1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

January 20, 2008

:020 Manage your Maintenance Costs

Filed under: :020 Maintenance Costs — Tags: , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:01 am

Suggested Review – none

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1:5:10:020 Tip: Preventative maintenance is an important way to lower the cost of maintaining your home.

According to Coldwell banker every homeowner should plan on spending between 1.5% and 4% of the value of their home maintaining it each year.

We regularly tune up our car to keep it in good running order. The same should be true for our home.

Throughout this year, I will be suggesting maintenance tips that will help tune up the performance of your home to increase its durability, comfort, energy consumption and longevity. They may cost you some money up front, but should save you a bundle in the long run. 

For today’s action you will be calculating the value of your home and how much you should be planning to spending on an annual basis for maintenance. 

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Additional Information

First determine the approximate value of your home. You probably already have a number in mind, but if not you can go to http://realestate.yahoo.com/Homevalues 

This is a free yahoo service that claims they won’t contact you, sell your name or store your information, but I still found the experience somewhat spooky. I typed in my address and within seconds my home was located on a yahoo map and some of my homes details was displayed. It told me my house size, lot size, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and the approximate value. They indicated all the information came from public records. I just hate the idea of all this information not being private. Anyway I will save you listening to that rant for now. 

I am going to suggest you earmark 1% of the value of your home annually for routine and emergency maintenance. This amount isn’t for the big ticket items you can plan for like roof replacement or painting -those should be budgeted separately.

For example the median home price in the United States is around $215,000. So your annual maintenance fund for a home with this value would be $2,150. If you hired a plumber to repair water leaks (tip :007) or gas leaks (tip :012) – those expenses would come out of this fund.

Use this maintenance fund to finance the 1:5:10 projects I will be suggesting. By crediting the savings from implementing the 1:5:10:365 tips back into this maintenance fund, you may find that your home maintenance fund will grow to a point where it can pay for the big ticket items without you having to put any extra cash in. Of course that would take a few years, to build up.

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