Renter to Homeowner - Outdoor Yard Tasks

You've decided to stop renting that great rental from RL Partners, now what?  There are a number of costs to consider in addition to your mortgage, utility and house maintenance costs when deciding to buy a home.  In addition to the costs you will incur indoors (which we will cover in a future post) many fail to consider the time and money required to keep up the outside of your house.  Here are all of the outdoor items to consider and the relative cost for each.

  • Trimming Trees and Bushes - Your property may have bushes and trees.  The tasks required may be as simple as spending a day trimming the bushes with $30 hand clippers once a year. At the worst, you could spend $500 to $1,000 a year in tree trimming and pruning services. Having an average sized tree professionally removed can cost $750 to $1,250.  Disposing of bush and tree trimmings is also a consideration.
  • Mowing Grass - May need completed up to one time a week during the warm season. A lawn mower ($200 to $1,000) will be needed as well as gas to operate the mower ($75/year).  A typical quarter to half acre lot will take 1 to 3 hours to mow.
  • Trimming Grass and Edging - Typically this is done after each mow.  A gas or electric weedwacker and edger will make this task quick and simple.  Expect to pay $100 to $150 for each of these tools.
  • Weeding and Mulching Flower Beds - Keeping a proper 3 to 4 inch layer of mulch on top of weedblocker fabric will keep most weeds from growing in your flower beds.  Expect to spend $1 to $2 per square bed foot a year on these materials.
  • Picking up Sticks, Leaves, Walnuts, Acorns -  Self explanatory but this task can take 1 to 2 hours a week during certain parts of the year.  Not completing this task can kill the grass you'll spend a lot of money on in the next item.
  • Fertilizing, Aerating and Seeding Lawn - The chemicals and tools required to complete this task throughout the year will cost between $200 and $400 for a typical lawn.  Each of these items plays a vital role in keeping your grass green and healthy.
  • Cleaning Out Gutters - This will have to be done twice a year.  Expect to pay a professional between $150 and $350 to clean all your gutters.  If you do it yourself you will need a ladder, gloves and about 3 - 4 hours.
  • Painting Fences, Exterior Trim, Decks, Mailboxes - The frequency that each of these items will need painted depends on a lot of things but expect to spend $300 to $400 a year on average to keep these items nicely painted.
  • Washing Siding and Shingles - Moss and other dirt will build up on these surfaces over time.  Expect to use a pressure sprayer of good old elbow grease for a day each year to complete this task.  A pressure sprayer can be rented for about $75 a day.
  • Concrete and Asphalt Sealing - Spending $200 to $300 a year to seal your driveway and walk surfaces will ensure you get the maximum life out of these items.

We hope this list helps you get an understanding of what may be required on the outside of your house.  Let us know if you have any questions about these items.