How Much You Need to Budget for Home Maintenance

Hands-down, the absolute best way to protect your home’s value is regular maintenance. Researchers have found that homes that received regular maintenance were able to add an additional 1% of their home’s value every year. On the other hand, homes that received little-to-no maintenance prematurely aged, taking 10% off of the value when it came time to sell.

Here’s the thing:

Maintenance costs add up, and maintenance by definition is not immediately urgent. Families all over the U.S. are burning their earnings and value because they’re fixing home emergencies instead of preventing them.

So what’s the big change you need to make in 2018?

You need to start a maintenance budget.

How Much You Need to Set Aside for Home Maintenance

There are three schools of thought about saving for home maintenance: the House Price rule, the Square Foot rule, and the Combo rule.

The House Price rule is simple: your annual maintenance budget should be 1% of what you paid. So if you paid $450,000 for your house, you should save $4,500 a year.

The Square Foot rule is also simple: your annual budget should be $1 for every square foot of your house. So if your house is 2,400 square feet, that’s $2,400 a year.

The Combination rule takes two steps because it’s the average of the two amounts above. So if you paid $450,000 for a 2,400-square foot home, your annual maintenance budget is $3,450. Keep in mind that no matter what rule you end up using, you’re not going to spend your budget every year. Instead, you’ll save it in a fund for when you need it.

Factors to Add to the Mix

Not all homes need the same amount of maintenance. Weather, climate, age—these all affect how much you’ll spend on repairs and upkeep. On top of the rules above, there are some factors you’ll need to consider (and add to your budget).

Add 10% to your annual budget for each of the following items that are true for your home:

  • Is in a floodplain or at the bottom of a hill
  • Is over 20 years old
  • Was not well-maintained by prior owners
  • Is in a place that reaches freezing temperatures
  • Is a single-family home (not a condo or duplex)

So if your home is local to us (Norwalk, CT), then you should already tack on an extra 10%. That would make the total annual budget for our imaginary home $3,755 (using the Combo rule).

If there’s one thing you should know from following JM Roofing & Siding, it’s that we care about protecting every home’s value. It’s not only good for you—it’s good for your neighbors and for the local economy. When your house wins, everyone wins.

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