How to Accommodate the Financial Impact of Home Repair
While there are many benefits to owning your own home, funding and covering any necessary repairs can often be challenging. This is why you need to be prepared for every eventuality because what can go wrong invariably will. It’s good to have a comprehensive plan in place so you can act when and how you need to. Need some help? Here’s how to get started.
Create a Rainy-Day Fund
Homes need repairs, and they frequently need maintenance. However, these can run into the thousands, especially if something catastrophic goes wrong. That’s why you need to have a fund specifically set aside for repairs. If you don’t, you may fall into debt or arrears if you have to put off other bills to cover the costs of repairs. While having an emergency credit card is wise, you also don’t want to rely on it for costly expenses, as interest rates can be steep.
Instead, look for homeowners insurance, especially policies that cover natural disasters common in your area. Not all policies are comprehensive, and you may still be liable for repairs, which is why you need an aggressive savings strategy. A mortgage is usually cheaper than rent, so consider what you might be otherwise paying and set that aside. Your bank may also have a “round up” policy that automatically adjusts payments made with your debit card to the next full dollar amount and dumps the change into your savings. You can also put the cards away altogether and only pay with cash. When we physically see how much money we spend, we tend to curtail ourselves and save more naturally.
Learn About Your Home’s Systems
The best thing you can do for yourself to avoid big repairs is to get to know the machines in your home — this includes your HVAC system. If it isn’t new and you have just bought your home, ask to see documentation about when it was last serviced, and when the filter was changed. Look at the warranties to see what is covered and for how long. Keeping your appliances and machines clean and well-maintained can extend their lives. Also, look at online manuals and do research to see what your HVAC and other machines require before doing any fine-tuning. Once you get in the habit of cleaning and maintaining, things become easier.
Picking a Contractor
When you need to make repairs or do maintenance beyond your ability, you want to pick a good contractor. Start by getting recommendations, and not just from your friends and family. Ask for proof licensing and any insurance they have, as this can give you an understanding of how professional they are. When getting bids, don’t choose anyone who tries to scaremonger you. Also, avoid anyone who only gives a verbal quote or demands payment up front — don’t even pay a deposit before the work starts. Make certain that your quote contains some form of warranty on the work. But first, before you bring anyone in, assess your situation thoroughly and know what damage has been done. A disreputable contractor may intentionally break something to charge you more than you bargained for.
Survey Your Home Regularly
It isn’t enough to check your appliances and machines only when they need maintenance. Instead, you should be looking at them regularly to keep things in condition. Look at everything, including your electrical cords for good repair. Check any hoses for blockage, as this can cause further damage. Even things like getting your dryer filter cleaned once a year can go a long way to keeping things running well. By inspecting your home regularly, you can take what steps you need to keep from having emergencies down the line.
Don’t be overwhelmed — it probably seems like a good deal of work, but it will pay off. By saving up, knowing how to take care of your machines, and finding a good contractor, you’ll be prepared for just about anything that comes your way.
Image Courtesy of Pexels
Article provided by Ray Flynn from DIYGuys.net.