If you're a homeowner and haven't faced a big repair bill yet, just wait. Even in the best-maintained homes, stuff will wear out or break.
Budgeting for these inevitable bills isn't always easy. One commonly cited rule of thumb - to save 1% to 4% of your home's value each year for maintenance and repairs - can give homeowners sticker shock as real estate prices soar.
Accredited financial counselor Kate Mielitz recently purchased a home in Olympia, Washington, where the median listing price is $540,000, according to Realtor.com. Saving even 1% of that, or $5,400, would be a stretch for many owners, says Mielitz, who advises low- to middle-income clients. Saving 4% would mean putting aside $21,600 a year.
"I want to cry just looking at that number," Mielitz says.