Home systems and appliances have a habit of breaking down at inconvenient times. These unexpected expenses can throw a wrench in your budget and leave you with credit card debt.
Many experts recommend that homeowners save 1% to 4% of their homes’ value each year for maintenance costs and repairs. Here are 7 tips to help you do that:
1. Schedule Regular Maintenance
Home systems and appliances break down, sometimes at inconvenient times. Skipping maintenance can backfire — a little dry rot turns into a collapsed deck, a leaky faucet becomes an expensive water leak and a dryer vent that’s not cleaned regularly can spark a house fire.
A commonly cited rule of thumb is to save one to four percent of a home’s value annually for repair and replacement expenses. But establishing an accurate maintenance budget requires more than just reviewing past expenses.
It also involves analyzing the life spans of each system and appliance to determine when they’re likely to need replacement. This requires the use of a maintenance scheduling tool.
2. Install Energy-Efficient Products
It’s not the sexiest home improvement project—no one invites friends over to see their new attic insulation—but energy-efficient upgrades save money on heating, cooling and water bills while cutting greenhouse gas emissions. For example, a new Energy Star heating system uses 30% less electricity and water than an older model, while energy-efficient plumbing fixtures minimize heat loss and waste.
Another way to cut your energy bill is by reducing standby power draw, which occurs when devices like your refrigerator or washer and dryer use electricity even when they’re turned off. To do this, look for appliances and lighting that carry the ENERGY STAR label.
3. Buy in Bulk
Many people like to buy items in bulk because it usually costs less per unit. However, the upfront cost is often higher and items can expire before you use them up.
Keeping track of your inventory can help prevent this problem. It’s also important to know your storage real estate and only buy items that you can comfortably store.
4. Invest in a Home Warranty
Whether you’re looking to purchase a home or are already a homeowner, a home warranty can save you money on home systems repairs and replacements. It also helps you from overspending and avoid dipping into your emergency savings, which could cost you more in the long run. Sites like https://www.cinchhomeservices.com/faq-library/-/faq/who-pays-for-a-home-warranty-when-buying-a-house can help you understand more about a home warranty.
Home warranties typically cover most or all of the repair costs for your appliances and systems, minus the service call fee and deductible. This can help you save a significant amount of money on costly repairs and expenses, especially since many systems and appliances tend to break down unexpectedly. Every company is different so be sure to check the terms and conditions and exact coverages for the companies you are interested in.
5. Look for Deals
Homeownership is a lot easier when everything is running smoothly. However, that isn’t always the case: Murphy visits and unexpected repairs are a part of life as a New York homeowner. That’s why it’s important to look for deals on appliances and systems, including a home warranty. You can save by timing your purchases according to annual sales periods or by using tools that track prices or scan bar codes. An emergency savings fund may also be helpful for homeowners struggling to save money. Alternatively, you could open a line of credit to cover repair expenses.
6. Do Your Research
Home repairs can be costly, but they don’t have to break the bank. There are many things homeowners can do to save money on repairs, including scheduling routine maintenance, buying in bulk, investing in a home warranty and comparing quotes from multiple providers.
A general rule of thumb is to set aside 1% to 3% of your home’s value each year to cover maintenance, repairs and renovations, according to a report from insurance company Hippo. However, this amount may vary based on your home’s age and how old your appliances and systems are.
7. Hire a Professional
As a homeowner, you’ll need the discipline to save money for maintenance and repairs. This is an important part of being a responsible owner, and it helps you protect the investment that you’ve made in your home for years to come.
Professional technicians have the specialized tools, gauges and gadgets to make repairs quickly and accurately. They also know the proper procedures to ensure that the work is up to code and meets all safety standards.
Hire a licensed professional that has a good reputation in your community.