Don’t Ignore Yearly Home Maintenance

 

When talking with Toronto condo owners their biggest complaint is the paying of monthly maintenance fees. But when you think about it, this monthly collection of cash goes to the continued updating and repair of what is their biggest investment. Most Toronto homeowners relish on not having to fork out a monthly fee, but as they say, “You can pay the piper now or later”.

Most homeowners know that as our home ages we will be called upon to replace appliances, a failing roof, aging heating/cooling systems, flooring and a myriad of other household repairs which goes along with ownership. But unlike condo owners we have most likely not put aside any monthly allowance and are faced with a major repair without the cash to cover it. Ouch, that when you feel the pain.

However, there has been a formula kicking around for years of how to best estimate home maintenance costs: it is based upon allotting 2 to 4 percent of a home’s value per year. Think of it this way, say your house is worth $500,000 then you should expect to put aside $10,000 20,000 per year. Now, considering the there is a $10,000 difference this one size fits all may not work for you. Again, what you will spend really depends upon if you have a new home or one that is older and need extensive work.

An alternate way to budget, and one that I feel is definitely more accurate, is to perform what I call is an housing asset update. Know one knows our homes better than we do and here is where you get to assign a best before date. BE HONEST, SO YOU GET AN ACCURATE ASSESSMENT. Whether you start in the basement or the roof it means looking at all the components which make up your home and assigning a date when you can realistic expect that it is coming to the end of its operational life.

Here is a list of items you should be definitely looking to repair at some point and what I have attempted to do is assign a yearly budget cost or replacement costs if available:

Heating, Ventilation and Cooling

  • High Efficiency Furnace- replacement costs $4000
  • Central Air Conditioning – replacement costs – $2000

Electrical

  • Regular updates per year $300
  • Major updating per year $5,000

Landscaping, Driveway and Drainage

  • Regular landscaping updates per year $800

Exterior

  • Regular yearly costs – $2,000
  • Major yearly updating costs – $4000 (this would include new windows, doors, painting or brick repairs.

Roof

  • Regular yearly costs – $1,000
  • Major one time costs – $10,000 (Total roof replacement including boards also remember flat roofs always cost more)

Plumbing

  • Regular yearly costs – $250
  • Major yearly updating costs – $1,000

The final tally…take a big deep breath. You should budget for the regular stuff $1000 to $3000 per year and for those of us with older homes we expect to shell out between $4,000 to $7,500 per year. This should help with your budgeting so when things happen, which they do, you will be proactive as opposed to reactive.