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Old 05-21-2012, 04:00 PM   #21
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I have always read either 1% or 2% as guidelines. In my experience I find 1% is too low and 2% is too high so somewhere in the middle. I have gone multiple years without any major costs and then get walloped with a whole bunch as I have recently redone shingles, hot water tank, new flooring on main floor, new garage door, new front door, etc. Also unfortunately for me I can not do anything handyman wise. I am just not good at it and I don't think it's something that I can ever get good at.

As for property tax and other costs, I haven't figured out what % they are as it's really irrelevant and it is what it is. There isn't much you can do to reduce these costs except for utilities. In my case prop tax is 2800 and utilities about 2700 per year and home is about $375K - 1750 sq two storey in an area where average home is about $400K

Couple other points - maintenance costs will vary depending on your level of extravagence. Friends putting in new hardwood floor and it will be in the 12K range. I on the other hand was a-OK with Costco laminate flooring and with install was under $2500 for more square footage. Gotten lots of compliments about it so far and i don't care about resale value as I will likely die in this house (I'm 36 now) and if I do resell, oh well I'll get $x less for it,but I saved $x prior to that and there is a time value of money. Also do not forget about cost to replace furniture, appliances, light fixtures, etc. Easy to forget about that stuff until you realize Hey I need a new couch and loveseat and minimum it's $1500 for a crappy set. I budget about $500 per year for all that stuff and that is part of my annual maintenance estimate which I peg at $5000 per year total.
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Old 05-21-2012, 04:11 PM   #22
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One other point. I see alot of the responses are detailing HOA fees, trash, etc. These costs are easy to know as you can get all that info before buying a house. The real mystery is in what to budget for actual maintenance and replacement costs of most everything in your home. I think that's what the original poster had more in mind.
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Old 05-21-2012, 04:16 PM   #23
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One other point. I see alot of the responses are detailing HOA fees, trash, etc. These costs are easy to know as you can get all that info before buying a house. The real mystery is in what to budget for actual maintenance and replacement costs of most everything in your home. I think that's what the original poster had more in mind.
There's plenty of reference material to estimate any budget item you might want online. Here's just one of many for home maintenance MintLife Blog | Personal Finance News & Advice | Budgeting for Home Maintenance and Repair Costs
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Old 05-21-2012, 05:01 PM   #24
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There's plenty of reference material to estimate any budget item you might want online. Here's just one of many for home maintenance MintLife Blog | Personal Finance News & Advice | Budgeting for Home Maintenance and Repair Costs
At least in my area i find any online resource way off. Around here for example it's $100 just to get a plumber to come to your house and then I believe $90 for the hourly rate. I am in a high cost of living area since our economy is booming (Alberta, Canada). Also very hard to find people and when you do they are flaky as hell since they have 20 other jobs lined up
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Old 05-21-2012, 08:07 PM   #25
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tmm99, your 4% for "maintenance" should be right on. If I use that figure, $10K maintenance is 4% of $250000 which is about the value of our home. Now if you move to AZ, NM or NV you can just about eliminate lawn care and use zerascape (sic). Up until four years ago I did all the lawn care and shrub trimming myself. I had a couple of surgeries and that was the end of that. I don't miss it a bit. Good luck on your future plans.
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Old 05-22-2012, 01:47 PM   #26
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We spent less than 1% on home maintenance & repairs, but we do as much as we can ourselves. I suspect if I added major replacements like HVAC, roofing, major appliances that are very sporadic (not annual by any means) it might be closer to 2% per year. I can't imagine spending twice that, like 4% per year, under any circumstances.

And the OP mentioned expenses other than maintenance & repairs so this thread may be a little confusing to follow. YMMV
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Old 05-22-2012, 02:16 PM   #27
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Yeah, I thought all there was, was house repair/replacement/property tax, but after reading some of the items the forum members posted, I felt I forgot some things (lawn care for one, although I could probably do that myself. And duh, home owners insurance - I am currently paying renter's insurance, but it's only $200/yr), so I bumped up my estimated house maintenace cost. I am not including anything else to this budget though (utility bills / sewer, etc) although any place I move to will incur more electricity expense due to use of A/C.

Maybe I can lower the estimated house maintenance expense to be 3% of total value of the house instead of 4%.
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Old 05-22-2012, 03:32 PM   #28
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In thinking about property taxes also look at how close to market value properties are typically valued. Around here (in Texas) rates are high but most houses I've seen have assessed values that are typically less than market value so there is some savings there.

Also in some parts of Texas -- mostly subdivisions -- you have to pay MUD taxes which can be high. In the urban areas no MUD taxes but city water may be very expensive. Outside the cities and suburbs there is usually no MUD taxes but no public water so you have the cost of well and septic.

In the rural subdivision we are in now, there is private water and no MUD taxes so we have septic but pay a water bill. But because it is private water with no MUD the water rates are very high. When we bought this house I totally underestimated the cost of utilities. The water and electric are through a private coop and rates are high. I was used to low electric rates and being able to easily change carriers but my old carrier doesn't provide electric here.
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