A couple of months ago, we noticed that the water was running through the meter, but there were no faucets/showers/toilets running or leaking. My house is on a concrete slab and the water pipes go from our laundry room down under the slab, across the house, and then come up through the slab near the bathrooms and kitchen. I called in a plumber and got a quote over $1000 to locate the leak. The repair could take two routes. 1) They rip up the concrete, repair the pipe, and then put everything back the way it was. Mondo expensive. 2) They could run new plumbing through the ceiling to the bathrooms and kitchen. Less expensive, but the walls and ceilings would have to be opened up.
Besides the plumbing, the HVAC system is pretty old. I believe the unit inside the house is original, and the unit outside the house is about 14 years old. From what I've seen on the Internet, that's about the lifespan of a system. Our unit is running nearly constantly in cold weather and it's not really keeping the house warm.
To complete this perfect storm of major repairs and the need for more space, interest rates have come down significantly. So, as interest rates have come down, I've been interested in shortening the lifespan of our mortgage. We could refinance to a 15 year loan (which cuts 5 years off our loan) AND pull out roughly $40,000 WITHOUT changing our payments. We'll probably need significantly more than $40k, but it's a start.