How Much Should You Save for Home Maintenance Each Year?

By
Home Builder

Your home is your castle, but it’s also a big investment. You’ve spent a lot of time and money to make your home your own, so it makes sense to care for it. Unfortunately, many homeowners put off home maintenance until it's too late. You never know when you might have an issue with your roof or plumbing that will cost hundreds or thousands of dollars to fix.

It’s never too soon to start saving for home maintenance. Setting aside a little each year will help prepare you for more costly repairs and the general upkeep of your home without getting a loan or borrowing money from family. This article will give you an idea of how much you should save and some tips for saving money on home maintenance.

How Much Should You Save Each Year?

Owning a home is expensive. Aside from the initial costs to purchase, monthly utility bills, insurance, and property and school taxes, you still need to set aside money for maintenance. The recommendation is to set aside 1-2% of your home’s value as your home maintenance budget. Break this down into monthly installments to make it more manageable.

It would also be good to place the funds in a separate savings account so you aren’t tempted to spend them on anything else.

While considering the value of your home is a great starting point for deciding on your home maintenance budget, it isn’t the only factor. Home values for the same type of home and land differ significantly across the U.S. and even from city to city.

In addition to your home’s value, you should also consider:

  • The age of your home.
  • Your home’s square footage.
  • The current state of repairs.
  • The size of your lot.

Can You Just Use Your Emergency Fund?

Many homeowners know to have an emergency fund, typically consisting of at least one to three months’ worth of living expenses. The intention for that money is to provide for you if you can’t work for a while.

While a broken water heater is undoubtedly a problem, it’s not what your emergency fund is meant to cover. If you drain your account to pay for a home repair and then get laid off next month, what will you fall back on?

That’s why it’s much better to save money for both instances. You may have to make budget cuts elsewhere, but you’ll be better prepared for any incidents that arise.

Tips to Save Money on Home Maintenance

Just because you have funds set aside doesn’t mean you should spend them like they're burning a hole in your pocket. Only pay for what you need, so you have money left over when an emergency strikes.

1. Keep Up With Seasonal Preventive Maintenance

Make a list of important things to check, clean, maintain, and repair every few months. Each season brings a new set of weather conditions and challenges for your home. You’ll need to check for damage from the previous months and get your house ready for the current season.

Spreading your maintenance over the course of a year rather than trying to do everything at once will help your wallet and save you time.

2. Repair Things Yourself

Many home repairs don’t require a professional, especially if you’re handy or know someone who is. Check your manuals for troubleshooting tips for your appliances, and a quick internet search could help you find any other answers you might need. Doing the repairs yourself means you’ll only need to pay for the materials.

3. Know When to Call for Help

While doing simple home repairs yourself can save you a lot of money, you should only move forward with ones you feel confident about. Completing a project that isn’t done right or isn’t up to code will cost you more money in the long run because you’ll likely still have to pay a professional to come out and fix your mistakes.

4. Set Your Priorities

Especially if you own an older home, you might find yourself with several repairs that come up at once. If you don’t want to drain your home maintenance fund or you don’t have enough saved, you’ll need to decide what repairs can wait and what can’t.

For example, you can definitely wait to replace or repair broken cabinetry, but if your pipes are beginning to leak, you need to address that right away.

Don’t Wait for an Emergency —Save For Home Maintenance

The best advice is to get ahead of potential emergencies before they become an issue. Schedule regular home maintenance, just like scheduling routine health checkups for yourself. 

By keeping up with your house’s needs, you’ll prevent more considerable expenses down the road and ultimately end up with more money left in your pocket.

Comments (3)

Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
Relocation to NW AZ with elbow room & more freedom

Very good suggestions. Since we purchased our then 35 year old home, we have invested well over $25,000 in maintenance from new roof to 2-3 Ton AC/Htg Units to GFCIs. This figure does not include upgrades with are probably closer to another $25,000. Thank heavens my husband has been able to do much of the work.

Jun 27, 2022 07:03 AM
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Platinum - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Great information.   Thanks for sharing and make it a wonderful day!

Jun 27, 2022 07:04 AM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

Great information, thanks for sharing.  I hope you have a great day.

Jul 04, 2022 04:02 AM