When thinking about buying a home, your head is full of closet space and kitchen remodels and mortgage rates. The repairs you’ll need to do on the house as you live in it for years to come aren’t exactly at the forefront of your mind. But they should be. A home repair budget is part of owning a home in Northbrook, Illinois. Even the most responsible homeowners face unexpected home repairs, and having a budget is the best way to face the possible issues that come up.
All Homes Need Repairs
Whether your home is five years old or was built in the 1800s, it is going to need repairs. The age of your house doesn’t necessarily indicate that it’s in good condition; some homeowners take good care of older houses, and those homes need fewer repairs when you buy them. Other homeowners let nice, new houses get run-down, which means you’ll be repairing a lot.
Regardless, never assume that your house will be perfect, no matter what your home inspection says or how responsible the former owners seem. Home repairs are simply part of owning a house, so you should always remember that when you create a budget for purchasing a new home.
Putting It off Makes Things Worse
So you didn’t set aside a home repair budget, and now you have a big plumbing problem. You might be able to fix it temporarily by using a plunger or dumping drain cleaner into your pipes, but those stopgap measures only work for so long. The problem will come back, and it’ll be worse than before because you put off fixing it.
When you don’t start saving for home repairs until you need the repairs done, you end up spending more. The issue gets bigger as you save, which means it becomes more costly to fix. Some issues, like roof leaks, are relatively inexpensive when they first happen but can quickly wreak havoc on your roof insulation and drywall if left unfixed for too long.
Don’t Forget Maintenance Costs
A home repair budget also covers maintenance costs. Some years you won’t have any large home repairs, but you’ll still have maintenance to factor in. If you save enough for maintenance while you’re budgeting for home repairs, that’s a smart move. Maintenance is a major way to keep home repair costs down.
Prolonging your HVAC system’s life starts with maintenance. HVAC parts aren’t exactly cheap, but when we catch problems early, the repairs are far less costly than when we have to do a big fix. Plus, routine maintenance means your HVAC system will last longer, giving you a few extra years before you have to replace the old system.
Figure Out a Budget and Stick to It
How do you budget for home repairs? Different sources offer different advice, but most people say you should save between 1 and 4 percent of your home’s value every year. Here’s the key: if you don’t use all (or any) of this year’s budget, don’t put it back in your savings account. This is a cumulative budget because there will come a time when you need $10,000 for a huge repair, like roof replacement.
Remember, this advice is just that: advice. Figuring out exactly how much you’ll need to save for home repairs is going to take time. If you find yourself always cleaning out your home repair account, reassess how much you’re saving and consider saving more. Plus, when you sell your house, if you haven’t used your home repair budget, it can become the start of your next home’s repair budget!
A home repair budget isn’t the most fun financial work to do, but it is necessary. When it’s time for HVAC maintenance, repairs, or replacement, call Roberts Heating and Air. Consider a maintenance plan so you stay on top of HVAC maintenance throughout your homeownership. Trust us, maintenance is the best way to keep your HVAC system running smoothly and to avoid an unexpected AC or heating problem. Book a technician by reaching us at 847-272-5836.
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