I read this morning in Real Simple (You have a problem with that? Say it to my face.) that well-known financial advisers recommend the following ratios for spending and saving take-home pay: either 70% to "needs" (like rent or mortgage), 20% to "wants" (fun money), and 10% to savings; or 50% to "needs", 30% to wants, and 20% to savings. Sounds reasonable, right?
OK, but within the "needs" category, which includes things like food, medical care, and the costs of housing, what percentage are you, and should you, be funneling into your house? The Wall Street Journal says, "Typically, most lenders suggest that you spend no more than 28% of your monthly income on a mortgage."
Well, then, what percentage of one's income goes to maintenance of her house? US News and World Report says, "On average, homeowners will spend between 1 to 4 percent of a home's value annually on maintenance and repairs, which tend to increase as the house ages, according to several real estate websites and mortgage firm Freddie Mac." According to several real estate websites. OK, then!
Mint.com, a reasonably good source of realistic and helpful financial information for the average Joe or Jane, quoted a University of Illinois Extension study that says that the average homeowner needs to set aside one to two percent of the price of their home per year for maintenance. Therefore: If your house cost you $300,000, then expect to spend $3000 to $6000 per year on maintenance.