Even the best homes need maintenance and repairs from time to time. Fortunately, planning ahead and budgeting for these expenses can help you avoid any surprises down the road. 

Many specialists recommend setting aside 1% to 2% of your home’s value each year for unexpected maintenance expenses.

1. Set Aside Money For Unexpected Expenses 

When it comes to home maintenance, there are often more expenses than homeowners realize. From lawn mowing to HVAC tune-ups, home repairs can add up fast. Look into a home warranty to help. Sites such as https://www.cinchhomeservices.com/faq-library/-/faq/does-my-home-warranty-cover-my-furnace can provide you with home services that may be covered and saves you time and money.

Unlike renters, homeowners don’t have the option to call the landlord when something breaks down, so it’s crucial to set aside money for unexpected repair costs. A general rule of thumb is to save 1% of your home’s purchase price each year for maintenance and repairs. 

However, this isn’t foolproof and can give new homeowners sticker shock when it comes time to pay for a roof replacement or new HVAC system. Instead, experts suggest a more customized approach to budgeting for upkeep costs. Here are some tips to help you get started. 

2. Create A Maintenance Checklist 

A well-designed maintenance checklist can help you keep track of a variety of tasks, including what needs to be done, when it should be done, and who does what. Using a maintenance checklist can also help you identify what equipment is aging and may need to be replaced soon. 

It can be hard to know how much you should budget for home repairs. Some experts suggest saving 1% of your house’s value each year for routine maintenance and unexpected repair costs. 

The best way to figure out how much to budget for home maintenance is to create a maintenance checklist and start recording your costs. Then, you can compare the actual cost to your estimate and make adjustments as necessary. Having these records can help you stay on top of your home maintenance and repair costs and avoid any financial surprises in the future. 

3. Set Up A Savings Account 

Many home repairs cost thousands of dollars and can come at inconvenient times. That’s why it’s important to set up a savings account and start putting money away on a regular basis. It will save you from having to pay for these costly repairs out of pocket and also avoid any hefty borrowing expenses down the road.

Experts recommend saving between 1% and 4% of your home’s value each year for maintenance costs. However, the 1% rule is not foolproof and should be based on other factors such as your home’s location, age, and square footage. 

For example, homes located in coastal regions require more frequent maintenance due to corrosive salt air. Additionally, the square foot method may not be accurate because it doesn’t take into consideration the age of your home and its condition. 

4. Schedule Regular Inspections 

The more often you perform routine maintenance, the less likely something significant will go wrong. This is why it’s crucial to schedule regular inspections and make repairs as needed. 

A reputable inspector can help homeowners understand their home’s lifespan. For example, a hot water heater may be reaching the end of its life and is ready to be replaced, while an unchecked termite infestation could be causing structural damage

A reputable inspector can also provide a list of items that should be considered for replacement or repair. This can include items like a clogged furnace vent that can lead to dangerous backflow of carbon monoxide, as well as old or outdated electrical wiring. This can save homeowners from unexpected costs down the road. 

5. Hire a Professional 

Home maintenance expenses can be a huge financial burden, but they are necessary for the longevity of your home. There are many factors to consider when determining how much money you should save each year for your home maintenance needs. 

It is important to hire a professional to complete many of your maintenance tasks to ensure quality workmanship and long-lasting results. Do-it-yourself projects often result in shoddy work that needs to be redone, costing you more money in the long run. 

Other considerations when deciding how much to budget for your home maintenance needs include the weather and climate in your area. Homes in coastal areas, for example, may require more frequent and extensive maintenance due to corrosive salt air. Searching online for charts that estimate the lifespan of various components can help you plan accordingly.