There are a lot of great things about being a homeowner, but having to finance home repairs isn’t one of them. Repair costs often pop up unexpectedly and at inopportune times, such as a broken furnace in the dead of winter or an extensive roof repair right after you’ve come back from vacation. And they’re rarely cheap. In 2018, 88% of American homeowners had to take care of at least one major repair, with an average annual spend of almost $5,000.
A home is a big investment, and like many other big investments, you need to take steps to maintain and improve it if you want to make a return. And depending on the age and condition of your home, as well as the elements that it faces where you live, a large part of maintaining your investment is addressing home repairs. So how do you finance home repairs without completely depleting your savings? Alternately, how do you finance home repairs if you don’t have a lot of savings? Fortunately, there are options to help with both cases.
One drawback to owning a home, things will eventually break or need repair. Plumbing issues, a leaky roof, worn-out appliances, and structural damage are just a few of homeownership realities. As homes age, things will need to be replaced or repaired.
There will also be events outside of your control that will have repair costs associated with them. Many of these repairs can cost a lot of money you will need to shell out to fix.
Luckily, there are options to help with paying for these repairs. Here are tips on how to pay and help in paying for costly home repairs.
Looking for the best home repairs services? Look no further! Hitch Property Constructions has you covered.
To Finance Major Home Repairs
It makes sense to prepare for the inevitable by saving money to cover major home repairs costs. However, other emergencies often interject themselves in our best-intended plans and drain savings. To help you be prepared for a major home repair, we’ve gathered four popular options for covering unexpected home maintenance costs (whether you’re ready for them or not).
Always make a careful check of your homeowner’s insurance or home warranty policy whenever a substantial repair becomes necessary. Something you thought wouldn’t be approved, such as porch or sundeck repair, might be at least partially covered.
Every major component in your home has an expected lifetime. For example, a dishwasher or water heater will last about ten years, while you can expect an HVAC unit to hang in there for around two decades. You can plan your savings around these “target dates” or go with the tried-and-true formula of saving 1% to 3% of the value of your home. Bear in mind, the average cost of an emergency home repair is around $10,390.
One way to build an emergency repair fund is to set up an automatic withdrawal from your checking account into an interest-bearing savings account. While this automation is convenient, be careful to set an amount your budget can handle each month.
If there’s no relief to be had from an insurance policy or warranty, you may need to tap into the equity in your home by using a cash-out refinance or a home equity line of credit (HELOC). A HELOC acts as a secondary mortgage, which enables you to draw money over time. A cash-out refinance a replacement of your existing mortgage with a new one at a better rate. Either option can provide the funds you need for major home repairs, and your trusted mortgage broker or financial planner can help you choose the option best for you.
A Personal Loan
When you have a big leak and need money fast, a personal loan can be the fast option to finance your home repairs. Getting a personal loan is simple; you can apply in your pyjamas if you want to.
If your credit is in good shape, you can expect to be approved quickly and have the funds sent directly into your bank account. When water is dripping down your walls, it’s nice not to worry about paperwork and mortgages. Since personal loans are unsecured, there’s generally no requirement to put up collateral such as your car or home. Just make sure to read the fine print before you sign.
Budgeting for Home Repairs
Even before you start looking into ways to finance home repairs, you should be actively accounting for the possibility of repairs in your budget. You may choose to do this in a few ways, but many homeowners abide by either the 1% rule or the square footage rule. Here’s how they work.
The 1% rule dictates that you should set aside 1% of your home’s purchase price each year for potential repair costs. So if you bought your home for $250,000, that’s $2,500 allotted in your budget year after year for maintenance and repairs. The logic behind the 1% rule isn’t so much that your repairs will cost you that much every year, but that it’s a good way to set a guideline and encourage yourself to save.
Variations on this rule include saving 2-3% instead of 1% or putting aside 10% of what you spend on your property taxes, mortgage payment, and insurance payment each month for repairs. With the latter rule, if you’re spending $2,000 a month on those combined expenses, you’ll want to put an additional $200 a month into savings for repairs.
The square footage rule is a recommendation that you budget $1 per square foot of your home for repairs. A 2,200 square foot home means $2,200 in savings for repairs a year, for example, and a 3,000 square foot home means $3,000 a year. Again, this doesn’t mean that there’s a direct correlation between the square footage of your home and what you’ll spend in repair costs each year—it’s just a good way to ensure you’re saving a decent chunk of change toward these types of expenses.
How to Finance Home Repairs
Even with a well-executed savings plan, it’s not uncommon to need extra funds to finance home repairs. Suppose you save $2,000 a year, for example. In that case, you’ll see it go quickly if you need a roof repair (averages $351 to $1,352, depending on whether the repair is minor or major) followed by a new water heater (averages $767 to $1,447 with the new unit and labour). And there’s always the possibility of needing a notoriously expensive repair, like a foundation repair (average cost of $4,511 but can range as high as $15,000) or needing to restore and repair after incurring water damage (average cost of $2,701).
As you might expect, many homeowners will, at some point, find themselves in need of having to finance home repairs. And fortunately, there are a few good options for how to do it. Here are five of them.
What to do about expensive repairs?
Before you start shelling out cash to repair your home, make sure you weigh out the improvements’ cost and decide if they are worth your time and money. See how many of the repairs you can make yourself, how many repairs you will need the help of a hired professional for, and if you can afford the time needed to make each repair properly.
Suppose you decide to make repairs on your home before selling it. In that case, a few basic things to expect are repairing any broken windows, replacing dirty or worn out carpets, painting walls, fixing any holes or cracks in walls or ceiling, ensuring the HVAC is working properly, and repairing any damage to the home’s roof. These repairs can add up to thousands or tens of thousands before you know it.
