March 23, 2019
Maintaining your home is expected, but surprise repairs can be expensive. HGTV recommends saving 1–3% of your home’s value every year, expressly for maintenance and repairs. Compounded over time, that savings account will come in handy for those emergencies that require a quick outlay of cash.
You may not use all the money you set aside each year, but protecting your financial future (and your home’s value) means saving time, money, and stress today. Here’s how to do it.
A rainy day fund may seem old-fashioned except when it comes to unforeseen repairs to your home. Adding a line item to your budget for unexpected costs can save you considerable time scrambling for funds when roof damage, a defective boiler, or the like, strike.
How much is enough? The costs of owning a home don’t end at the closing. Home maintenance and repairs cost upwards of $14,000 a year on average, according to GoBankingRates.com.
Logic dictates that the younger the home, the fewer the repairs. Forbes advises homeowners with a home less than five years old allocate 1% in monthly savings while homes 25 years and older should use 4% as a guide.
It’s easy to settle into your home and put off today what you can fix tomorrow. Preventative maintenance, however, can increase your home value and help you avoid a disaster.
Your home’s exterior is the first thing potential buyers see. It can be instantly inviting or off-putting. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, landscaping your front yard and backyard is necessary maintenance. Ask around your neighborhood for recommendations if you don’t feel qualified to do the upkeep yourself.
Regularly check the inside of your home, too. Crawl through attics, inspect vents, check loose boards on the deck, and get a closer look at your roof health. Procrastination only leads to worsened conditions and steep costs. Fix that leaky pipe today before it leads to mold or more tomorrow.
Despite your best efforts and planning, things do break unexpectedly. The worst thing to do is ignore the damage. As SoFi points out, that only leads to more expenses. Instead, consider your options to offset the financial emergency.
Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) and home equity loans provide access to fast cash to fund your repairs. Make sure you can foot the monthly payments and interest to avoid deeper debt. Another option is a home equity investment like Hometap. Turn your home equity into cash without monthly payments or interest.
Homeownership comes with a good deal of responsibility. Routine maintenance and monthly savings can really save you from costly repairs.
Director of Finance
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