Are you in the market for a new home? Buying a new house is exciting, but you also need to make sure you’re prepared for the maintenance and repairs that will eventually come up. When an issue comes up around your home, cost can be a major source of stress. That’s why it’s smart for homeowners to know what a good home repair fund should look like.
It’s not fun to think about, but when a burst pipe or broken window happens unexpectedly, you can save yourself a lot of stress and hassle if you already have a plan in place. To come up with your rainy-day home repair plan, be sure to ask yourself these important questions.
"How much should I save for home repairs and maintenance?"
Common home repairs can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand, so aim to put at least 10 percent of your monthly housing payment into a dedicated repair fund.
This will take the pressure off you if major or minor issues come up. Even if you get lucky and don't need any emergency repairs, you can use your savings to cover the costs of future home improvement projects that could add value to your home, such as new lighting or an updated bathroom.
"Where can I find dependable, licensed contractors?"
Before you move into a new home or area, you should think about researching local contractors who can handle different home repairs.
Finding a reliable contractor involves some homework, however, so don’t wait until a repair is urgent to begin looking. For example, you need to ask certain questions to ensure the local roofing contractors you hire are able to tackle your repair or replacement without worrying about future problems.
Gathering information ahead of time can prevent potential contractor problems that can arise when you are in a hurry to get a repair taken care of quickly. You may end up with a contractor who takes advantage of your stress and anxiety with higher pricing or low-quality work.
"Should I factor repairs and maintenance into my home purchase?"
This is a smart question for any new homeowner to ask, but one that many buyers often forget. When you are shopping for a new home, you should definitely look for something that will make you happy. Just be careful about letting emotions cloud your judgment. That charming bungalow may seem like a good option, but the costs of renovation can quickly eat up your entire budget.
Even a minor remodel can run upward of $25,000, but any major work can leave you spending $50,000 or more. So, when you look at potential properties, pay attention and be on the lookout for signs of a problem. If you spot stains on the ceiling or damage to the roof, you could end up with a home that is more trouble than it’s worth.
"Will homeowners insurance help with maintenance and repairs?"
As you read through this article, you may be thinking that your homeowners insurance is enough to cover the cost of potential problems. However, many of the most common emergency home repairs are not covered by most policies. Plus, the source of the issue often determines the amount of coverage you can expect.
For example, if your pipes burst due to freezing, any water damage may not be covered if your home is not properly insulated. If you live in an area prone to natural disasters, you may also need additional coverage or you may need to add more funds to your home repair fund. Standard plans typically exclude damage from events like earthquakes and landslides, so make sure your home has adequate coverage.
The Bottom Line
Home repairs and maintenance are rarely a joy, but dealing with an emergency repair can feel like a disaster, especially if you are not prepared to pay for those repairs and get them taken care of quickly.
So, before you buy a new home, make sure you have enough savings and a good plan to ensure those rainy-day repairs don’t throw your routine completely off track. Once you're ready, start searching for it right here.