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Prepare Now for Future Major Home Repairs

 

Home-ownership can bring many joys, but it can also bring many headaches.  One of the most stressful aspects of owning a home is dealing with major repairs.  Whether the repairs are from expected wear and tear or the result of an unexpected event, the cost can be large and overwhelming.  Let’s discuss a few things to help you prepare for these potential circumstances.

Routine vs. Major Home Repair

Routine home care and repair ensures that your home is in proper working order, and prevents future damage from escalating.  Better Homes and Gardens has a helpful checklist of various things to inspect and clean in your house.  Routine care ranges from changing your HVAC air filter to inspecting your roof for damaged or missing shingles.  While regular maintenance can help ward off future issues, there are still unexpected damages that can arise and need immediate attention.  Your old roof may finally need to be replaced, or a pipe can burst and flood your home with standing water.  When these problems arise, you’ll have hopefully set aside enough money to cover the damage and repair.

How to Save for the Big Cost of Repairs

Unfortunately, most major repairs cost a considerable amount of money.  The national average cost of a major home repair or renovation is $10,580, and that can be difficult to come up with if you haven’t been putting money aside already.  Begin saving for a home repair fund now so that you will be prepared when these major repairs are needed. A good rule of thumb is to set aside 10% of your mortgage each month to build up the fund in a high yield savings account.  With that account already established, you will be able to cover repairs – routine or major – along the way.

Contact Your Insurance Company

In addition to starting a home repair fund, whenever major damage has occurred to your home, it is important to first contact your insurance company.  Some incidents are covered under your insurance policy, in which case you would only be responsible for your deductible. Other causes of damage, such as water damage from a flood or sewer back-up, are not covered.  In some cases, there are supplemental insurance policies that you can buy to help extend coverage to include specific circumstances.  For example, if you live in an area that is prone to flooding, it would be highly encouraged to purchase flood insurance to supplement your existing homeowner’s policy.

Hire a Professional

Once you have sorted out the financial aspect of the repair, it is important to select the right contractor to fix the damage.  US News suggests taking recommendations from friends or family, and interviewing at least 3 contractors to discuss their experience and proposed bids.  While you may feel a panicky need to get the job done as quickly as possible, it is important to take the time to get the right contractor for the job.  Unfortunately, in the contractor industry, there may be individuals who are trying to scam you and take your money.  There is a desired balance between spending a reasonable amount while still getting quality work done.  You can feel confident in the decision you’ve made with careful research and confirmed references.

 

Major home repairs are an inevitable reality of home-ownership, whether the damage is from mother nature or just old age.  Taking steps to prepare for major damage will save you time and stress when that day comes. Start your home repair fund as soon as possible, and review the coverage on your home’s insurance policy.  When the day comes that you need to fix your home, choose your contractor wisely. Following these simple steps will ensure that the damage will be repaired effectively and affordably, keeping your home sturdy for many more years to come.

 

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