get an oven that matches your new modern look. You cook with that oven every day and you’re tired of looking at a piece that doesn’t match. Is purchasing a new oven a good idea?

Ask yourself this:

  • How long have you had your current oven?
  • Do you have the funds for a new oven right now?
  • What features will the new oven have that your old one doesn’t?
  • What is the average lifespan of a new oven?

For most ovens, the average lifespan is about 16 years. All things considered, it’s probably within your means to get a new oven. You may even be able to sell your old oven since it still works, making a profit that will go towards the new one. However, since this isn’t an urgent need, you should do your research and wait until there’s a better deal before you buy new.

Consider another scenario:

You live in an old home. The current windows in the home were installed around 30 years ago. They’re single-pane windows without a screen. This year, when it started to rain a lot, you found water pooling at the base of your windows. Should you purchase new windows?

Ask yourself this:

  • What is the average lifespan for windows?
  • Are your current windows jacking up your energy bills?
  • Are you spending more money to solve problems created by the current windows?

Since your windows are significantly older and are not functioning properly, now would be the perfect time to get new windows. When things don’t function properly, they end up costing more money than they’re worth, and it’s not worth it to wait for a sale or for prices to go down if there’s a leak or the windows aren’t insulated correctly. However, you should still do your research and compare prices to make sure you get the best deal available.

Now that you’ve seen two different home improvement scenarios, you may be thinking, What if I don’t have any money saved up for repairs or new appliances? That’s where Availa Bank can help.

Consider a Home Equity Loan or a Home Equity Line of Credit

Your home is one of your biggest assets, so why not take advantage of it?

The difference between the value of your home and what you owe against it is your home’s equity.  At Availa Bank, we offer home equity loans and home equity lines of credit to fit all your needs.  Either can be used for home improvements, repairs, a vacation, or as part of your emergency plan. They can be used for just about anything, plus they’re cheaper than a credit card!

If you think this might be the right option for you, stop in or give one of our lenders a call today!