Do You Have the Cash to Cover Common Home Repairs?

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If you’re in the process of buying your first home, you probably already know that you have to save for a down payment, put money aside for furniture, and fund an escrow account. However, there are many other expenses that you may not have considered. One of these is the cost of home repair and maintenance. Popular money blog Generation X Finance explains that “unexpected expenses that can really put a hurt on your budget if they aren’t accounted for.”

 

Before we get into specifics, let’s talk about ways you can protect yourself from overspending. First, maintain your home. This means having your major systems serviced annually, cleaning, painting, and repairing issues on the exterior as they arise, and treating your home and appliances with respect. You also have to be on the lookout for less-than-honest contractors who might dupe you into paying for repairs you don’t really need or, worse, cause damage to your property that they can conveniently fix for the “low price” of X extra dollars. Before bringing any repair professional into your home, do your research. Look online for reviews, and interview at least three service providers for each new home repair or improvement project.

 

How Much Do I Need?

 

No universal dollar amount is guaranteed to cover all of your unexpected home repairs. However, it is generally accepted that you should put aside approximately 2 to 4 percent of your home’s value specifically for this purpose. For example, if your home is valued at $350,000, plan to have at least $7,000 stashed away. And remember, your homeowner’s insurance won’t cover issues related to general wear and tear or negligence.

 

Common Repairs

 

Perhaps one of the most expensive home repairs you’ll encounter is installing a new roof. If you have plain asphalt shingles, you may be able to get away with adding a second layer if the underlying structure is in good shape. Eventually, however, you’ll have to do a complete replacement, and that can cost $10,000 or more. If your roof has missing shingles, damaged flashing, or you can see visible evidence of flooding, such as discolored or water-stained walls, you may need a new roof sooner rather than later.

 

Your HVAC unit is another significant expense that can range from about $3,700 to $15,000 depending on the size of your home and type of system you need. Hyde’s Air Conditioning, a California-based HVAC company founded in 1972, explains that even a well-maintained air conditioner will only last approximately 15 years. If yours is more than 10 years old or doesn’t keep your home comfortable from season to season, it may be time for a replacement.

 

Your electrical panel is, fortunately, something you can expect to last for many decades. However, they are not without faults, and an upgrade may be necessary if the home has been added onto or if you notice signs of faulty wiring, such as discolored power outlets, flickering lights, or a burning smell. A new 200-amp electrical panel costs between $1,300 and $3,000.

 

The plumbing system is another moving part that may require periodic repairs. Leaky faucets, clogged toilets, and busted pipes can cost hundreds of dollars each incident. If you have to replace your hot water heater, you can expect a bill of up to $1,500 depending on the type and size of the unit you need. More extensive repairs, such as replacing your incoming water pipes or outgoing mainline, can cost as much as a small car.

 

Don’t let unexpected expenses turn your dream home into a nightmare. Plan ahead for major repairs, and take your time when choosing a contractor. Your situation may be urgent, but you’ll be in far worse shape if you make a rash decision now.

 

Image via Pixabay

 

6 Key Things Not to do When Selling Your Home

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If you are like most people, you’ve read article after article about what you should do when selling your home. Equally important to what you should do when selling your home is what you must avoid. There are six key things you want to avoid when selling your home.

 

Don’t Display Your Day to Day Life

 

Your home may have worked perfectly for you the way it is set up and decorated. You may automatically assume that the same template you’ve developed for your home works for anyone who may be interested in purchasing your residence. In fact, that is not the case.

 

When a prospective buyer enters your residence, he or she needs to be able to imagine the home as if he or she is living in it. If there is too much clutter, too much evidence of your own day to day live, that will become difficult, if not impossible, for a prospective buyer to accomplish.

 

Therefore you cannot leave your residence in state that overwhelms a person on how you have gone about living in the property. Thus, you need to eliminate a good deal of what you have displayed on tables and so forth. You need to put away the personal items that make your house a home for you, but don’t have the same pull with a prospective buyer.

 

Don’t Raise Red Flags

 

When it comes to selling your home, you must not leave red flags waving. If there are even small defects that are obvious in your home, deal with them before you open the doors to prospective buyers.

 

For example, if there are evident defects in the carpeting in a room, even if they are just due to normal wear and tear, you need to address those before the house goes on the market. Small defects can amount to red flags among many prospective buyers. They will worry that if obvious small defects exist, are there bigger problems with a property that are not obvious.

 

Don’t Be Negative

 

You must never be negative about anything at your property when you are visiting with a prospective buyer. Of course, you do need to disclose whatever is required by law, good or bad. But, that doesn’t mean that you need to make generalized negative comments about the residence in front of a possible buyer.

 

This includes even making statements like you decided to move because the house was too small or any type of comment like that. These types of statements and unnecessary and are likely to prove to be unhelpful.

 

Don’t Carpet the Bathroom

 

The bathroom and kitchen are two rooms in your residence that a purchaser really does buy in a decorated and complete condition. Thus, it is very important that the bathroom make the best possible presentation possible. The bathroom must not be in such a condition that a prospective buyer will believe he or she needs to immediately go to work on changing it if the house is purchased.

 

One key step in this regard is not to have a carpeted bathroom. The vast majority of people do not want carpet in the bathroom. They oftentimes equate a carpeted bathroom with dampness and odors.

 

Don’t Have Pets Around

 

Undoubtedly, your pets are part of your family. Understanding this reality, you nonetheless cannot have your pets around when a prospective buyer is going to touring the property.

 

Indeed, you need to take this admonition a step further. You can’t have anything that indicates the presence of a pet around when a possible buyer is going to be visiting the home.

 

Some staging experts contend that you should send your dog, cat, or other pets somewhere else while the house is on the market. This is an extreme position and is not a realistic approach to addressing the issue of pets in your home when the property goes on the market.

 

 

If you are like many people, you may have a room in your house that is more for storage than anything else, a proverbial junk room. Don’t leave that as wasted space when the house goes on the market.

 

Find another location for the junk you’ve let pile up in the spare room. Turn that space into something else. For example, redecorate it into a simple home office or guest bedroom. You’ll want a potential buyer to see how each room in the residence does have a productive use.

 

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Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Scaffold Store, the favorite and trusted scaffold supplier of the largest contractors.