As a homeowner, you are probably aware of the cost of owning a home. There’s mortgage payments, insurance, all kinds of bills, property taxes, the list goes on. Still, most homeowners agree that it is all worth the cost, and we tend to agree.
However, there is one big downside of owning a home instead of renting it – and that’s the fact that you are responsible for the upkeep and potential repairs on your home. And sometimes these are not cheap.
We talked to home inspection pros at The Inspectors Company to tell us a bit more about the best ways to prepare yourself for big repairs.
Try Planning Ahead with a Fund
You probably know your house best – the state it is in, how well it’s maintained, how old it is, etc. That means that you can probably guess what the next big investment is going to be. Perhaps it’s your roof that might need an update soon, or the water pipes that have always been unreliable.
Whatever the potential problem, you’re going to need some money to pay for it, and you have two options – save some up beforehand, or pay through credit cards or loans.
Naturally, if it can be helped, saving money is the better option – you can avoid all the added cost in the form of interests that come with loans and credit cards. Saving a small portion of your earnings for a rainy day fund is always a good idea, no matter if that fund is intended for house repairs, or just general purposes.
Get to Know the Problems
Guessing what might go wrong can be effective if you know your way around a house and basic home repairs. On the other hand, if you’re not very handy, you may not know how to spot potential problems. Home inspectors might, though.
Hiring a professional house inspector to assess the state of your home is a common practice when you’re looking to sell (or buy) a house, but there’s no reason why you can’t hire one to tell you more about your house because you want to know and be prepared.
Shop Around for Contractors to Do the Repairs
If you’re aware of a problem that your house is having, and you have the money to make the repairs, all you now need is someone to actually do the work. Contractors come in different flavors, each of them with their unique offerings and quality of work.
What you need to do, as a responsible homeowner, is find a contractor who will do a decent job, and whose work will improve the situation at your house. At the same time, you should strive not to break the bank and overpay.
Good old research should do the trick – get quotes from a few specialists in the area and compare what they offer with the cost they are estimating. This should give you a bit of a clearer picture how expensive and complex this task might be.
Reading online reviews of these contractors is another way to gauge how reliable they are and whether their previous customers are satisfied with their work. Once you settle on one or two companies you feel are the best, you may be able to haggle your price a bit down armed with your new knowledge, but that is not always a given.
Unexpected house repairs are always a source of stress and anxiety, but a well-prepared homeowner knows that they can expect to have some maintenance and repair expenses each year and prepares in advance. Be a responsible homeowner and be ready.