If you are a first-time property owner, or just getting your finances in order, you’ll want to make sure you have some money set aside to look after your home. Having your own home is an exciting and proud moment. It becomes an extension of you, and as such, you want to look after it to the best of your ability.
It can be difficult to calculate the cost of owning a home. We don’t mean the mortgage payments, or any decorating that you have planned. Once you are responsible for a property, you’ll need a budget for repairs and maintenance. While things are going well, the cost of looking after your home can be difficult to keep in mind.
Sometimes it takes an expensive issue, to make you change your approach, or it could be a story from a friend or neighbor that makes you realize that you couldn’t afford to deal with emergency repairs. The idea is to put a little away over time to take away the stress of home maintenance.
The Unseen and Unknown
There are two main reasons for a home maintenance budget. The cause for emergency repairs is generally something that happens out of the blue. This could be a storm that makes a tree fall into your yard or an extreme cold snap that freezes your pipes. The other cause is wear and tear or damage to parts of your house that are hard to access, or you can’t see.
Emergency repairs can be costly, so if you have some funds set aside, you can dip into them on the odd occasion when these things happen. The point is that they don’t happen on a regular basis, but one occurrence can set back your monthly budget if you don’t have a repair fund set up somewhere else.
One particular area of your house that is out of sight is your roof. Apart from an exterior visual inspection from the ground, it can be difficult to know whether things are in working order until you have a problem. The roof experts at http://www.dominionroofing.com/scarborough/ recommend having an experienced contractor “get up there to determine the exact cause of the roofing issue” so that “you can make an informed decision.”
A Home Maintenance Plan
Although emergency repairs do crop up, the rest of your home can be kept in good working order by creating and sticking to an annual home maintenance plan. Just like putting away a bit of money each month, spreading your home maintenance tasks throughout the year can make the job of looking after your home easier.One of the easiest ways to separate the tasks is to plan to do a few things each month but to separate the tasks based on the season. This way, you can spread out the work, but also make sure things are done at the right time.
For example, spring is a great time to perform the exterior visual inspection of your property. The weather is a bit warmer for you to be outside, and any damage from winter will need to be addressed as soon as possible.
Once you have your plan in place, you might want to consider any resources that you will need to carry out the tasks. This could come out of your budget, or you could save up for a separate upfront cost to get you started.
If you are a first-time homeowner, then you might not have acquired all of the things you need. We’re thinking of ladders, perhaps a pressure washer, as well as buckets, sponges, and a plunger.
Setting a Budget
Now that you have considered emergency repairs and your maintenance plan, you’re ready to consider the budget. This isn’t an exact science, but the aim is to have a cushion that will help you out when you need it. Having an idea of what the tasks in your plan cost is a good starting point.
There are some general rules that people follow to help them estimate. Some put away an annual amount that is equal to 1% of their home’s value. Another approach is to consider your outgoings for your house and put away 10% of the monthly amount. The good news is, a hundred dollars or two hundred per month soon adds up and can give you a healthy budget for looking after your home.
Ideally, you would put the amount in the same place each month, somewhere that the savings can add up without you using them for something else, but also not somewhere that makes it difficult to withdraw the funds in an emergency.
The Bottom Line
Looking after your home and putting away money over time can seem like wasted effort or expense, but when the place you call home, isn’t comfortable and safe anymore, then the inconvenience and cost can be so much worse. Keeping a manageable plan and budget takes the stress and worry out of homeownership.
Article Submitted By Community Writer