However, keeping up a savings account balance to cover maintenance emergencies is critical to your financial future.
Save by the Seasons
A simple way to save is to stash cash when utilities and other fees are cheap. The stormy spring season may not take a lot of air conditioning, but it’s a great time to save cash while you study the house.
Carefully review the conditions around your home when the rain is falling.
- Are your gutters draining?
- Is water pooling against your foundation?
- Does water drain toward the storm drain at the street?
If your gutters aren’t draining, your house is carrying a lot of weight it doesn’t need. If water is pooling against your house, your foundation may be at risk.
If water isn’t moving to the storm drain, your yard may be collecting neighborhood toxins. Preventative maintenance is always cheaper than emergency repairs.
Respect Mother Nature
Understanding how environmental threats can damage your home and understanding the climate and weather of where you live will help you prepare for home maintenance emergencies.
Rain, wind, hail, snow, sun damage, and moss can threaten your home. Stay vigilant.
High summer is an unfortunate time to find out that your roof isn’t ready for the temperature extreme. If you notice that shingles are peeling or starting to curl, a conversation with a roofing expert is in order.
According to Cenvar, a Charlottesville roofing company, the high humidity of a Charlottesville summer can be very hard on your whole house and your roof in particular.
It’s not just the cold storms you need to consider when choosing your roofing materials. Everything suffers in the heat.
Consider the Age of Your Home
Buying an older home can be a great way to enjoy the old-world charm. However, older homes also often come with
- Worn window seals
- Older furnace
- Worn-out AC unit
When getting your HVAC checked out each fall and spring, talk to your HVAC professional about timing your updates. Get an estimate for a full replacement of the furnace and AC so you have a ballpark dollar amount to aim for.
If you plan to improve the home, make space in that budget for an HVAC update. For example, you may choose to change the footprint of the house. Once you expand your home, your HVAC may need to be replaced.
Keeping an old system running instead of updating has its hazards. An old furnace that fails during a cold snap can lead to busted plumbing, flooding, and permanent damage to your home. If you can’t depend on your HVAC, it’s time to update.
By the Numbers
Aim to save at least 1% of the purchase price for yearly maintenance. Of course, emergency failures may lead to bigger bills. Collect estimates on upgrades that you’re aware of, including
- replacement windows
- a new roof or siding
- insulation upgrades
- a new HVAC system
Once you have these estimates, keep an eye out for programs that you can use to supplement the expenses. For example, if you need to boost your insulation levels to protect your roof from ice damage, you may be able to get a rebate from your energy company or tax credit at the federal or state level.
Double Up on the Savings
In addition to building up savings for your emergency maintenance needs, carefully consider credit card use. If you have a cashback card or an account with a nationwide bank, you may be able to get a credit card that will offer a sizable cashback plan with your first purchase.
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Buying a new HVAC unit or roof will not be cheap, but if you can put it on the card, get the cashback offer and then pay the bill, you can enjoy both new features for your house and a bit of money in your pocket.
Homeownership can be a joyful time. Running out of money for your new home can be a nightmare.
Consider holding off on cosmetic improvements while you build up savings to protect your budget against home maintenance shocks. Collect estimates and study the condition of your home when the weather is bad to help you plan.
Image Credit: budgeting tips for home maintenance by envato.com
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