There are many expenses that come with owning a home. If youâ€™ve ever bought a house, you know well the costs of the down payment, closing costs, mortgage, and home insurance. Maybe youâ€™ve even budgeted for remodeling and decorating. But one aspect of owning a home that a lot of people donâ€™t budget for is major home repairs.
Things will break or stop working, and when you havenâ€™t planned for it, it can become a crippling financial burden. If you want to start preparing for the inevitable but are not sure where to start, look no further. This article will discuss ways to prepare for expensive home repairs, things to look for when picking a contractor, and how to best pay for the repairs.
Get Your Home Inspected Regularly
While you canâ€™t prevent the need for all major home repairs, having your home regularly inspected can help you stay in front of issues. For instance, inspecting your roof twice a year can save you from having to do a full roof replacement, because it will show you if there are loose shingles, missing tiles, or warped tin, which can lead to water damage. Having your sewer lines inspected once a year can save you from dropping thousands of dollars to fix them. Inspecting your water heater once a year not only ensures you have hot water in the winter, it can help prevent the severe water damage that happens if they fail.
To avoid structural damage from termites, you should have your home inspected once a year. Inspections cost a lot less money than fumigation. However, if you do have a pest problem, itâ€™s critical to bring in an exterminator so the problem doesnâ€™t get worse. This search tool from HomeAdvisor will help you quickly find local termite control professionals.
Choose The Right Contractor
Â Another essential part of handling major home repairs is choosing the right contractor. Not only will a trustworthy contractor do the job well, they will ultimately save you from having to pay for someone else to fix the mistakes a less qualified contractors could make. Ask friends and neighbors for recommendations, and interview at least three different candidates. Be sure to check their licensing, and get estimates from each of them so you can compare costs. Once youâ€™ve picked the contractor for the job, get the contract in writing to protect yourself.
Start An Emergency Fund
Many ways of paying for home repairs involve racking up debt. When preparing for future repairs, your goal should be to avoid using credit cards. The ideal method is to start an emergency repair fund, which is essentially a personal savings fund. A good way to build an emergency fund is to put 10 percent of your monthly mortgage payment into the fund each month. If the cost of repair exceeds what youâ€™ve saved, consider applying for a personal loan. Many personal loans start at less than 5 percent interest, which is still less expensive than using a credit card.
Preparing for home repairs can save you a lot of stress and money. Be sure to schedule regular inspections to stay ahead of issues, find the best contractor you can, and get started on building your emergency fund. Stuff breaks, but having a plan can keep it from breaking the bank.
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