As I wrote in my previous post our move in date to our newly renovated home was October, 27, 2012. This means that we have now lived a full year in our home. I had always heard from other homeowners that you should keep a home maintenance budget equal to 1% of the purchase price of the home. Based on this belief we should have $2,090 in our budget to cover home maintenance costs for the year. This post will outline how much we actually spent this year.
Home Maintenance Issues
The first item to die was the water heater. Of course, the timing was terrible. My husband noticed the tank leaking on a Sunday evening. It was actually mother’s day of this year. We panicked as we didn’t know what to do or what was going to happen next. We called our contractor and thankfully he rushed right over to help us out. He explained that the water heater had come to the end of the road and needed to be replaced. That same evening I went online to Home Depot to find a new water heater. I purchased it and picked it up the next day. The cost was $500 for the tank, $300 for parts and installation.
Approximately two weeks later the weather started turning warmer so we decided to turn on the central air. The unit was working fine for about two days then it just stopped working. Of course, the timing was bad again as my husband had gone out of town to visit his sister for Memorial Day weekend. This was another one of the items that our home inspector had warned us about. We had also called an HVAC professional when we first bought the house and he confirmed that it was about 20 years old and we should just use it until it dies. So, here I was with no air conditioner right before the start of the summer season. Thankfully for me, Memorial Day weekend turned colder on Friday and I didn’t need to use the air conditioner any more the rest of the weekend. When my husband got back from his trip we decided that we would buy two window ac units instead of replacing the central air unit. We spent $575 to purchase the two ac units and they cooled down our house just fine.
I think this was actually a great choice because our electric bill was quite reasonable this summer. Both my sisters had just installed central air in their homes and they complained about their electric bills all summer.
Additionally, we have have a pretty big yard and since we are novice homeowners we decided to hire a landscaper our first year. He charges us $100 per month from March to November plus $75 to trim the bushes twice per season. In addition we had some bushes that we wanted removed so there was an additional cost of $300 to take care of that. Our total cost for landscaping will be $1350 for this year.
Total Spent on Home Maintenance Costs
Our costs to replace the water heater and air conditioners was $1,375 and lawn maintenance was $1,350 for a grand total of $2,725.
Our home was a fixer-upper so during the home inspection we were informed that these items were on their last legs and would eventually need replacement. We negotiated with the seller to cover these repairs and they agreed to give us $3,000 at closing.
Based on my experience the 1% rule to cover home maintenance costs is a good starting point. In our case 1% equaled $2,090. We spent $2,725. I would suggest to always add a little extra to that budget based on the condition of your home at the time of purchase. Also, negotiate with the seller to have them cover some or all of the initial costs.
Do you have any other tips on home maintenance costs and how much to budget for the year?
Photo by: Flickr