NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Buy a car and you'll get a maintenance manual on how often to change the oil, check the hoses and rotate the tires. But homes don't usually come that way, especially if they're not brand new. How often should you climb up to inspect the gutters? Should you crawl through the crawlspace every month, once a year or never? Did you know those little vents high on the basement walls should be closed for winter, open for summer? And how much should you budget for repairs and maintenance, anyway? About 2% of your purchase price per year, says HSH.com, the mortgage and housing data firm. That's according to a generic maintenance schedule HSH has added to its website. "Did you know," HSH says, "that something as simple as a clogged gutter or poor grading by the foundation -- both of which cost virtually nothing to repair -- could cause water to leak into your basement, resulting in damage that might cost thousands to repair?" homeowner's insurance. At least they should be. In addition to setting a schedule for routine inspections and maintenance, go though your homeowner's policy to see what's covered and what isn't.