Once you buy a home, you become responsible for its maintenance. Unlike in a rental property, you need to handle everything. Frugal living can get difficult, but there are ways to save money on home maintenance costs. Whether you've bought a fixer-upper or are among the one in five people who have a chance of buying a house in a homeowner's association, you can find opportunities to save money on home maintenance costs. Here are four things to consider.
You can save a lot of money by doing home maintenance tasks yourself. If you just buy the supplies, the labor will be free. You'll also get more and more confident with these things, allowing you to build your experience to a point that you can do a lot of work yourself. While this can be a great part of frugal living, you need to be careful about what you decide to do yourself. Some things, like plumbing and electricity, need to be handled by professionals for safety reasons. Other times, you just might not have the skill required to do something correctly. Sometimes it will be more frugal to hire a contractor to do the work for you.
Maintain Your Home
Regular maintenance will help you to avoid a lot of costly repairs, as well as help you put off replacing things until the end of their expected lifespan. Make sure you inspect everything in your home according to their standards. Typically, you should inspect your roof once a year. This will help you find problems early on, leading to cheaper repairs. If you don't do regular maintenance, you'll be caught off guard by problems, leading to bigger bills.
Prioritize Certain Projects
Most likely, you know which things need to be done and which would be nice to do. Things like painting or replacing cabinets aren't essentials. Meanwhile, roof damage can have serious consequences if it is ignored. When you're deciding how to maintain your home, make sure you priotize the projects that need to be done, regardless of their cost. This might mean paying a large amount of money to replace your roof now, then saving up for a paint job later. While spending a lot of money might seem like it goes against frugal living, it actually helps you to save money. Almost 85% of Americans have homeowners insurance, which requires you to keep your home maintained. Ignoring damage can lead to higher insurance rates, as well as bigger repair bills.
Limit Credit Card Use
It can be very tempting to use a credit card to get all of your home maintenance and repairs done at once. However, this approach can lead to a much higher bill than you would have if you paid for repairs out of pocket. If you can't pay the credit card balance off by the end of the month, you'll have to pay interest on top of the amount you borrowed. This can lead to financial problems, especially if you were trying to save money in the first place. Credit cards can be a part of frugal living, but they have to be used carefully. Consider each home maintenance need individually, then consider whether it is worth putting on a credit card.
Home maintenance costs are unavoidable. Your home is an investment and if you want to keep it both valuable and safe to live in, you have to take care of it. However, it is possible to save money on them. Consider these tips and apply them as you make your maintenance plans. Each part of your house will have different needs, but there are ways to save money throughout the process if you are careful and plan ahead.