Home maintenance is important both for your safety and comfort but also to protect the investment you’ve made. Skimping on these costs may lead to the depreciation of your home’s value. Proactive maintenance is essential—without it, your home could lose 10% of its value.
Budgeting for Home Maintenance
Many people don’t know how to budget for home maintenance. One popular rule of thumb says that one percent of the purchase price of your home should be set aside each year for ongoing maintenance. For example, if your home cost $200,000, you should budget $2,000 per year for maintenance. It just means that on average, over a span of a long time period (10 years or more), you’ll spend around $2,000 annually, according to this rule of thumb. Some years you’ll spend far more like when you have to replace the roof and some years you’ll spend far less.
Home Warranty Options
If it is the first year of home ownership for you, you may want to consider a home warranty like one from American Home Shield. A few hundred dollars for a warranty at closing could save you thousands if something breaks. It will also give you time to rebuild your savings.
DECEMBER TO DO LIST
Outside Your Home:
- Check attic insulation
- Trim trees and remove dead branches
- Repair steps and handrails
- Move snow shovels and snow blowers to a convenient spot
- Make sure you have salt on hand
Inside Your Home:
- Inspect and change furnace filters, if needed
- Test carbon monoxide and smoke detectors
- Clean garbage disposal
- Add weather stripping and door sweeps as needed
- Update your emergency kit
- Review the family fire escape plan with every household member
- Remove combustible items placed near any heart sources including wood stoves and space heaters
- Learn how to shut the water off and know where your pipes are located. If your pipes freeze, time is of the essence.
- Keep gutters clear
- Seal gaps where pests and cold air can enter your home
- Check the operation of all GFCI outlets by pushing the “test” button. The “reset” button should pop out, indicating the receptacle is operating properly. Press in the reset button.