Homeowners spent an average of up to $6,000 on repairs and maintenance in 2022

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Some expenses related to home ownership can often be unpredictable and expensive.

Last year, homeowners spent an average of $6,000 on maintenance and repairs, according to a recent report from the Hippo insurance company. A separate study from the Angi home services website, which measured similar costs for 2022, shows that maintenance averaged $2,467 and home emergency spending, meaning an unexpected repair, averaged $1,953 ($4,420 in total).

Regardless of how much you can shell out for those expenses, they have the potential to upset a household’s budget when unexpected. While some of the costs can be unpredictable, there are things you can do to ease your pain, experts say.

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Try to reserve at least 1% of the value of your house

For starters, the general advice is to set aside at least 1% to 3% of your home’s purchase price annually to cover a mix of improvements, maintenance and repairs, said Angie Hicks, Angi’s director of customer service.

“That’s for all three buckets,” Hicks said. “For a $400,000 house, the [$4,420] in maintenance and emergency expenses in our report is closer to 1%. You want to make sure you have that 1% covered.”

The median sales price for a home stood at $393,756 in November, according to Redfin. (One percent of that amount is $3,937.)

Maintenance costs can reduce repair expenses

While it’s wise to set aside money, maintenance can help reduce what you spend on unexpected repairs, Hicks said.

“We’re seeing more focus on maintenance activities, which is good to see,” Hicks said. “When there is inflationary pressurespeople… don’t want to be caught off guard, so they start doing more maintenance projects that they might have missed.”

And things, like remembering to regularly replace your furnace filter to help the system run optimally, can often be done by the homeowner.

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In the Hippo report, which was based on a survey of approximately 1,000 homeowners, 65% of respondents who had something happen to their home in the past year said they could have prevented it with proactive maintenance.

As an example: It pays to do a visual inspection of your roof a couple of times a year to make sure you don’t see any missing or curled shingles that warrant a repair before the problem escalates and you face major water damage, Hicks saying.

“You don’t want a leak,” Hicks said. “Water is the worst enemy of your house”.

While the details of a necessary roof repair determine the cost, the average is $1,000, according to thisoldhouse.com. That compares to an average of $3,342 spent for water damage repairs, according to Angi.

Monitor and maintain your home systems

It pays to have your major systems, like heating and cooling, checked regularly, said Courtney Klosterman, home information expert at Hippo.

Also, “know your home’s critical systems (major appliances, plumbing, electrical, etc.) so you can monitor them for wear over time,” Klosterman said.

You may want to keep track of how long major appliances in your home will last. For example, ovens generally last 15-20 years if they are well maintained, according to appliance manufacturer Carrier. If yours is nearing that age, he’ll know that he’s financially prepared to replace or repair it rather than be surprised by his failure.

Unexpected housing-related costs have a way of weighing more heavily on homeowners, Klosterman said.

“When something goes wrong, it brings a wave of anxiety and fear about what could go wrong next,” he said. “Taking a proactive approach to home care can save not only money, but also time and anxiety.”

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