Costs of Own­ing a House vs. a Life Plan Community

November 01, 2021


If you’re on the fence about the costs of Inde­pen­dent Liv­ing at Smith Vil­lage, it can be help­ful to com­pare it to what you’re spend­ing now. When you add in every­thing that our com­mu­ni­ty offers, you’ll most like­ly find the costs of liv­ing at home and join­ing us at Smith Vil­lage are com­pa­ra­ble — and that’s not even includ­ing oth­er advan­tages of liv­ing at Smith Village.

Do you know much you are real­ly spend­ing liv­ing at home?

When many peo­ple sit down to fig­ure out how much they’re pay­ing month­ly to live at home, they tend to focus first on their mort­gage pay­ments. Actu­al­ly, it’s not the mort­gage; it’s the oth­er costs of home­own­er­ship that real­ly hit you in the pock­et­book. Some are unavoid­able — tax­es and util­i­ties. Some can take your breath away, like replac­ing a roof or repair­ing a foun­da­tion. Oth­ers are sea­son­al or sneak up on you, such as land­scap­ing or ter­mite treatments.

Unavoid­able Expenses

Descrip­tionAver­age costs (Year­ly)
Prop­er­ty tax­es (Bev­er­ly Chicago)$5,250

Prop­er­ty tax­es (Mor­gan Park Chicago)
Homeowner’s insur­ance$1,361
Water/​Sewer (Chica­go)$480

Sea­son­al and Reg­u­lar Main­te­nance (per year/​season)*

Descrip­tionPrice Range (Year­ly)
Fur­nace inspec­tion and maintenance$75 – $450
Cen­tral air inspec­tion & service$75 – $200
Gut­ter cleaning$200
If your prop­er­ty has land­scap­ing, aver­age costs for

  • Week­ly mow­ing & edging
  • Sea­son­al fer­til­iz­ing, aer­a­tion & lawn treatment
Snow removal (4 heavy snowfalls)$400

*Sources: home​ad​vi​sor​.com, fixr​.com, man​ta​.com.

Goods /​Ser­vice Taxes

Don’t for­get to fac­tor in Illi­nois, Cook Coun­ty and Chica­go sales tax­es. They add up!

At 10.25% (most non-restau­rant food at 1% &hdash; 6.25%)$1,400

Don’t for­get qual­i­ty of life

Since we’re com­par­ing main­tain­ing a house to Smith Vil­lage, let’s also add in lifestyle expens­es — such as meals, enter­tain­ment, fit­ness pro­grams, con­tin­u­ing edu­ca­tion and social activ­i­ties — that don’t cost extra in our Life Plan Community.

Lifestyle Expens­es*

Descrip­tionAver­age price (Year­ly)
Inter­net & Basic Cable$1,440
Fit­ness (gym, class­es, per­son­al trainer)$1,800
Enter­tain­ment (meals, per­for­mances, etc.)$2,600 ($50/​week)

*Sources: home​ad​vi​sor​.com, sofi​.com.

You may also need to retro­fit your home for safe­ty and accessibility

Of the 25 mil­lion home­own­ers who are 65 years and old­er today, the Joint Cen­ter for Hous­ing Stud­ies esti­mates that 44%have some need for home acces­si­bil­i­ty fea­tures due to dis­abil­i­ty or dif­fi­cul­ty using parts of the home, such as the kitchen or bath­room. We’ll look at some of those retro­fits, which can be very expensive.

Cost of Retro­fitting a Home for Accessibility*

All Smith Vil­lage res­i­dences are designed from the ground up for the needs of old­er adults. Is your home?

Widen Hall­ways w/​out Struc­tur­al Changes$1,100

ProjectAver­age Cost to Install
Walk-in Tub or Shower$5,000
Ramp Instal­la­tion at Entrance$1,113
Widen an Entry Door$800
Stair Lift Installation$8,000

* Source: homes​.com

Major Main­te­nance and Repair*

The aver­age home­own­er sets aside 1% – 4% of their home’s val­ue every year for main­te­nance and repairs. We’ll use 2% for this sce­nario, which is $5,000/year. Some exam­ples of com­mon house­hold repairs are:

*Source: Forbes​.com.

Major Appli­ances

A recent sur­vey found that 88% of home­own­ers who’ve lived in their homes for more than 10 years had to replace or repair one or more major appli­ances. We’ll assume $425/​year (based on $4,250 amor­tized over 10 years). These could be any of the following:

Smith Vil­lage deliv­ers even more!

With your entrance fee (which is up to 80 per­cent refund­able), you’re guar­an­teed access to all of our award-win­ning care ser­vices: Assist­ed Liv­ing, Mem­o­ry Sup­port, Skilled Nurs­ing Care and Reha­bil­i­ta­tion. — even if you out­spend your assets, our Emi­lie Fund ensures you will be cared for through­out your life con­tin­u­um.

For most of our res­i­dents, the month­ly costs of own­ing a home and main­tain­ing their lifestyles turned out to be sim­i­lar to their month­ly fees at Smith Vil­lage. Of course, you may be spend­ing a bit less now if you’re doing your own house­keep­ing, repairs and yard work. But is that real­ly how you should be spend­ing your time? It’s time to live the life you’ve earned. You’ll have it all at Smith Village.

Every one of the costs list­ed above is includ­ed in your month­ly fee at Smith Vil­lage. Oth­er than adding some pre­mi­um chan­nels to your cable, every­thing is tak­en care of. All you have to do is relax and enjoy life.

You can deter­mine your own costs of own­ing a home with this Home Own­er­ship Cal­cu­la­tor.

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