Your home is a big investment, and along with that investment can come big repair bills. What are your plans for covering the costs if you have a significant expense? Preparation can be the key to comfortably tackling those situations as they arise.
Expect the Unexpected
When it comes to home repairs, surprises aren’t much fun. However, with a rainy day fund, you can have peace of mind if you come home to an unexpected calamity. All homeowners must cover some form of repairs and maintenance on a routine basis, and you can likely expect to spend about $2,000 annually on home-related expenses. By dedicating funds to those unforeseen expenses, you can cover costs as they occur without them derailing your budget.
What about Insurance?
Homeowners insurance policies are designed to help protect your investment, but they don’t cover every kind of damage you might encounter. Items like broken appliances and worn equipment, such as water heaters and furnaces, are your responsibility. There are other issues insurance doesn’t cover as well, like damage from mold, power outages, or sewage backups.
Pest infestations also fall to the homeowner, even if they are severe. For instance, termites can cause damage to the basic structure of your home, to the point that discovering evidence should put you into action mode. However, both paying for treatment and paying for repairs are generally not your insurance company’s responsibility; they are yours. To give you an idea of costs, homeowners typically pay between $217 and $869 for termite treatment and control.
Steer Clear of Trouble
Many of the issues your insurance won’t help you with require the assistance of a professional. Should a problem arise, be prepared to do your homework, as there are numerous smart scam artists out there who are ready to prey on unsuspecting homeowners. Watch for red flags, like contractors who say they need payment up front, refuse to put an agreement in writing, or claim they are granting you a “special deal.” If you do happen to fall victim to home improvement fraud, you can take action against the contractor; check with your state’s attorney general.
Hiring Good Help
When researching potential contractors in Red Deer, you should develop a list of criteria you check for each one. For instance, whomever you hire should be licensed and insured, be willing to put a bid in writing, and should be able to provide you with examples of similar work already completed. Ask for and check references, and think about how well you communicate with each candidate. If you aren’t comfortable or feel you aren’t on the same page, keep looking.
Options for Paying
The ideal situation is to have savings set aside to cover your home repair costs. However, expenses can sometimes exceed savings, or they arise before you’ve had a chance to recover from the last hiccup. When this happens, MarketWatch notes you have a few funding options. You can get a home improvement loan or cover expenses with a credit card. Don’t hesitate to be a bit creative as well. For instance, on smaller projects, you can sometimes spread your funds further by doing some work yourself, or purchasing supplies out-of-pocket and then hiring a handyman to complete the task. Perhaps you could swap work with a friend, or arrange a loan from a family member.
Surprise home repairs are no fun, but with the proper preparations, they can be a hiccup in your life as a homeowner, and then you’ll move on. Set aside funds for a rainy day, know your options if you need alternative money sources, and hire good help when you need it. Your home is a significant investment, but those big repairs get much smaller when you have a plan ready for tackling them.
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