(WHTM) — As abc27 reported last week, homes are expensive. But the costs don’t end once you make that purchase.

New homeowners can face some big challenges, especially when it comes to upkeep. Maintaining your home can be a full-time job, and many homeowners don’t know where to start.

“What this is doing is causing a lot of stress for homeowners, and this stress is not coming just from not knowing how to fix something that breaks, but underestimating the time, effort, and costs associated with not only the care of their home but these unexpected repairs and upgrades,” said David Steckel, a home care expert with Thumbtack.

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Summer is the busiest season when it comes to home projects. Steckel says this is a good time to tackle projects like cleaning your windows, landscaping, and installing and repairing your air conditioning.

“If there’s any of the bigger jobs that were top of mind for you, the ones adding new functionality — an outdoor kitchen or extending your deck or adding new speakers and lighting to help host in the evenings — I’d get on that, as well,” Steckel said.

As with almost everything lately, inflation and supply chain issues are making things harder. Steckel says the average cost for annual home maintenance is $5,000 a year.

“The good news is, we found based on our data that a well-maintained home is actually going to sell for about 10% more than a similar home in average condition,” Steckel said.

Most importantly, stay on top of things in your home, and don’t wait for them to need repairs. Spend the money now so you don’t have to spend more later.

“It’s really, change your mindset to that of being proactive,” Steckel said. “Your home is your most valuable asset.”

First-time homebuyers made up more than a third of all homebuyers over the past year. There are many online checklists that can help you get started maintaining your new investment.