January Home Maintenance

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Real Estate

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.


Outside Your Home:

  • Regularly check for ice dams and icicles
  • Organize, pack and put away holiday decorations

Inside Your Home:

  • Inspect and change furnace filters, if needed
  • Test carbon monoxide and smoke detectors
  • Clean garbage disposal
  • Tighten and handles, knobs, racks, etc.
  • Check and clean range hood fan
  • Change water and ice maker filters
  • Clean bathroom tub and sink drains
  • Clean and organize closets
  • Organize basement and other storage areas
  • Purge unnecessary or duplicate home goods and clothing
  • Compile/update your home inventory in case of theft or natural disaster
  • Check water softener to see if salt is needed
  • Dust refrigerator coils
  • Flush hot water heater and remove sediment (learn how here)
  • Check light bulbs (replace)
  • Dust / wash air vents
  • Review and update insurance policies