Being a homeowner isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. Sometimes, things go wrong, and you’re left on the hook for big repairs and even bigger bills. From outdated appliances breaking down to major damage caused by storms, misfortune comes in many different guises.
Unfortunately, it usually arrives without any warning. Will you be ready? Here’s how you can make sure you’re prepared for anything at a moment’s notice.
Know Your Region’s Issues
Every homeowner can expect to sink in time and money on the upkeep of their property. On top of these common issues, you may also have to consider how you’ll respond to natural disasters. These emergencies will be specific to your region.
After all, someone in Texas might one day contend with wildfires, hurricanes, and tornadoes. But someone living in Massachusetts may have an entirely different set of natural disasters to consider, such as blizzards and coastal storms.
Knowing which of these disasters you’re more likely to face will help you prepare your home.
Compare Insurance Policies
Having comprehensive homeowner’s insurance protects your home against damage, destruction, and theft. It may also cover personal liability in case someone hurts themselves on your property.
What your insurance covers depends on your policy, and your rates depend on the risk you’ll make a claim. Insurance companies determine this risk by looking at your past claim history and home’s condition.
Even your location may play a role in setting your premiums. Texas, for example, is in the top 5 list of states with the highest annual homeowners insurance premiums.
Policies and their cost vary from company to company, so make sure you shop around before signing up. A thorough comparison will help you find the greatest coverage for the smallest monthly premium.
Save for Emergencies
As a homeowner, an emergency repair on an appliance or your home is never a matter of if, but when. With an emergency fund, you are prepared for the unexpected and won’t necessitate depending on a credit card with its high interest rate to pay for the emergency.
Everything is easier when you have a solid stash of savings—even disasters. You can tap into your emergency fund without worrying about how you’ll afford a plumber or pay for materials to make DIY repairs.
How much should you save for something you can’t predict? While emergencies are harder to budget for than your mortgage, there is a way to be prepared. A rule of thumb is to squirrel away 10 percent of your mortgage payment in savings every month.
Timing is a key factor of having the money you need, as you’ll grow your savings if you manage to avoid a disaster.
But if one comes before you can save enough, you might turn to an online installment loan. There are online loans designed specifically to help with unexpected household repairs. Some online installment loans in Texas are even available if you have bad credit.
Keep up Routine Maintenance
One of the best ways to avoid a costly household repair or breakdown is consistent, quality maintenance. Think of this maintenance as conservation. By checking in with your HVAC system or plumbing, you’ll catch any small problems before they can escalate and cause bigger issues down the line.
If you aren’t sure what chores belong on your routine maintenance to-do list, take a look at this resource for ideas.
You can’t always predict exactly when household repairs, appliance breakdowns, or natural disasters will happen, but you have a pretty good idea you’ll face them one day. Keep these tips in mind to make sure you’re ready for it, whenever that day comes.