How to Financially Prepare for Home Maintenance and Repair Costs

It’s not always possible to be entirely prepared for home maintenance and repair costs. For example, most people don’t simply have the cash on hand to replace a roof, repair a cracked foundation, or deal with out-of-control black mold. Luckily, these major repair issues tend to be few and far between, and so long as you’ve gained some equity in your home, you can probably get a line of credit to get your home in ship shape. However, there are all kinds of common maintenance and repair issues that are bound to crop up annually, so you’ll definitely want to prepare for those. And then there are going to be small issues that could become bigger (like leaks) if you don’t address them immediately, which means you should have some “just in case” money set aside for a rainy (or leaky) day. So how can you financially prepare for such events? Here are a few helpful hints.

For starters you should figure out what your regular annual expenses are going to be so that you can be sure you have the money to pay for them as they crop up. In terms of home maintenance, there are a few services you’ll want to perform each year. While some can probably be handled on your own, it might worth the minimal expense to hire a qualified service provider to do them for you. Some of these annual inspection and maintenance visits include flushing your water heater, changing filters in the furnace, and checking out the AC unit. These basic maintenance tasks should be done every year if you want to keep your home functioning properly. However, you may also want to have your roof inspected and your gutters cleaned. And don’t forget to test smoke alarms and check your fire extinguishers frequently (you should change the batteries in your smoke detectors every six months and authorities recommend that you test them monthly).

What is less easy to prepare for is the prospect of home repairs. Certainly you can plan for needed projects like painting the exterior of your home or replacing the siding, just for example. Or if something is in disrepair but it’s not yet detrimental to your structure (like a roof that is coming up on replacement) you can definitely get quotes and then start saving. And over time you may be able to add up annual expenses and determine an average for your home maintenance and repairs as a way to plan your budget for the upcoming year. But you just never know when something major is going to pop up and you need to be prepared to cover the cost, especially if it’s something that will get worse if you don’t attend to it immediately.

This is no easy feat. You’ll basically have to make an educated guess, like if you decided to buy a new AC unit and had to figure out the best size for system efficiency based on the square footage of your home, just for example. The point is that the burden of homeownership is not always easy, especially when it comes to forecasting costs for maintenance and repairs. But with a nest egg in place and some equity to work with you should be able to cover nearly any issue in your home. And don’t forget to check with your homeowner’s insurance. You never know what costs they might cover for you when it comes to repairs.

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