The euphoria of purchasing a home is usually short-lived for many new homeowners as they are hit with home repairs and maintenance costs.
Home maintenance is essential to ensure efficient operation and optimal safety of a home and its occupant.
That is why it is vital to budget for your home maintenance effectively. A home warranty is one of the ways new homeowners mitigate these expenses. Recent content published by Cinch Home Services describes a home warranty as an annual contract covering the cost of maintaining home systems and appliances.
Nevertheless, deciding on the exact amount to set aside for the overall maintenance of a home can be tricky.
This comprehensive guide will help you to budget for your home maintenance efficiently.
Factors that affect the cost of home maintenance
A home comprises different components, including roofs, doors, HVAC systems, and kitchen equipment. All of these items have a life span.
Roofs, for instance, can last for 20 to 100 years. The more they age, the higher the probability of them needing repair.
Homes with high market value will likely have bigger space, amenities, and expensive appliances. For instance, finding luxury homes with swimming pools is not unusual. The higher the price of a home, the more you will need to spend on its maintenance.
Homes with regular maintenance are less likely to require major repairs. Also, appliances with older technology may consume more electricity and give out sooner.
Weather and climate
Natural disasters such as drought, floods, hurricanes, wildfires, and winter storms have caused billions of dollars in home damages in the United States.
According to the National Center for Environmental Information (NCEI), the US, since 1980, has experienced about 323 weather and climate disasters that caused damages that exceeds $2.195 trillion.
If your home is cited in areas prone to climate disaster, your cost of home insurance, for instance, will be more expensive than usual. Likewise, in the event of a disaster, you will spend more on repairing and maintaining your home.
The cost of living in your area will affect the workmanship fee technicians charge.
Also, if the materials needed for the repair and maintenance of your home are not easy to source, you may need to pay extra for the delivery fee.
How much to set aside for home maintenance
It is vital to note that there is no method to calculate precisely how much you will need for home maintenance. If you love Do-It-Yourself fix methods, you can save some cost compared to a homeowner who prefers to hire others.
Homeowners spend about $1,200 to maintain their homes monthly. This means the yearly average will be $14,448 but will vary based on the size and location of the home.
The following tricks can help you to determine how much to set aside;
The percentage rule suggests you budget 1-4 percent of the home’s value for upkeep. Typically, maintenance costs roughly one percent of the home value, but for new homes, to avoid being unable to afford unexpected expenses, budget up to four percent.
For example, if you purchased a home worth $320,000, you should budget $3,200 to $12,800 for maintenance.
You may not need to repair every home component after purchase, but an effective budget helps ensure no expenses catch you unaware.
If the home is only a few years old, the 1% budget might be enough. Older homes require more repairs; hence budgeting 3-4 percent is a good idea. Same for homes in wet climates.
Square foot rule
The square foot rule is another trick you can use to estimate enough budget for your home maintenance.
The principle recommends saving $1 per square foot of your home for annual repairs. This means you will have to measure the total square foot of the home and multiply and divide by the 12 months of the year to calculate how much you need to set aside monthly.
The average square foot of a family house in the US is 2,386 square feet. This means the budget for home maintenance of such homes is $2,386 and $198 per month.
Meanwhile, the average home size varies from state to state and city. In California, for instance, the average home size in San Diego is 2,417 square feet, while San Francisco boasts homes that average 1,150 square feet.
However, some experts disagree with the budget estimations using the square foot rule.
After calculating an estimate using any of the principles above, fine-tune the calculation by considering factors such as your location, the age of the home, types of appliances, and building materials.
Tips to budget for home maintenance and repairs
Assess your needs
List all your home components; identify the most used and their age. This will help you predict items most likely to develop faults. For instance, you may worry less about new home appliances as they will likely be covered by warranties.
Set up an automatic savings account
Calculate the estimated budget for home maintenance. Using the percentage rule for a home worth $250,000, you should budget at least $2,500 (1%).
Set up an automatic monthly transfer of $208. If the amount is too small, adjust it based on our needs.
Budget for home improvement
Aside from repairs, you will want to make home improvements over time to make your home more attractive and enjoyable.
Such improvements could be buying new carpets, upgrading your kitchen lighting, or buying new appliances.
Confirm the cost of the home improvement and start saving towards it in addition to your home maintenance budget.
Do-It-Yourself (DIY) can help you save on home repairs and maintenance costs. Read fix-it blogs and watch tutorial videos to guide you on easy repairs.
Some easy home repairs you can DIY include fixing the following:
- Patchy lawn
- Leaky kitchen pipe
- Leaky bathroom pipe
- Garbage disposal
- Cabinet doors
- Auto light bulbs
- Ceiling stains
- Wooden drawer
- Clogged toilet
Install energy-efficient appliances
They also come with more features to make their usage easier and more comfortable.
Last Updated: June 2, 2023