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Topic # 191486 5-Feb-2016 16:15
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I recall reading many years ago a recommendation from BRANZ as to a ballpark figure of what homeowners should spend annually to maintain their house; I've not been able to find this, including on BRANZ's site, so I was wondering whether anyone had any such information?

 

I know it's a very finger-in-the-sky method to determine appropriate spend, but still interested. I'm sure hoping it wasn't based on RV, sale price or any such similar measure, given the huge variation in the cost of land across the country meaning such a figure is essentially meaningless.

 

I did find a BRANZ report based on a 2010 survey, which showed most homes - whether owner-or tenant-occupied - needed significant levels of maintenance, and there was not that much difference across income groups. Generally, it seems NZers aren't that great at looking after their homes, and I'd have to admit we have fallen into that category.

 

We're trying to put that right now, by embarking on some fairly substantial maintenance of our 1920s house over the next few months  - weatherboard and doorframe repairs, roof repairs, roof repaint, house repaint, new guttering and downpipes, new garage roof and door, new fences on 3/4 sides. This makes it sound like our house is about to fall down, but it's not at all; rather, I think it shows the downside of buying a house for emotional not practical reasons! All up, it'll come in be between $30-40k, which while still a lot of money, seems ok value given we've spent little on this critical stuff in the six years we've owned it, and it should ensure little of significance to do over the following 10 or so years (as long as we ensure we maintain it from here on out!).

 

How do you other homeowners approach this - sensible and careful annual maintenance to keep the house at spec, happy to leave the house to fall down, or a big gun approach to fixing all problems at once? I've taken the last option as it seems, given current interest rates, the ideal time to become a better person/homeowner!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1486060 5-Feb-2016 16:24
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Keeping up with things as they need doing is usually much cheaper than letting them accumulate. For example timely painting of wooden windows, window frames, door frames etc will stop them from rotting and then needing replacement prior  to repainting.





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  Reply # 1486067 5-Feb-2016 16:36
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BRANZ have some good books.  Their Maintaining your home guide has a maintenance planning chart in it, and a maintenance record chart.  

 

It also has different books for different home era's for era specific problems and solutions.  

 

Alternatively the Home Keeper - Log Book for New Zealand Homeowners is a good and thorough book.  It has scope for maintenance plans as weel as the ability to record the history of the home (plans/additions/changes) and some short short guides on legisative aspects for home ownership etc.

 

As to an appropriate amount to spend?  I use the 2% rule of thumb for annual maintenance bearing in mind that a home is supposed to have a 50 year life.  But is that 2% of CV or 2% of the improvement value?  You're right that we seem to be woeful, as a nation, at maintaining our assets so I know that 2% of improvements is many many times less than what I'm spending every year although the house I'm in was sorely neglected by the previous owner and needs a lot of catch up maintenance.

 

I highly recommend getting an exterior wash and roof wash every year or two.  Not only does it make the house look significantly better and prolongs paint life but it highlights any potential maintenance issues before they get serious.  


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1486088 5-Feb-2016 16:54
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ockel:

 

 

 

...... bearing in mind that a home is supposed to have a 50 year life.  

 

 

Are you sure? That means our house has only 10 years left or my parents house is 10 years past its use by date.

 

I don't believe so.





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  Reply # 1486090 5-Feb-2016 17:03
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Technofreak:

 

ockel:

 

 

 

...... bearing in mind that a home is supposed to have a 50 year life.  

 

 

Are you sure? That means our house has only 10 years left or my parents house is 10 years past its use by date.

 

I don't believe so.

 

 

Different parts of the house have different expected lifes (block or concrete foundations are beyond 50 years, windows/frames 20 years) and it does depend on the type of house (brick vs wood etc) but the rough rule of thumb would be if you did no maintenance that in 50 years the house would probably be uninhabitable and better to rebuild than repair.

 

FannieMae does a good guide across different parts of the structure.  https://www.fanniemae.com/content/guide_form/4099f.pdf

 

 


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  Reply # 1486092 5-Feb-2016 17:07
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Technofreak:

 

ockel:

 

 

 

...... bearing in mind that a home is supposed to have a 50 year life.  

 

 

Are you sure? That means our house has only 10 years left or my parents house is 10 years past its use by date.

 

I don't believe so.

 

 

With no maintenance 50 years would be about right but it all depends upon how quickly water can get in.

 

P.S. http://www.viralnova.com/reclaimed-by-nature/


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  Reply # 1486095 5-Feb-2016 17:13
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FYI i wash my house every year with sugar soap solution and a hand brush esp where dirt collects under eaves and windows. It does wonders to preserve the paint whereas i think waterblasters are too harsh.

I also clean my sumps of dirt so drains dont get blocked and ensure air vents under house are clear.

Lastly, depends on what you mean is maintainence, you also have to renew a room every few years so the house doesnt get outdated.

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  Reply # 1486098 5-Feb-2016 17:17
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ockel: <snip> As to an appropriate amount to spend?  I use the 2% rule of thumb for annual maintenance bearing in mind that a home is supposed to have a 50 year life.  <snip>

 

I don't like disposable houses.

 

Our current (wooden villa) home is Wellington is 100 years old, and has been properly maintained.

 

It should be good for another century.

 

We have spent about $70k on it since buying it 4 years ago. (modern bathrooms, re-piling, re-plumbing and re-wiring)





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  Reply # 1486115 5-Feb-2016 17:37
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Sideface:

 

ockel: <snip> As to an appropriate amount to spend?  I use the 2% rule of thumb for annual maintenance bearing in mind that a home is supposed to have a 50 year life.  <snip>

 

I don't like disposable houses.

