Property experts say you should spend around 1% of your property's value every year on maintenance to keep it looking good and properly protected.


Seems like an awful lot, considering real estate prices today. 1% of a $1M house is $10,000. Every year. Can this be right? 

Well, if you consider a new heat pump every 20 years, and a new water heater every 10 years, and a new coat of paint every 10 years (or even more often if you like staying with whatever is trending), smart lights and door locks and all that new stuff they keep bringing out . . . maybe $10k a year averaged out is about right. House prices have been going up in the last decade and that increase more than covers anything you might spend. And your buyers expect all that to be done before they move in, or they’ll expect a discount for everything they now must do that you haven’t, and they’ll also expect another huge discount for their trouble. 

The average Canadian moves every ten years. The average house price increases about 100% every ten years. If you spent $100k spread over ten years and realized an increase in your house price of $1M, would you be okay with that? And a quick sale because you did all the improvements and maintenance other sellers out there didn’t bother with but expected the same price? Who are we kidding here? Your place will sell while the others are wondering why no one but lookie-lous are coming around. 

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50% Rule: total operating costs (repairs, maintenance, taxes, insurance) will equal half of your rental property income. So if your property rents for $3,000/mo, you should expect $1500 of that to go to keeping the property up and running.

1% Rule: maintenance will cost about one percent of the property value per year. So a property valued at $1,000,000 should cost $10,000 a year to maintain (or $830 a month).


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