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How do you budget for home repairs/improvements?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I just started budgeting $200/month for home repairs/improvements. This doesn't seem like enough, but it's all we can afford at this point. It's enough for something minor, like a clogged drain, but it would take us several years to save up for a new roof or something along those lines.


I plan to save up this money and use it for any necessary repairs as they come up. We don't really have any improvements planned at this point, other than painting and prepping to eventually sell our house. 


I'm just wondering what others spend/budget/plan to spend on their homes - and how you came up with that number!

post #2 of 3

I have an account for mortgage & home emergencies (plumbing, water tank, roof - neither of these things are needed for a few years). The amount that goes to this account is 1000 - that covers my mortgage, escrow and an extra 165/mth for home repairs. The amount was determined merely based on rounding up. Actually, my taxes just increased so the amount is lower now then it was last year.


BUT I am also saving for a kitchen reno (I bought a very outdated house 30+ year outdated kitchen). Have been for over 6mths. I put a larger amount (15% of net) into this account. Once the reno is done - hopefully in a couple months), then I will amp up the $$ for a roof - I waver between 4% - 6% of net, depending what will be needed. The other % will go into a long term savings - which could end up being for some house thing, down the road. If some emergency happens, I can draw from the kitchen reno account, and postpone the reno.


The amounts were based on what I could afford, after retirement fund and emergency fund.


200/mth seems like a safe amount ...

post #3 of 3

You're right that this is difficult to budget for as it changes from year to year (and also depends on the age of your home).  We are detailed in our savings and have sinking funds for individual items, but also have a general maintenance fund.  There are some things you know will have to be replaced because they have a fairly predictable lifespan: appliances, furnace/ac, roof, etc.  For us, they have their own line items (and for a few, are even in separate accounts). Our house is 80 years old and we know it will need annual repairs.  My father told me long ago, when I bought the house that I should plan an average in annual repairs of about 2% of my home's value.  That has been spot-on.  Some years, we spend $5000 and some years next to nothing.  I've found that the rule of thumb that dear old dad gave me has worked best for us.  We put back the 2% whether we use it or not.  That may or may not work for others, but that is how we budget for home repairs.  Improvements:  we did a big renovation about 7 years ago and saved for that, as well.  It took years to save enough.  We're not saving now for home improvements as we don't see a need for them in the near future and we have been saving the past few years to buy a new (to us) car in the next 12 months.  So, home maintenance and home improvement are two separate line items for us and while we're always saving for maintenance, we're not always saving for improvements.

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