 

Our current (wooden villa) home is Wellington is 100 years old, and has been properly maintained.

 

It should be good for another century.

 

We have spent about $70k on it since buying it 4 years ago. (modern bathrooms, re-piling, re-plumbing and re-wiring)

 

 

I agree completely.  I too live in a 100 year old wooden villa and I want it to last another 100 years.  I've done windows (replaced/repair frames+painting), roof repairs+ painting, repiling, replaced insulation and pest control.  Not a lot of change out of 40k (excluding my own labour for some of it).  That works out to be about 2% pa over the 3 years.  Repainting has to happen sooner rather than later, the roof maintenance is probably only good for another 5 years before reroofing needs to be considered and the borer affected wood needs replacing when the treatment period nears its expiry.  

 

Excluding the modernising of the bathrooms what proportion of the improvement value have you spent over the 4 years?  Is it more or less than 2% pa?  


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  Reply # 1486146 5-Feb-2016 18:00
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ockel: <snip> Excluding the modernising of the bathrooms what proportion of the improvement value have you spent over the 4 years?  Is it more or less than 2% pa?  

 

More than half of the money was spent on absolutely essential upgrading of the bathrooms. (one of 1910 vintage, plus one cheap and nasty ensuite from the 1980s)  We completely stripped them and started again.

 

The remainder of maintenance costs, including rates,  would be about 2% pa.





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  Reply # 1486931 7-Feb-2016 12:55
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Myself - alot of my income is going on mortgage repayments. And yes there is alot of big maintenance jobs that will need to be caught up on.

 

*New deck on front of house - 2.5m above ground, runs full length of house. 

 

*Demolish conservatory on back of house and extend / rebuild as a proper room. (Have previously moved kitchen into conservatory, which really open up the lounge. But current kitchen is only a really rough / temporary kitchen) Also conservatory in such bad state (piles are sinking causing secondary problems) And it makes the house stupidly hot in summer and cold in winter. That demolish and rebuild is the best option.

 

*New driveway and new underground services beneath driveway - Power, water, stormwater drainage, probably relocate UFB ducting,

 

*New roof including raising height of roof approx 150mm to create space for insulation to be installed in.

 

*New kitchen and 2x new bathrooms.

 

 

 

Could easily spend 100K doing all of that despite doing alot of the work myself. So being realistic, most of that would probably have to wait until im mortgage free. (in approx 10 years time)

 

 

 

But my section is big enough to be subdivided. (maybe even into 3 houses when the Auckland council unitary plan comes into force.) So I might be better off simply allowing this house to fall to bits completely, And then demolish and sub divide.






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  Reply # 1486941 7-Feb-2016 13:14
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D1023319: FYI i wash my house every year with sugar soap solution and a hand brush esp where dirt collects under eaves and windows. It does wonders to preserve the paint whereas i think waterblasters are too harsh.

I also clean my sumps of dirt so drains dont get blocked and ensure air vents under house are clear.

Lastly, depends on what you mean is maintainence, you also have to renew a room every few years so the house doesnt get outdated.

 

 

 

Good point... where can you get drain protectors so leaves and stuff don't fall into sump?

 

 

 

I have an open hole drain at one part of the house, and thought some chicken wire or similar would be fine... finding some though...





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  Reply # 1493690 17-Feb-2016 09:55
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Thanks for the replies; yeah, I totally agree that steady and regular maintenance is the best approach, but I still feel (and the evidence seems to support this feeling) that many NZers don't follow this approach.

 

I think that the point where people decide to sell a house is where many are forced to play catch-up with maintenance; and in these circumstances, few are keen on spending top dollar to get the job done properly, given they'll not get the long-lasting benefits of the work and will typically not recoup the cost in the sale price. Hence they'll do a half-arsed job, or literally paint over the problem.

 

Indeed, I have an increasingly strong sense that some of the work we need to do now on our house is a direct result of this approach by the previous owners. The house had been painted relatively recently before we bought, and as we've had builders and other tradies around to quote for the work we've seen how much of the work was done poorly - paint covering over rotten scribers, roofing with silicon to seal it rather than flashings, flawed guttering leading to rotting wood... I can't recall any of this was picked up in the building report we had done at the time!

 

In changing our approach, and at least getting the house up to spec now, we will ensure we don't pass the same problems on to the next owner, and of course will get to enjoy living in a nicer house.

 

I was reminded of this thread when I came across the following article on exactly this issue on Stuff today: http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/76944202/are-you-spending-enough-on-home-maintenance




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  Reply # 1493831 17-Feb-2016 11:32
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That article's worth a read, and it supports much of what I mentioned above:

 

"Every few years BRANZ, the building research agency, publishes a condition of housing survey. The last one showed 70 per cent of owners believed their homes were in a good, or excellent condition, while BRANZ experts thought only 42 per cent of homes were."

 

"Though ignoring maintenance sounds ridiculous, Trafford sees it even among some landlords, who minimise expenses, planning to eventually sell their property as a "do up", pocketing the capital gains despite their penny-pinching ownership... He suspected the prices people were paying for homes in some places took no account of the costs of maintaining them, leaving little in the kitty for doing so. Older asset-rich, cash-poor owners may simply not have the money to maintain their homes, or fear taking out an reverse equity mortgage to fund them."

 

"... many rules of thumb are offered as to how much money property owners should set aside for maintenance. These include the 1 per cent of the value of the home, the 3 per cent of the value, 15 per cent of the rental income (or the equivalent, if it were rented). Trafford is not impressed by rules of thumb... Prices rises and falls, and changes in rents, can make a nonsense of rules of thumb."

 

 


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