How to Budget for Home Maintenance

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Buying a home is a big investment. Whether this is your first home or a second or third property, you will want to care for your investment. Many homeowners remember to budge for a down payment, mortgage fees, and closing costs, but sometimes, home buyers forget to budget for costs that come after you have signed on the dotted line and received the keys to your new home.

Unlike those who rent a house, homeowners have a vested interest in ensuring the property stays in the best condition possible. Not only will this make it more pleasurable to live in, but it also ensures the property maintains its value. When planning to purchase a home, make sure you plan for annual checkups – furnace and HVAC maintenance, roof and gutter cleaning, or carpet cleaning – as well as unexpected surprises, such as a broken appliance or a leaky roof.

Here are some tips to budget for home maintenance as you prepare to buy a home:

-        Set funds aside
You probably already have money for things like a down payment on your new home set aside. But don’t forget to ensure you build a reserve of savings to pay for home maintenance as well. Budget about 1 to 3 percent for the home’s purchase price each year as maintenance and repairs. This will depend on how old the home is (older homes take more maintenance) and how pristine you want to keep the house. If you plan to keep your home in the best condition possible, such as a new paint job every few years, you may need to budget more.

-        Assess the needs
When you are purchasing a home, you will often get a home appraisal. This will help you know what major projects might need to be done, such as replacing the furnace or the water heater. You can also go through the home on your own and make notes about future projects, such as paint touch-ups, carpet repairs, or re-roofing.

-        Create a to-do list
After you know what needs to be done, you can assess the order it should be done and create a long-term to-do list. Projects that are more likely to develop into bigger issues, such as a leaky roof that could cause mold or an outdated water heater that could go out at any time, should be a higher priority than cosmetic repairs, such as repainting a bedroom.

-        Conserve where you can
Another great tip is to conserve money where you can. Save money on energy costs by minimizing gas and electricity, or switching to energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs. Additionally, consider tackling some home repairs yourself, where you feel comfortable, of course. You can learn a lot from YouTube and Google these days!

Find the perfect property
Whether you have decided to flip a home – buy a home that needs work, renovate it and resell it – or you are looking to buy a home to live in the long-term, home maintenance is important to ensure you maintain the value of the house. As you begin your search for the perfect home, contact the team at the Groesbeck Group to find the right home for sale in Anacortes and Skagit County, and start searching for homes on Fidalgo Island and in the Skagit Valley by using the built-in tool on the Groesbeck Group’s website.