How much should you budget for home maintenance?

A general rule of thumb is to set aside between 1% and 4% of the value of your home for a home maintenance fund. It's one thing to know how long something will last, but it's quite another to figure out how much to save. Before planning a budget for home maintenance and repairs, it's important to first know what that entails. It's a solid choice for new homeowners to help budget for unexpected surprises while accumulating their emergency and maintenance savings, and for any homeowner with older systems who wants to plan and budget for good, regular maintenance ahead of time.

Weather and climate can also be factors that increase the budget for home maintenance; homes in areas with heavy rainfall or in a generally humid climate can suffer more wear and tear over time, so saving more than 1 percent is generally recommended. The general estimate of how much to budget for home maintenance is between 1 and 4 percent of this value per year. So, while many experts use 1 percent of the cost of housing as a good starting point for the maintenance budget, it's best to save about 3 to 4 percent annually for an older home, since annual maintenance costs will likely be higher. Budgeting for unexpected home repairs helps ensure you have enough money to keep your home safe and in good working order.

That's why a home maintenance budget should take into account unexpected costs as well as routine ones. The table below shows how you can adjust your annual home maintenance budget based on the location of your home. Finally, if your home has higher maintenance needs, consider whether more than 2% needs to be budgeted for. These costs can also increase based on the exact age and size of the home you buy, so it's important to research to better understand how to budget for your exact home.

Even if you don't spend your entire home maintenance budget on maintenance every month, it's a good idea to put the leftover money into a savings account.