Average Home Maintenance Costs

Updated June 2, 2021 . AmFam Team

After buying your house, you may still have recurring costs for maintenance. Learn more about average maintenance costs for your home and how to save for them from American Family.

If you take a look around your neighborhood, you’ll probably see many different homes — and odds are some of those homes will look better than others. Every homeowner has their own style when it comes to maintaining their humble abode but one thing’s certain: taking care of your home as it ages is going to cost you. If you’re diligent about staying ahead of issues, you may pay a little more out of pocket every month, but in the long run you may wind up saving thousands.

Depending on how a home’s been cared for, you can expect to pay about one percent of your home’s current market value in annual maintenance expenses. The good news is there are ways to think about saving and budgeting for the inevitable repair or replacement of your home’s big-ticket items.

Do you know how much to budget for home maintenance? We’re here to help you narrow down that elusive number so you can manage your home’s budget with greater certainty.

Back to top

Calculating How Much to Budget for Home Maintenance

So, how much should you budget for home maintenance costs? There are a few good rules-of-thumb to consider that can help you sock away cash for a day in the future when you’ll need it.

The 1 percent rule

There are many ways to consider saving up and budgeting for home maintenance costs. The 1 percent rule is a good standard because it’s so easy to remember. Just put aside 1 percent of the total purchase price of your home for home maintenance repairs. A $250,000 home would require you to save $2,500 annually, or about $209 per month.

It’s a rough estimate that doesn’t consider labor costs or materials, and other factors can contribute to this base price.

The square foot rule

Budgeting for the eventual breakdown and replacement of major home systems like a new roof or replacing a sump pump may not be easy, but it is possible. If you’re wondering about how to estimate property maintenance costs, the square foot rule can be helpful, and it’s another really easy way to put money away for repairs and home maintenance.

Budget about $1 for every square foot of livable space, every year, for annual home maintenance costs . And this rule is also applicable for estimating new home maintenance costs. So, a 2,500-square-foot home would require a $2,500 budget annually, or about $209 per month.

Set aside 10 percent

Another great way to budget for home maintenance is to put away 10 percent of your main monthly expenses every month. That’s 10 percent of your mortgage, 10 percent of your property taxes and 10 percent of your insurance costs placed into a savings account every month.

Suppose you’re spending this much every month:

  • $1500 on mortgage
  • $350 on taxes
  • $200 on home, car and life insurance

10 percent of each of those figures is: 150 + 35 + 20, or a monthly savings plan equating to $205. Estimating your annual home maintenance costs can be difficult, but saving up that cash doesn’t have to be.

Back to top

What Are the Hidden Costs of Buying a Home?

Although you may be ready to pay for upgrades after purchasing a home, many unexpected costs can surface right at the closing table. Want to learn more about what your potential home-buying costs might be? Check out our Hidden Costs of Buying a Home Calculator and feel more prepared, confident and ready for closing day!

Back to top

There are a lot of ways to put away money for home maintenance and repair costs. The important part is that you do it, one way or another. When the time comes, you’ll have a head start on funding repairs for the replacement of your home’s major systems. Be sure to check out our home maintenance hub for tips and resources on how to maintain key areas of your home.

And  don't forget to reach out to your American Family Insurance agent (Opens in a new tab). You’ll find they’re a great resource for helping you best protect your home by creating a customized home insurance policy.

Related Articles

Related article test
  • Woman sitting at table writing a home inventory for homeowners insurance.
    Woman sitting at table writing a home inventory for homeowners insurance.
    9 Steps to Create a Home Inventory for Insurance Claims

    Your home is more than a roof over your head. It’s where your dreams grow, your family thrives and memories are made. But the possessions you keep inside are important, too.

    Whether you’re renting an apartment or own your home, you’ve most likely got an insurance policy designed to protect your dwelling and the things inside. Should the unthinkable happen and you have to use that insurance policy, it’s important to have a plan in place. And a home inventory list is a great way to get started!

    We’ll walk you through how to create a home inventory so — in the event of the unexpected — you’ll be more prepared and have a streamlined recovery.

    What Is a Home Inventory?

    Quite simply, a home inventory is a complete list of all the items, especially valuables, in and around your home. The best home inventories include photos, descriptions and dollar values of each of your belongings. The more detail, the better! It’ll help you provide a comprehensive list to your agent of items lost in the event your home is damaged or destroyed, allowing you to get the most out of your coverage.

    When your describing the items in your list, remember that the more information, the better. Here’s a quick reference list of the type of information you should include in your home inventory list:

    • An in-depth description of the items. For example, rather than writing down “diamond ring,” be more descriptive, such as: “an emerald cut diamond ring, with white gold shank, accent stones and initials inscribed below the bridge.”
    • Make, model, and/or serial number of the items.
    • Date of purchase, receipts and photos.
    • Estimated replacement cost if you bought it today. Do note that the value of the items might be different today than it was when you first bought them. This is especially true with jewelry, and other valuables.
    • Appraisals at time of purchase. Especially if your items were appraised for insurance purposes.

    Why Do I Need a Home Inventory?

    Whether you’re a homeowner or a renter, everyone can benefit from a home inventory!

    If you ever have to make a claim, a home inventory is a great asset to have, especially after stressful events like theft, storm damage or a fire (take a look at how one renter used their home inventory after facing an apartment fire).

    When you make a claim, you typically submit information on everything that was lost — which can be difficult to do off the top of your head for all your possessions. Remembering to replace your TV or computer are no-brainers, but when it comes to remembering each piece of jewelry in your jewelry box, things tend to get overlooked. Having a personal property inventory will help, along with knowing how to properly insure your jewelry.

    When you have your home inventory checklist, you know exactly what needs to be replaced, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing your entire household is protected.

  • A row of houses in a neighborhood with storm clouds that will bring strong rain and roof leaks behind it.
    A row of houses in a neighborhood with storm clouds that will bring strong rain and roof leaks behind it.
    Reasons Why a Roof Leaks

    You’re admiring the rain from the comfort of your home when you notice a sound — the unmistakable drip of water dropping onto your floor. The first and hardest step is figuring out why your roof is leaking. And with these tips, you’ll find the culprit in no time!

    Here’s Why Your Roof Is Leaking

    The list of reasons why your roof is leaking may seem long, but don’t worry — when it comes to finding the leak and fixing it, the finding is the hardest part. And the good thing about these problems? They can all be fixed. Check out the list and see what’s troubling your roof:

    Your roof is old

    Roofs don’t last forever. Protecting your home and everything inside it from the elements comes with a cost. And with all that rain, snow, ice, wind and even sunlight wearing down your roof, it becomes more susceptible to leaks. Every roof will eventually need to be replaced, so learn more about how long your roof should last based on what it’s made of.

  • A home with a wet roof after a storm.
    A home with a wet roof after a storm.
    How to Check Your Roof for Storm Damage

    There’s no good time to find out your roof needs repair — but you may be able to mitigate that pain by routinely checking your roof for damage after severe weather. Waiting for a leak or damage to present itself gives the problem time to grow and worsen.

    And sometimes, you’ll be faced with expensive roof and interior damage repairs if you’re not diligent. By being proactive and checking your roof for damage after severe weather hits can help your roof — and your savings — stay healthy.