As a new homeowner, you might be familiar with some of the basic maintenance tasks like cleaning out your gutters, trimming the trees or replacing batteries in smoke detectors, but what about those unexpected things?
We all know that unforeseen issues can crop up when owning a home, so it helps to try and budget for these unpredictable events. According to HGTV, you may want to consider building up a home repair fund between 1 to 3 percent per year of your home’s value. So, if your home is worth $300,000, that’s $3,000 a year or $250 a month.
Here are some unexpected home maintenance costs to think about saving for:
Your attic may be a storage space to you, but a chipmunk, squirrel or raccoon may think it’s a great place to live. The insulation is warm, which makes for a comfy nest for the little critter to feel right at home. From there it may chew through wiring, leave droppings behind and potentially nibble your walls. In addition to repairing the damage, you may have to pay to have your furry “guest” removed, says This Old House.
Having a backyard for a dog to run in is a fun benefit of owning a home, but it may lead to some costly repairs if your dog doesn’t have enough entertainment. According to the Humane Society of the United States, digging a hole may be a dog’s way of saying it wants some attention and play time. You can likely fill the holes in the lawn, but if your dog digs under your fence, and the damage is bad enough, you may have to repair it.
Does your new home have a high-efficiency (HE) washing machine? Putting too much soap or the wrong kind of detergent into a HE machine may cause it to overwork itself and break, says the American Cleaning Institute. Make sure to use the right amount and kind of HE detergent for your washer, or be ready to pay for potentially expensive repair if it breaks.
An old, large tree in front (or back) of your home looks great and can provide some excellent shade. Its roots, however, could potentially invade the drain line leading out of your home and may lead to a hefty repair bill, says HomeAdvisor. Digging up your lawn isn’t something you consider when you see a beautiful tree on your property — but a sewer line inspection from the street to your home might be a good idea for peace of mind, says Angie’s List.
Unless it’s pouring rain on the day of your home inspection, it’s hard to spot leaky windows in your new home. Caulking a window can be easy enough, but replacing a window or repairing any damage a leak may cause could get expensive, says HGTV.
It’s really hard to be prepared for everything that might happen in your home, but it doesn’t hurt to play it safe and save for a rainy day in case something does come up. What unexpected home maintenance costs have you encountered? Share your tale below.
Originally published May 29, 2012.