Home ownership just does not comprise of making the down payments, paying the mortgage and closing costs but it is much more than that. Home maintenance is an essential part of home ownership. Many people tend to overlook the maintenance costs while buying a house but it is as important as getting your car serviced at regular intervals for its smooth functioning.It has to be given the same noteworthiness compared to the taxes and loans payments. Be prepared and start allocating a good amount of money to avoid last minute surprise when a house emergency occurs.
One thing that everyone always gets confused about is how much money they need to save or set aside for the maintenance and repairs. Every particular house has a different requirement, and the maintenance costs are determined depending on how old is the house, its location, the weather conditions in the area, the type of property etc. Most of the experts’ advice that according to the general “rule of thumb” you need to set aside a particular percentage of amount (usually ranges between one to five percent of the total home value) to be utilized for repairs or other maintenance costs on a yearly basis. You can even break it down to weekly, monthly, quarterly or half yearly savings depending on your convenience. Though it is not necessary that you utilize the entire amount at once or on different things in that particular year, but by ding this you can always be prepared to face certain unexpected huge repairs. It is known to all that the repair costs increases as your home ages.
To keep a check on how much would your home maintenance cost you; it is always good to determine your needs and keep a check list of the same – either make one manually as per your specifications or you can download a generalized one from the internet (hundreds of them are available). If you keep a check on these on a regular basis, you can save yourself from some major repairs in the house. Generally, the lights, fans and electronic items at home need to be checked once in two and half or three years. Plumbing lines need to be checked once in two years . Regular cleaning, tiles maintenance and there are much more.
Basically, you need to calculate your home maintenance costs by giving a thought on what components would need a change or what needs a replacement after a particular amount of time. You need to first list out the major components and then note down when you have purchased them, find out the age of those, determine their life span as mentioned by the manufacturer, calculate the expected life of those, subtract the remaining life left and then estimate the cost it would require for the repair or maintenance of it. Not every component of this list might require a regular check, some may be need it once in a month/half yearly/ annually where as some might need it once in five or ten years. At times, maintenance could be as small or simple as the basic care or intense cleaning your house may require. But, by doing this you would get a vague idea on how much money you need to set aside from your savings or if you do not have enough savings, how much you need to save for future.
We made an attempt to throw light on certain areas to be improvised or the common kind of repairs one might come across. If you have any other tips or suggestions, do share it with us in the comments below.