• November

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    2023
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What’s a Realistic Budget for Home Maintenance?

What’s a Realistic Budget for Home Maintenance?

If you’ve made it past the headline of this article, you’ve already gone further than many homeowners.

Home maintenance is NOT an exciting topic for most people…peruse our articles for topics like interior design trends, renovation “before” and “afters,” or lists of favorite selections, and you’ll see LOADS of views.

Home maintenance, though, isn’t as sexy! There’s this perception that it lacks excitement and creativity…but ensuring that your home functions the way it’s supposed to SHOULD be just as alluring as a freshly renovated space.

…Want to avoid costly maintenance issues down the line?

…Want to safeguard your investment after you DO undergo a renovation?

…Want to guarantee that your home always maintains that “safe, comfy paradise” status for you and your family?

Then shift the conversation around home maintenance!! This is the primary part of homeownership that SIGNIFICANTLY improves your quality of life.

To start this conversation…it’s crucial to recognize what a realistic budget is for home maintenance. Let’s look at the factors that go into that for every home…

 

  1. The age of your home: the age of the home is the fundamental factor in budgeting for maintenance. Older homes often require more attention and higher investments for replacements and updates, especially in essential systems like plumbing or electrical.
  2. The size and layout: the size and even the layout of your home will influence maintenance budgets, too. Larger homes have more square footage to maintain, and intricate layouts sometimes require special attention.
  3. Climate and location: extreme weather doesn’t only cause wear and tear on the exterior of your home…what about the impact of SUPER brutal summer temps on your HVAC system?! Or the occasional, unexpected frozen pipes…
  4. The quality of materials used to build your home: if you haven’t had a professional walk through your home to identify the materials that were used to build it, especially if you’re in a newer home, consider doing this. There are many corners that were cut in recent booms in home construction…
  5. Your maintenance history: if you haven’t been regularly giving your home check-ups, then there’s a greater likelihood of surprises waiting for you now…and that will increase your home maintenance investment.
  6. Exterior features and landscaping: yes, even your landscaping will impact your home maintenance!! If landscaping isn’t conducive to directing rainwater away from your home, for example, there could be long-term damage to factor into maintenance.
  7. The lifespan of appliances and systems: if you already invested in high-end appliances and systems (like plumbing and electrical), then you will not need as much in the budget for their upkeep. Anything less than the best, however, will see your investment creep up.
  8. Other resources you have: if you have loads of cash on hand for any emergency if something does come up (like burst pipes and flooding, electrical catastrophes, broken-down appliances, etc.) then you’ll be fine when the inevitable happens. If you don’t have loads of loose cash floating around, however, your home maintenance investment should be higher so you can avoid those catastrophes altogether.
  9. Do you DIY or hire a professional? If you’re confident working in specific systems of your home on your own, or handling basic maintenance yourself, great. That will bring your home maintenance budget down. If you have even the shadow of a doubt that you’re up for it, though (in skill OR in time), it’s smarter to invest in a professional handling your home maintenance so it’s done right the first time. A DIY “whoops” of any kind will quickly become more costly than hiring a professional.
  10. Inflation and the market: your investment won’t stay the same every year. Factor in rising material and labor costs over time for a more realistic home maintenance budget.

 

Imagine a home right here in Keller…

Imagine a North Texas home here in Keller, Texas, where we’re located. Really picture it. The home might have been built 40 years ago. The combination of market trends and the realities of Texas weather have shaped this household’s home maintenance investment.

This is how each of these factors would break down in this example…

  1. The age of the home is new enough that it won’t have the issues a 100-year home has, but wear and tear will be showing. For instance, Texas soil quality might have taken a toll already on the foundation. Fortunately, the home will have been built with superior materials compared with some of the quick-build box homes today.
  2. The size of this home is moderate with a ranch layout that’s FABULOUS for a forever-home if the family plans to stay there. This means that home maintenance will factor in the total square footage and the long-term care of systems. Regular attention to HVAC, roofing, and landscaping are important to preserve the property’s grandeur.
  3. Texas climate, of course, has some extreme weather events and heat. Home maintenance will include caring for the HVAC system and addressing storm damage to roofs and the home’s exterior.
  4. Homes of this age in North Tarrant County boast high-quality construction materials, but maintaining these features is paramount. Home maintenance should include occasional inspections and a budget for equally high-quality materials when structural replacements are needed.
  5. This Keller home might have a moderate maintenance history with occasional checks when the homeowner thought of it…but those checks haven’t been enough to stay ahead of the occasional breakdowns and fixes.
  6. The home’s exterior and landscaping is expansive and the home maintenance budget includes irrigation and outdoor amenities (like the pool and outdoor furniture)…especially in the spring and fall.
  7. Some of the appliances in this home came with the homeowners from their previous house, and others are sparkling new installs from a recent renovation. The seamless functionality of the home’s amenities will depend on maintaining those older appliances so they work in harmony with the new ones.
  8. This household has ample savings if an emergency were to come up…which is great. But it’s NOT a reason to neglect major systems if it’s the goal to stay in this home long-term.
  9. The homeowner does NOT want to take on any “DIY” work. Time is worth more than the pain of figuring it out…and fixing anything that the homeowner could accidentally make worse is not how this homeowner likes to invest resources!!
  10. The North Texas region has seen a steady population boom in recent years along with more housing and commercial businesses. The value of homes is up, as is the cost of labor. Material costs have climbed, too, in tandem with the demand for new housing. This requires a home maintenance budget that is constantly reassessed year-after-year.

 

The easiest way to set a home maintenance budget…

If the example doesn’t match your own household precisely, there’s one VERY easy option to define your home maintenance budget right now: invest in a home maintenance membership.

The most streamlined and reliable approach to manage a comprehensive (and preventative) maintenance plan is to secure a membership that includes annual or semi-annual visits to your home to check EVERYTHING. Ensure problems are discovered ahead of time. Develop a relationship with ONE provider who can handle EVERY system, too.

A membership takes the calculating and thinking out of it…and it makes home maintenance as predictable as it possibly can be.

Is this something that would give your household peace of mind? Contact us to enjoy the full extent of the safety, comfort, and delight your home can deliver…

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