As a homeowner, what should you do in this situation if you don’t want to roll up your sleeves, pull out your wallet, and try to tackle the repairs yourself?
You can get rid of the annoyances that come with owning a property in need of maintenance and let us help you out.
Why deal with the countless headaches that come along with making major home repairs when you can let us deal with it? If the cost and time needed to repair your property are too much for you, let us take it off your hands so you can move on with your life.
Check out our Melbourne home repairs to help you to build your dream house.
The Most Expensive Home Repairs And How To Avoid Them
If there’s one thing that keeps homeowners up at night, it’s the fear of their home—both their largest investment and their refuge—turning into a proverbial money-pit.
From first-time homebuyers who just got the keys to homeowners who have been in their house for decades, this fear never truly goes away.
While not all home repairs or problems can be prevented, the good news is that some of the most common problems, including roof, HVAC, and sewer line issues, can often be avoided with preventative maintenance and fast action. Here’s what you need to know.
Fixing a leaking roof
A leaking roof is a serious, multifaceted problem for your home. Fixing this issue not only involves repairing or replacing your home’s roof, but may also include addressing structural issues or mould growth caused by water damage.
The cumulative cost of these repairs can run you in the tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the scope of the problem and the length of time that passes before repairs are made.
As with many aspects of your home, the key to avoiding all this headache and expense is preventative maintenance, early detection, and action. We recommend that homeowners have their roof inspected by a professional at least once every year—many roofers offer free residential “checkups,” so be sure to call around to see what your options are.
If there is a problem, deal with it right away: procrastination can only make things worse in the long run. The same thing goes for any leak you notice in your home.
Repairing a sewer line
Your home’s sewer line runs from your home to the street, typically travelling underneath your yard. As the year’s pass, these lines can encounter several issues. First, they may begin to crack and leak. This is often caused by either shifting earth or intruding tree roots wrapping around it.
A sewer line leak will release sewage into your front yard. Sewer lines are also prone to clogging, especially in homes where grease, oil, and non-organic garbage is not disposed of properly. These kinds of waste should never be put down the kitchen sink, as they can collect deep in the line and start forming a nasty clog.
To prevent clogs, be cautious and informed about what you put down the sink. Dispose grease and oils in separate containers, and then throw them away in the trash once cooled.
Never put baby wipes—even “flushable” ones—down the toilet. Also, watch out for potential clog-causing foods, such as uncooked rice, pasta, or leftover eggshells.
In your yard, find where your line runs. Form a ten-foot perimeter around the line and remove any trees, bushes, or plants in that “no man’s land.” This will help protect the pipe from thirsty tree roots.
If you smell sewage in your front yard or see a patch of wet earth, that might be a sign that you have a leak. Call a plumber right away and have them out to inspect the line.
Replacing a cooling or heating system
It’s hard to imagine life without a working air conditioner or furnace on the hottest of summer days and the coldest of winter nights. However, when your aging system needs to be replaced, that’s the exact scenario you may be facing.
Your HVAC systems represent a major investment in your home. Depending on the unit’s size or type, it could cost you thousands to replace a cooling or heating system.
Nothing lasts forever, but you can prolong the lifespan of your HVAC systems with annual professional maintenance. Just like your car, your air conditioner, heat pump, or furnace requires regular tune-ups to keep it operating effectively and efficiently.
Of course, this inspection also represents an experienced technician’s opportunity to identify any potential problems early. The result will be reduced wear-and-tear on your HVAC systems, which—over the long haul—typically translates to fewer repairs and an extended system lifespan.
Avoid the stress and costs of major home repairs.
All homes require some degree of upkeep and maintenance, and even the handiest of homeowners will be caught off-guard by a few unexpected repairs now and then. However, by following the tips outlined above, you can significantly reduce your risk of encountering an incredibly expensive home repair that would otherwise stretch your finances to the breaking point.
It just goes to show that preventative maintenance in and around your home can go a long way.
Keep your renovations within a budget.
Because the cost of most home improvement plans can increase quickly, it’s important to plan your budget before you go shopping. Here are some ways to help you budget:
You can begin by researching the cost of the materials you need for your projects. If you’re not the DIY type of person, you also need to research how much it will take to hire a contractor.
Does it add value to your house?
A good way to think about your home renovation cost is to think about how much it could add to your home’s value. Simple singular additions like towel rails or sinks may not make as much difference. On the other hand, renovating the kitchen can increase the property of your value.
Include a buffer with your budget
Usually, home renovations cost more than you think. Including a buffer into your budget will provide you with money if you face unexpected expenses. When creating your budget, it’s good to do your research on how much everything will cost.
Seek the right builders and craftsmen
Getting an accurate quote can help you keep an eye on renovation costs. You can reach out to friends and family or do research online to find a reputable contractor. You can also give your contractor your budget upfront to see if you can afford them and the work that they’ll do.
We have an extensive range of home repairs Melbourne services at Hitch Property Constructions.
What’s the best way to pay for emergency home repairs?
As you can see, there are lots of options to pay for emergency home repairs, including home equity loans or lines of credit, credit cards, Payday Alternative Loans, and personal loans. You need to consider which type of financing makes the most sense given credit available to you and the amount you need to borrow for your repairs.
Home repairs pretty much always need to get done, even if you don’t have funds on hand. Look through the available options above and find a lending option that makes the most sense for your long term financial goals and your existing financial situation, and be sure to account for repair costs in your annual budget as well.