Trying to plan ahead and budget for expenses is important when you’re a homeowner in Spring Lake, North Carolina. After spending thousands on a down payment and closing costs, you may soon find that the costs of homeownership don’t stop there. You’ll have a few continuous bills, such as utilities, the mortgage payment and any required homeowner’s association dues. But unexpected expenses will eventually pop up, putting a strain on your family’s finances. By creating a home repair budget, you can avoid stress and better prepare for the future.
Assess the Necessities
The first step in creating a budget for home repairs is figuring out what items are necessities and what can wait for repair. For example, you can’t really live without air conditioning, especially during the hot and humid summer months in North Carolina. The HVAC system is certainly a necessity since it provides comfort as well as humidity control within your home.
On the other hand, a problem with your water softener can wait for repair since you can survive with harder water. Although it may cause an inconvenience, living without a water softener is certainly doable, so it’s not a necessity in most cases.
Go through your home and look at the main systems and appliances. Make a list of which ones would absolutely need repairing if a problem arose versus those that could wait.
Calculate the Potential Cost
After you have a list of necessities, start calculating the costs of repairs. If you had to invest in a new HVAC system, you would probably need several thousand dollars to take care of this replacement service. A new washer or dryer would cost closer to $500; although, the latest models can cost $1000 or more. You might be able to buy used units to save a bit if your budget is tighter.
You can also look at the age of your appliances and systems. This will impact the need for repairs or replacement. Older appliances or outdated HVAC systems will likely require replacement, which is usually more expensive than a repair. If you have newer stuff in your home, you can probably plan for repairs instead of trying to build enough savings to cover the costs of new units.
Build a Cash Reserve
Now that you know how much you’ll need if all the necessary appliances and systems in your home went out at the same time, you can start building your reserve. Set aside as much as you can each month, and put it in a separate account. This action helps make it clearer to your family that the funds are set aside for home repairs and maintenance and nothing else. By putting it in a different account, you’re less likely to spend it by mistake or give in and blow the money you’ve saved on a vacation.
While you probably won’t save the amount you’ve calculated for home repairs overnight, you can slowly and steadily grow this account to prepare for when the need does arise. It’s pretty unlikely that everything will break at the same time. You should be covered to pay for a repair or replacement as you continue to increase the amount in that account.
Take Care of Your Home
In addition to saving and preparing for home repairs, you can also take steps to prevent issues from happening in the first place. Keep up with routine maintenance for your HVAC system, plumbing and other vital systems within the home.
An HVAC system maintenance service can reduce energy waste while prolonging its lifespan, so it’s worth the minimal cost. Plumbing maintenance might include drain cleaning to prevent clogs. By staying current with the manufacturer’s recommendations for maintenance, you may be able to avoid major problems with your systems.
At Bass Air Conditioning, we offer HVAC maintenance, repairs, installation and other services. Contact us at (910) 672-8885 today if you need to schedule any type of service with our experienced service technicians.
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