Happy Arizona home buyers just purchased a home in the Phoenix Metroa area with Sam Elam representing them..CREATE A PLAN TO SAVE FOR COST OF NORMAL HOMEOWNER REPAIRS


Purchasing your home is a tremendous accomplishment, a source of pride and provides financial security. But along with home ownership comes the responsibility to maintain and repair or replace components in the home.

To manage the financial impact of maintaining your home when unexpected expensive home repairs arise, this planning guide includes average life cycles of major components in your home and replacement cost estimates to help you decide how much to save every month for future repairs. It is not a question if repairs will be necessary, it is a question of when they will be required. See suggestions for how much to save and life cycles for major systems. Develop your plan and start saving now.


Ask your REALTOR® the age of the home you want to buy and request the seller provide a copy of the Sellers Property Disclosure Statement to show what major items have been repaired and replaced and when. This would include the age of the roof, HVAC, water heater, appliances, pool equipment, garage door opener, etc. Sellers are more than willing to share with an interested buyer what items have been repaired, replaced or upgraded because the remaining life of these components is valuable. The more recent the replacement, the longer it should be before repair/replacement is required.


1%, 2% or 3% Rule

Rule of thumb for how much you be should saving per year to pay for normal repair/replacement of major components in your home is one (1%) of the purchase price when buying a New or Newer home or the seller just did a major remodel and replaced many of the home’s major components like HVAC, Roof or Windows.


But when you are purchasing a home that is 15 - 20 years old you need to be saving 3% of the purchase price per year for home repairs and replacements. If the home you are buying is 15 - 20 years old and nothing has been repaired or replaced, you will be facing replacement of the roof, HVAC and many major items sooner, rather than later, as they are nearing the end of their life cycle. The good news is major components do not typically fail at the same time and with proper maintenance you can extend the average component life cycle.


If the home you are purchasing is 5 – 14 years old, saving 3% of the sales price the first year is prudent.

  • Homes 5 – 10 years old, saving 1% of the sales price every year, thereafter, may be adequate.
  • Homes 11 – 14 years old, saving 2% of the sales price per year, thereafter, may be sufficient.

These are guidelines. But whatever you decide, it is far better to start saving now, than not to be saving for future home repairs.


Life Cycle of Key components may vary depending upon the quality, life cycle and how often it is used:

  • HIGH-EFFICIENCY FURNACE - 15 to 20 years - duty cycle/wear and tear is low in our climate. Change air filters every 1-2 months. Replacement cost could be $5K to $10K per unit.
  • HVAC - 12 to 15 years - duty cycle/wear and tear is higher in our climate. Change air filters every 1 - 2 months and annually cleaning condensate drain line. Replacement cost could be $5K to $10K per unit.
  • ROOF - Asphalt Shingles - low end 12 - 20 years, high end 20 - 30 years, depending upon roof pitch. Cost of $7500+, depending upon roof area to be covered. Low end $3-$5/sq ft and High end $5-$7/sq ft.
  • ROOF - Concrete Tile waterproofing membrane 15 - 25 years depending upon membrane weight & attic venting, Cost of $7500+ depending upon the area to be covered.
  • ROOF - Modified bitumen (flat roof) - 20 to 25 years with the application of an elastomeric reflective coating rolled on every 3-5 years
  • HOT WATER HEATER - 10 to 15 years depending upon water hardness. Cost of $800+ installed.
  • GARBAGE DISPOSAL - 10 to 15 years depending upon use. Cost of $150+.
  • GARAGE DOOR OPENER - 10 to 15 years. Cost of $700+ per unit.
  • DUAL PANE WINDOWS - 10 to 20 years. If the insulator between the panes of glass have failed with the window appearing cloudy, the window lens (glass insert within the frame) can be replaced for 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of replacing the entire window. Windows on the south and west side of the home are prone to failure more often. The average cost for window lens replacement for a typical window pane is $200. A home with 24 windows might cost $4800.
  • WATER DRAIN PIPES can be problematic. Cast iron and clay tile pipes should be inspected with a scope.
  • WATER SUPPLY PIPES, if galvanized, will have to be replaced in order for the home to be eligible to be insured and closed with a purchase loan. Lead pipes are a health hazard and must be replaced.
  • PAINTING - Exterior woodwork must be maintained by painting. West and south sides will require painting more often. Plan to paint wood trim every 3 to 5 years. Stucco exterior may last up to 10 years but is best to plan for 6 to 8 years - especially the south and west sides. Cost to paint the exterior of a typical one story is $1600 - $1800 and cost to paint the interior can be $2500 - $3000.
  • APPLIANCES - Washer, dryer and refrigerator life cycles will vary based upon the quality of the appliance and how often it is used. A family of 7 with 5 young children appliance use will be much different than a senior couple.

Now is the perfect time to buy one of our beautiful homes for sale in Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe AZ before prices start ramping up higher this coming spring!

Call Sam today to learn more about the dynamic Phoenix Metro Area and let’s identify an area that will best meet your needs for quality of life, great schools and job opportunities in our clean, safe, affordable, single-family neighborhoods!!!

Sam has 28+ years of residential real estate experience. Learn more about these AZ cities in his service area: Chandler, Gilbert, MesaPhoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Arizona retirement communities and investment property. Sam brings his vast real estate experience to help you decide which home is your best choice based upon your criteria for the perfect home.

Sam Elam - Associate Broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Arizona Properties serving Chandler, Gilbert and Mesa AZ

Sam Elam

Arizona Associate Broker, Graduate, REALTOR® Institute, CRS, e-PRO, SFR

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices | Arizona Properties

Call: 480-213-1799 or Contact Sam