Home maintenance may not be as exciting as adding a fresh coat of paint or new kitchen cabinets. But it’s an essential part of keeping your home safe and in good repair.
Maintenance comprises all the jobs you do to make sure things go smoothly, both big and small — from replacing the furnace filters every three months to installing a new furnace when it breaks down.
Budgeting for these varied tasks can be tricky. After all, there’s a difference of a few thousand dollars between a filter and a new appliance!
So, how much should you save? Some maintenance rules exist to help you set aside enough cash for your annual maintenance, whatever it may be.
Why is Saving for Maintenance Essential?
Like it or not, your house requires upkeep. Things will break down or need new parts eventually, whether you budget for them or not. It becomes a matter of how easily you can handle this maintenance.
Without savings, you might be able to delay some repairs until you set aside the cash you need. But sometimes, emergency repairs come on suddenly and require urgent attention.
In an emergency, you can visit MoneyKey to learn more about getting a line of credit. An online line of credit can help you take on unexpected, unavoidable repairs without delay, so you can keep your home safe.
But like any personal loan, a line of credit comes with rates and finance charges. These fees add to the cost of your repairs, unlike savings. That’s why savings are so important for homeowners — they give you a cost-efficient way to deal with inevitable maintenance and unexpected repairs alike.
Save Following the Square Footage Rule
Some homeowners estimate their costs by following the square footage rule, which recommends you save $1 for every square foot of your home.
This one-to-one calculation is easy. If you live in a 2,500-square-foot home — which just so happens to be the average-sized house in the U.S. — you should set aside $2,500 for home maintenance and repairs.
Save Following the 1% Rule
Another guiding principle of homeownership is the 1% rule, which has you saving 1% of what you paid for your home.
For example, the average home price in the U.S. was $348,079 in 2022. If you purchased at this price, you should save $3,480 in maintenance and repairs.
Use Your Own System
While the Square Footage and 1% rules can be helpful, they are only there to guide you. You might have to adjust your savings target to reflect the age and condition of your home.
If you moved into a new build or a home that received a down-to-the-studs facelift, you might not have to make that many changes in the next few years. You may only have to consider the cost of replacing the batteries in your fire alarms and scheduling a tune-up for your HVAC system.
But if you have a century home, you could be looking at a lot more maintenance in your future. You may also have older appliances that could need replacing soon, so you should think about saving more.
In emergencies, you can rely on a line of credit for help. But for expected maintenance, it’s better to save a little each month. It takes a lot of pressure and stress off your shoulders as you deal with all the little (and big!) things that need attention.