Home maintenance in Illinois can be a tricky chore. Rainy springs, blazing hot summers, and frigid winters take their toll on our homes. It seems like the fall is the only season where we can enjoy the foliage – and maybe get some maintenance work done after the summer is gone and before the next winter comes.
Budgeting for home maintenance is a smart way to ensure that your biggest investment and asset, your home, is protected. But sitting down and calculating how much to allot isn’t so simple. Factors like the size of your home, when it was built, if it’s constructed of brick or wood, and a number of other variables will affect the amount of money you need to set aside each month for home maintenance in Illinois.
Setting Aside a Percentage
One way to go about paying for home maintenance is to dip into checking or savings whenever you think an item in the home is in need of maintenance. For example, it may come to mind in the fall that it’s time to get the gutters cleaned out after your towering oak has lost all of its leaves. You then check your bank account to be sure you have the necessary funds, and if you do, you proceed with the work.
Many people find it advantageous to set money aside each month to establish a reserve fund for home maintenance. That way, when it’s time for the gutters to be cleaned, you know that funds are available and exactly where they’re coming from.
How much should you set aside each month for home maintenance in Illinois? A flat amount? A percentage of the purchase price or home value? Opinions vary, but using a percentage of the purchase price is the method recommended by financial experts.
In an article published in Forbes, John Brodrozic, co-founder of HomeZada said, “A good view of annual maintenance and repair budgets for your house is between 1-4% of the purchase price of your home. If your house is less than five years old, then 1% is the appropriate range. If your house is 25 years or older, then 4% is a good number. Homes between 5 and 25 years old might vary between the 1-4% budget.”
Using Your Home Inspection Report
Financial educator and coach Roslyn Las encourages homeowners to use their home inspection report as a tool for saving for home maintenance in Illinois. It can serve as an overview of upcoming maintenance and repairs and lets you plan accordingly.
For example, let’s say your inspection report came back with a recommendation for a new $10,000 roof in 5 years. This information would allow you to budget roughly $165 per month to replace the roof when the time came for the work to be done. Budgeting definitely helps in this scenario.
The same holds true for budgeting for maintenance. If that same report showed that your air conditioning unit had about five years of life left in it, you could budget to have preventive maintenance done on it in the spring and fall. This could lengthen the time before you would need to replace it.