UT Reader Asks: How Much Should I Save For Home Maintenance?

by UrbanTurf Staff

UT Reader Asks: How Much Should I Save For Home Maintenance?: Figure 1

In this installment of UrbanTurf Reader Asks, an individual on the hunt to buy a single-family home inquires as to how much he should set aside for home maintenance costs.

I am about to start a search for a new home and am curious what the UrbanTurf audience thinks is an appropriate amount to set aside on a monthly basis for maintenance costs. I have heard that conventional wisdom is that 1-1.5% of the purchase price of your home should be saved annually for minor and major maintenance costs. I am considering purchasing a house in the $800,000 range, so in my calculations, I incorporate an extra $1,000 a month (1.5% of $800,000 is $12,000) into my costs. I am curious if people think this is too little or too much to set aside. Thanks!

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This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/ut_reader_asks_how_much_to_save_for_home_maintenance_costs/5714


  1. Brian said at 8:42 pm on Thursday June 28, 2012:
    I think that's on the high end, but there are many factors that go into it. If the house is only a few years old you're not going to need electrical, plumbing, new roof, etc. But if the house is 40 years old and the roof is already 15 years you may want to start saving for a roof replacement in the next 5 years. Maybe a good plan would be to figure in replacement times for your roof, water heater, fixtures, cabinets, carpet/flooring, etc. and come up with an estimated cost for each item. Then you should be able to come up with a more detailed amount of money per year to save. Another thing to think about is that a lot of the house costs are in the land value. So an $800k house in DC isn't as big as an $800k house in Vienna so there's less stuff to break and fix most likely. We're renovating our entire house so we don't specifically budget for maintenance right now. Once it's done I would only budget about $3k per year for replacement/upkeep.
  1. Ben said at 9:47 pm on Thursday June 28, 2012:
    I agree with Brian, $1,000 a month seems like a lot to budget for maintenance on an $800K house. I think half that would be sufficient.
  1. biggie said at 2:33 am on Friday June 29, 2012:
    If the home is in good shape .5% to 1% should be more than enough. If everything is old and not well maintained...get your checkbook ready for the next few years. The reality is that unless you own about 10 homes for many years it can be hard to chart out an average of what maintenance costs will be.
  1. Mark said at 2:18 pm on Tuesday July 17, 2012:
    We save ~15% ($180) of our $1220 monthly mortgage payment, right into a separate home maintenance savings account. It's not failed us yet, having enough for regular maintenance, and leaving a moderate amount for unplanned home repairs that may rise every few years. Some of the normal annual expenses we pay are: - Roofing and Gutters cleaned, inspected. ($250) - Pressure washing of home exterior and outside window cleaning. ($150) - HVAC system maintenance and tune up. ($150) - Landscaping supplies, fertilizers, etc ($100) Of course its going to differ for every home and of course, your choice of how much you do on your own.

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