As a homeowner, it is important to save money for repairs and maintenance. Especially with older homes, there could be issues that may not show up during inspection.
A good rule of thumb is to set aside 1%-4% of your home’s value each year for upkeep costs. Here are 5 ways to save money on your home maintenance.
1. Don’t Skip Routine Maintenance
It’s easy to put off a small fix or routine maintenance because it doesn’t seem important at the time. However, deferred maintenance can cause major issues down the road. It can also be costly.
Many experts suggest saving 1% to 4% of your home’s value for maintenance costs, which can include both repairs and replacements. Others recommend using a square footage rule and setting aside $1 per year for every 1,000 square feet of your home’s area.
Having some money saved up will help you avoid unexpected repairs and can make your home more attractive to potential tenants. Remember that prevention is always cheaper than a disaster. A little dry rot can turn into a collapsed deck, and a clogged dryer vent can result in a fire.
2. Look for Bulk Buys
With stores like Costco, Sam’s Club and Amazon offering bulk items at a discount, saving money on household goods has never been easier. However, experts recommend shopping for bulk items wisely. “Choose foods that your family will enjoy eating, and choose nonperishables that won’t go bad,” she says. “Make sure you look for coupons before buying in bulk and try to split large quantities with friends, if possible.”
You can also shop sales at hardware stores and online group marketplaces for home improvement supplies and stagger your purchases to work them into your budget over time. Alternatively, consider setting aside a lump sum in a separate account for your yearly home maintenance costs. This method can make your budget feel more manageable. Just be sure to keep the account strictly for this purpose and not for other spending. Many people opt out of the savings and invest their money with the best home warranty company. This allows them peace of mind knowing that they are not having to worry about repair and replacement costs.
3. Check the Clearance Racks
While a regular maintenance budget should cover planned repairs, you’ll also want to have money in reserve for unplanned costs like a leaky roof. Avoid putting these expenses on a credit card, which can cost you a lot in the long run.
Creating a separate savings account for home maintenance is one way to ensure you have the funds you need. Another option is to look for bulk buys and check the
clearance racks for items you use frequently, such as HVAC filters or cleaning supplies.
As the costs of home maintenance continue to rise in most metropolitan areas, it’s important to create a budget for these expenses. Having a plan for these expenses will help reduce stress and keep your finances in good standing.
4. Make Your Own Repairs
Many tasks you can complete on your own, such as cleaning out your dryer vent on a regular basis or draining and refilling your hot water heater each year. While these tasks may not be fun, they help you save money on home maintenance and prevent costly repairs down the road.
When it comes to more complicated projects, you’ll need to decide when to tackle the work yourself and when you should call a professional. To avoid costly repairs, make sure to research the lifespan of your various systems and appliances and find charts and articles that estimate when they’ll need to be replaced.
A common rule of thumb is to set aside 1% to 4% of your home’s value each year for maintenance costs and repair bills. Saving on a regular basis will help you be prepared for when those unexpected expenses arise and allow you to keep your home’s value at its maximum.
5. Hire a Professional
Being a homeowner isn’t cheap, and it takes discipline to save on unglamorous maintenance items. But skipping repairs and replacements can backfire, as that little bit of dry rot turns into a collapsed deck, or the dryer vent you forgot to clean catches fire.
Hiring professionals to complete these tasks may seem like an added expense, but they will help you avoid costly problems down the line. For example, professionals can catch issues before they turn into major repairs, such as water damage from clogged pipes.
The general rule of thumb is to save 1 to 4 percent of your home’s value each year for maintenance and repair costs. However, even newer homes can suffer from unforeseen costs due to weather damage or owner accidents, so it’s important to start saving early or save your money with a home warranty.