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Control Your Home upkeep costs

Six step system to master home upkeep costs

If you always feel behind and overwhelmed when it comes to home repairs, maybe you’re unaware of all the costs of homeownership? Here’s a system to accurately identify and budget the repair and maintenance expenses for your home. At the same time, this exercise should eliminate most surprises and reduce total home upkeep costs to a bare minimum.

  1. Start by establishing the ultimate condition you want for your home. Use that “dream” condition as the goal. Suggestion: for maximum enjoyment and durability, keep your home in like-new and readily salable condition-even if you do not intend to sell.
  2. Next learn the true condition of your home. Have a professional inspection done to create a list of the repairs and deferred maintenance items needed to meet the goal above. Get estimates for all the items and establish a schedule to get them done. The idea is to complete all these items and get your home into ultimate condition ASAP.
  3. Begin performing a system of normal preventive care. This is the ongoing maintenance needed to keep your home functional and in top condition. A list of the required tasks can be found HERE. For budgeting add in any weekly landscape, pool and housekeeping costs as needed. (Example: house maintenance $300; landscape/gardening $250; pool service $175; Housekeeping $400. Total $1125 per month)
  4. Create an emergency repair fund-for unexpected breakdowns, accidental damage and failures. Some say $10-15K should be in this fund. I will provide another post in the coming weeks discussing how to calculate this.
  5. Establish a fund for proactive replacements (link)-for normal wear and tear. Estimate the replacement cost of the major “wearing” components and divide the estimates by the remaining years of life. This will determine the annual amount to put aside for the eventual replacement of these items. Major “wearing” components include: the roof system, paint, fencing, appliances, equipment, flooring, plumbing fittings, landscaping etc. I will be providing a follow-up post soon with step by step instructions on how to do this. Keep tuning in.
  6. Think about upgrades. Put some money aside in investment-type accounts for eventual improvements or remodels/additions you may have in mind. Talk to contractors or architects about rough budgets for these upgrades.

Add all this up and you will have an excellent handle on the requirements and costs associated with owning and caring for your home. You will also have virtually eliminated surprises and disasters, minimized your total home upkeep costs and provided a much more enjoyable home to live in, all through diligent property stewardship.

If you live in the SF Bay Area and want help with this kind of program contact Steve at HPS Palo Alto Inc. 

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  • how to improve air quality
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  • the problems with handymen services
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