The average homeowner spends $16,000 on home maintenance annually, according to Now Porch.
Our home is one of the largest purchases we make in our adult lives, and while it marks the achievement of a significant long term life goal for many homeowners, it also comes with its own set of responsibilities.
Keeping a home running efficiently requires upkeep and effort on the part of its tenants and owners.
As we spend years in a home, it goes through periods of wear and tear that require maintenance well beyond the repainting of the exterior every few years.
If you want to avoid the occurrence of sudden costly home repairs and ensure your home lasts you and your family throughout the years, being active in planned home maintenance is the way to go.
The Pay Off of Year Round Planned Maintenance
Taking the time to perform house upkeep and maintenance not only keeps your home in optimal shape, but it also saves you money in both the short and long run.
While it does require some commitments on your part (in the form of time and money), performing planned maintenance ensures your home’s efficiency is the best it can be.
It also saves homeowners money; by continuously checking and upgrading your home you could be saving yourself hundreds of dollars in energy costs (for instance, swapping light bulbs for LED lighting).
Finally and probably one of the most important points, planned maintenance does more than increasing the home’s use for you and your family, it boosts appeal to potential buyers and your home’s market value.
Considering that the average median homeownership duration was 13.3 years in 2018, chances are that you and your family will be looking to sell your home and move at least once in your lifetime.
Therefore this boost in market value will come in handy when it is time to get the best selling price (and possibly make a profit).
Think of it this way: your home is an investment. Planned maintenance is a tool used to protect the value of that investment until you are ready to move on.
Plan for Maintenance Costs Year Round
A large part of home maintenance is not just about finding the time to do it, but also the funds to finance it.
The average recommended rule is that homeowners should put aside at least 1-2 percent of their home’s purchase price annually dedicated to home maintenance.
If you find the total amount too large to save in on go, allocating and treating it as a standard monthly utility bill is always a good way to build up the needed amount.
Of course, the annual amount will fluctuate based on your home’s condition. Older and fixer-upper homes tend to cost more due to the need for upgrades and general wear and tear.
Once an annual amount has been estimated, you can split this into 12 monthly savings and include it in your household budget.
Afterward, you can set up automatic payments to be funneled into a checking account for dedicated savings every month.
This way you can be sure you’re ready, or at least partially prepared, for the costs of any planned works.
You can also schedule your work around your finances and reduce the need to fund it using debt.
Keep Your Home Emergency Fund Separate from Year Round Maintenance Savings
In addition to keeping an ongoing checklist, be sure to have separate expense or savings pots for different home maintenance tasks.
A great tip is to have both a year-round maintenance budget, which covers smaller expenses you tackle all year, and a larger repair/renovation budget.
A great way to separate the two is to split it into monthly repairs/maintenance and seasonal maintenance tasks, similar to the way you would allocate them on your checklist.
Monthly checks would cover tasks such as checking your faucets and showerheads, which cost minimum amounts if they need to be replaced.
You can also include the cost of cleaning or maintenance supplies – such as grout for tiles – in your monthly maintenance budget.
Seasonal tasks like heating system inspections tend to cost a bit more, and therefore it is natural to have a larger budget here. However, keep in mind that these tasks can cost you nothing with a bit of creativity and DIY.
Having these separate makes sure you are covered financially for upcoming tasks, and reduces the chances of homeowners spending the entire budget at one particular time, only to be left unprepared for next season’s repairs.
Home maintenance is an ongoing and continuous process, so your finances should be planned accordingly.
Our homes are at the center of so many of our beloved and treasured memories.
They become the cornerstone of many families. Taking care of our home ensures that it is around for many years to come, so you and your family can enjoy it for longer.
Taking an active approach to maintaining your home pays off, financially and otherwise. However, you can only do so by planning ahead.
Map out a strategy that works for your family, and incorporate just a few of these suggestions; home maintenance is guaranteed to become less of a hassle in no time.