Sure, owning your own home is typically a great experience, rewarding and etc. However, when stuff breaks, usually unexpectedly, we often wish we didn't own that home, right? You are NOT alone!
So, whether it is the HVAC or a door hinge that needs to be replaced, the point is, it will take your time and money to fix and repair or replace it. Keep in mind though, that often times keeping up with the regular maintenance of a home can help bring some of those bigger project issues to the surface. And, it just may save you money and time in the long run.
So, how do we beat the unexpected major homeowner costs that most of us Texans have to face, along with the rest of the world? Well, by regular maintenance that is. Let's look at some ways that homeowners can try to nip major unexpected cost surges in the bud.
Mistakes homeowners make with respect to homes & maintenance, or lack thereof:
Keep in mind, this isn't just for new homeowners but ones that have owned their homes for years. So, ya'll, pay attention, we are about to get real!
Letting the small stuff go
People, you do realize that small problems turn into big problems when not faced promptly. You know that little drippy faucet, that small crack in the ceiling, that slight toilet running issue, that sunlight that shines under that front door .. yep, those are some of those little issues... that lead to bigger issues or even added costs. The running faucet or toilet is water running down your drain. You are paying for that now, so why not spend a few bucks to fix that leak and save on your water bill. That sunlight that comes through your exterior doors... that is your AC or heat (who are we kidding, it's Texas, it is likely the AC) escaping under the exterior door. Money, your money. Fix or replace that door and stop paying to try to cool the outside. It's Texas, it just won't happen! I'm sure we have all tried... lol not intentionally, of course.
Skipping regular maintenance
We have a few blogs with tips on regular maintenance you can do for your home, linked here in this blog, but folks, the importance of keeping up with your regular maintenance is paramount. We put gas in our cars weekly (or more for some), then regular oil changes to keep our cars running, why is it that many don't consider keeping up with the wear and tear of our homes? Walk around your exterior, look for broken shingles, trees that are close to leaning/falling on the house, look for cracks in sidewalk as well as siding, window seals, check out your crawlspace or attic, are there spots on your ceiling? (This is usually an indication of a leak behind the walls). Nothing like getting to Hurricane season and thinking... ohh, I should have cut that tree back before it lands on our roof!
Quick reminder - fire alarm and smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors are great to check at least once a year too.. can't hurt to test them out to be sure they are protecting you and your family!
Forgetting about your major appliances
Here in Texas, we always want to be sure our AC works, but when was the last time you had a mechanic out to clean out the ducts, ensure the units are cleaned and operating properly? And no, when it breaks would not be the time to start. You don't want to be without AC to plan before the season starts to be sure your units last through the season!
While you are at it, check out your washer, dryer (when was the last time you cleaned out the lint trap - hello fire hazard), refrigerator, heater, dishwasher, etc. These we all need to work, all the time, so why is it that we don't take the time to make sure they are cleaned and serviced regularly? There are plenty of smaller moving parts, cleaning that can be done and etc, so be sure to check out those at least annually.
Do you change your AC vents regularly, dryer lint trap, clean under/over and behind the fridge, dishwasher food filter? Add these to your list of annual maintenance, but some of those should be check a little more often - especially your air vents.
Not considering a home warranty
This one is something that you may not think you need and it will be dependent upon the age of your home and all of the appliances and structures. For example, while you may think a brand new home may not need a home warranty, think again. Consider how many cars have warranties for the first few years... it's just in case something happens. What about an older home? Doesn't mean you must have one, but should also base this decision on your comfort level as well. Would you rather pay an annual cost for the home warranty and then a smaller service charge or would you rather not pay for an annual fee and pay for any issues at cost. This is a tough one but a personal choice so be sure to weigh all costs.
Failing to get proper insurance
First, we all know you have to have homeowners, but what if you rent? Sure, you are not required to have renters insurance but why wouldn't you? It seems that you are relying really heavily of the responsibility of so many other renters to take care of their homes by not having fire risks or the like. The cost is ever so small in comparison to losting everything in your home and replacing it, it should be considered.
Hopefully you know that flood insurance is NOT part of your homeowners insurance. Here in South Texas, hurricane season is from June - November ish and well, anything can happen.. and it has. So, just like with renters insurance, weigh the cost of the annual flood insurance premium against having to replace EVERYTHING in your home as well as the structure itself - including carpet, walls, tile, kitchen and bathroom cabinets AND appliances. Folks, that's a lot of money.
At the end of the day, you have options for your insurance and your home. We here at Harbour Insurance Services can walk you through an annual review of your insurance and ensure you are properly covered for your personal or business situation and needs. Don't put it aside until you need it, or it could be too late. Contact Harbour Insurance Services at (281) 520-4090 and let's get to the bottom of your insurance needs.