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The Expenses of Home Ownership: Budgeting For Upkeep & Repairs

The Expenses of Home Ownership: Budgeting For Upkeep & Repairs

Home ownership is exciting and a great investment. It’s important to budget for the regular upkeep and repairs your new home will need over time. Keeping your home in good condition maintains your home’s value and gives you the best possible selling price someday if you decide to move. But how much should you budget and how do you plan for home repairs and upkeep?

How Much to Budget for Home Maintenance and Repairs
In general, most home repair experts advise homeowners to set aside about 1% of your home’s purchase price for maintenance and repairs each year. For example, if you paid $150,000 for your new home, you should set aside $1,500 each year for upkeep costs. Keep in mind that some years will have higher maintenance costs and some will have lower maintenance costs depending on what repairs are needed in a given year. The yearly recommendation represents the average spread out over about 10 years of ownership.

There are a few factors that can increase the recommended budget amount:

  • Location and Weather – If your home is located in a flood plain or an area prone to extreme weather events, you’ll want to increase your budget for maintenance. Coastal areas with heavy rains, strong winds and tropical storms can require more frequent fixes due to the damage caused by weather. Homes in cold climates that experience ice storms, major snowfall and multiple freeze-and-thaw cycles can require more frequent fixes as well.
  • Type of Home – In general, single-family homes require more budget for upkeep and maintenance than condos and townhomes. Owners of condos and townhomes are often not responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the roof and exterior of the structure. Owners of single-family homes are responsible for the entire structure and the land included in the deed.
  • Age and Condition of Home – In general, the first 10 years from the time a home is built are the least expensive in terms of upkeep. When a home gets close to 30 years old, more repairs and fixes make upkeep more expensive. However, this could be offset by how well the home has been maintained over time. For example, a well-maintained 100-year-old home could have lower upkeep expenses than a neglected 20-year-old home.

How Often Common Repairs are Needed
When planning the budget for your home’s on-going upkeep and maintenance, it helps to know the average lifespan of some of the more expensive repairs and replacements. Here is a general guideline to help you, however, keep in mind that regular upkeep and maintenance can extend lifespan for many of these items:

  • Roof and siding: 15 to 25 years
  • Gutters: 15 to 20 years
  • Flooring (includes carpet with carpet padding and vinyl flooring): 5 to 10 years
  • Windows: 20 to 30 years
  • Faucets, sinks, tubs and plumbing/piping: 5 to 15 years
  • Water heater (depending on type): 6 to 20 years
  • HVAC system: 10 to 20 years
  • Most inside appliances (stove/range, washer and dryer, refrigerator, etc.): 10 to 15 years

Planning ahead and budgeting for upkeep and repairs helps you maintain your home and prevent disrepair. It can also reduce the stress that can sometimes come with being a home owner. While no plan for home upkeep can be exact, our handy tips can help you be as prepared as possible.

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