The average home costs an additional $463K to own over 25 years
Shelter. It was once a damp cool cave. Neanderthal humans dwelled in these spaces in Europe 100,000 years ago—until the advent of flat screen TVs. When it became apparent we couldn’t get cell phone service through a stone ceiling we started building wood homes in suburban cul de sacs. The modern day hunter now climbs into a SUV for a daily transit into the city, leaving behind a 2600 sq ft suburban home.
These modern shelters are failing us. They are failing us so profoundly the cave might warrant a second look.
The Census Bureau says the median cost of a single family home in the United State is $221,800. On a 30 year mortgage that home will actually cost over $350,000 with interest. That’s a chunk of change for most people, or a solid day’s work for Beyonce.
Unless you like the cave lifestyle, you’ll need to power and heat. That’s going to cost you $87,000* over 25 years. This number assumes the loving and benevolent utility companies don’t raise your rates over that time.
Finally, unless you enjoy the that 1950’s kitchen, missing shingles or cracked vinyl siding, you will spend over $80,000* on home remodeling and weekly maintenance.
Since the average suburban home is located half the distance to the moon from employment centers you’ll spend over $133,000* in vehicles, fuel, insurance.
All told, that perfect American suburban home with a picket fence will end up costing you $683,375 over 30 years.
It’s such a large number that it’s almost meaningless. It’s the kind of number that makes you raise your pinky to your lip when you say it.
It’s time for a new look at shelter. It can be warm, beautiful and inviting without the crushing financial weight.
It’s time to reshape what we expect in a home in terms of size, resiliency and efficiency.
It’s time to dream big and think small.
Note: This the start of regular posts about efforts across the nation to reshape the spaces in which we live.
by Ryan Wallace / Efficiency Enthusiast / Partner, Small Grid Homes
Median Home Cost: $221,800
2010 Census Bureau
3.4% over 30 Years
Natural Gas: 78960
2178 terms Annual Consumption, Starting Rate $0.943 per Therm
10,000 kWh Annual Consumption, Starting Rate $0.11 /kWh
4 Vehicle Purchases, Tax Title License, Fuel, Maintenance, Car Loan Interest
1 Kitchen Remodel, One Floor, 1 Re-Roof, 1 Residing, Replacement Windows
Energy Source: EIA.gov 2009 Report
Transportation Source: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cesan.nr0.htm