Owning a home is one of the most significant investments you can make in your life, but although it can be a thrilling journey, it also entails numerous responsibilities. After all, there are more factors to consider other than the purchase price or mortgage payments – such as the expenses for home maintenance and repairs.
Importance Of Home Repairs
Home repairs are inevitable once you have your own property, and while they do incur considerable costs, they can ultimately lead to significant savings in the long run. For one, many home repairs can improve your home’s energy efficiency, leading to lower utility bills, while addressing minor issues before they become significant problems can save you money down the road.
Enhancing safety and comfort is another essential aspect of home repairs, as neglecting them can lead to hazards in various unexpected ways. For example, malfunctioning HVAC systems, faulty pool equipment, door malfunctions, and water leaks can pose risks to you and your family or make your stay quite uncomfortable, at the very least.
Lastly, timely repairs can protect your investment and help you achieve the best returns for your efforts and money. These can prolong the lifespan of your property while increasing its value, as potential buyers prefer houses that won’t require major renovations or upgrades for several years. On the other hand, a poorly maintained home will attract lower offers, as buyers will factor in work needed to rectify issues.
Preparing For Home Repairs
In the past year, the average homeowner spent around $6,000 on maintenance and repairs, while emergency home repairs amounted to an average of $1,953. This is because many items in your home tend to break down or malfunction as they age, making repairs necessary over time.
As such, many homeowners set aside funds for home maintenance, which is typically pegged at around 1% of their home’s value annually. These funds can be utilized for minor repairs and improvements or accumulated for a significant renovation project. You can even earn interest on the balance while still ensuring easy access to the funds, thus preventing substantial borrowing costs when the need for repairs arises.
Additionally, failures of home systems and appliances can significantly strain your budget and often occur at the most inconvenient moments, so consider getting a home warranty to safeguard your finances. Rather than using your savings to address unplanned breakdowns, a home warranty can provide coverage for repairing or replacing eligible items.
If you are unfamiliar with the process, Cinch answers the question: Are home warranties worth it? You can also do your research first to ensure you fully understand the terms and conditions before getting a home warranty.
How To Save On Home Repair Costs
Home repairs can result in unforeseen expenses that significantly disrupt a household’s budget, but fortunately, there are strategies you can employ to lessen their impact. Here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Identify The Best Schedule For Repairs
Getting the right timing for home repairs can help you save money while reducing stress and frustration. Factors such as weather, material costs that vary throughout the year, and the availability of labor can significantly influence the optimal schedule for specific projects, so it is best to consult with multiple local contractors to assess their availability and obtain cost estimates in advance before embarking on your project.
Start by determining the projects that need to be done, then prioritize them according to your available budget and the urgency of repair. For example, if you know that the furnace must be replaced, investigate project concepts and costs online, arrange consultations with contractors for quotes, and discuss with neighbors who have undertaken similar projects to understand the expenses involved. Remember to include an additional 10% to any final expense estimate for unforeseen situations.
2. Conduct Preventative Maintenance
Regular home inspections can help identify minor issues, enabling you to address them before they escalate into larger problems. Simple home maintenance tasks like caring for wooden floors, staining fences, and cleaning gutters would not cost much, but they can result in expensive repairs if left unattended. For instance, malfunctioning gutters can dampen the walls in your home, resulting in water damage or mold infestations, which are more difficult to address.
Preventive maintenance also helps keep your equipment and appliances in good condition, reducing the likelihood of unexpected failures. Aside from this, it can extend the lifespan of your assets, allowing them to run longer and lowering costs while also preserving your home’s value.
3. Do It Yourself
One of the easiest ways to save on maintenance expenses is by performing simple tasks that don’t require specialized skills. Allocate time to handle minor preparatory tasks on your own while saving money for more extensive work that necessitates professional skills.
Remember to only tackle projects within your skill level because certain home repairs, like plumbing or electrical work, demand more expertise and knowledge. While instructional videos are available for tasks like replacing a faucet washer or an electrical outlet, any mistake can lead to severe and costly consequences.
4. Shop Around for Professionals
For repairs that need professional work, get multiple quotes and compare prices before deciding. Feel free to negotiate on price, inquire about discounts, check online reviews, and ask for recommendations to ensure you’re hiring a reputable contractor and getting the best value for your money.
Choosing a reliable and trustworthy expert is crucial because employing someone who performs poorly can often be more costly than attempting the task yourself and making mistakes. The subsequent professional will have to undo the initial problem before addressing the main issue, and the situation could also worsen and become extremely expensive to fix.