Chapter 11: Maintaining a Home


Assessment methods used for real estate are discussed in this chapter. Tax rates are expressed in mills, and real-estate taxes are calculated for property. Premiums are calculated for homeowner’s insurance, and the question of who pays how much for damage is answered. Electric meters are read, monthly usage is calculated, and cost is determined. Cubic feet of natural gas are converted to therms, and monthly charges and daily costs for service are calculated. Water meters are read, monthly costs are determined, and sewer charges based on water usage are calculated to get a single bill. Landline phones are covered only briefly because every year fewer consumers have landlines. Cellphone charges are calculated based on package and per-use fees, comparing different companies’ costs. Costs for do-it-yourself home maintenance projects are figured and compared to professional rates. Home improvements are distinguished from home maintenance, and project costs are determined.

What you can expect to learn

After this chapter you should be able to
1. calculate real estate tax in relation to a house’s value.
2. figure the cost of utilities: electricity, gas, water and sewer, phone (if desired), cellphone, and internet and cable (if desired).
3. estimate costs for do-it-yourself repairs and home improvement projects.

Activity List