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The Best Advice for Homeowners Regarding Rainy Day Repairs
If you’re a homeowner, it’s just part of life that sooner or later, you will come home to a problem. Mother Nature can damage your property, appliances might give out, accidents happen, and things can get broken. When something unexpected does occur, will you be prepared? Here’s what you need to know to ensure you’re ready when life happens.
Where to Turn for Assistance
Eventually, all homeowners are bound to have an emergency, and it’s important to know where to look for help, rather than trying to figure it out in the midst of an anxious situation. While some minor repairs and cleanup jobs you can tackle yourself, many repairs are outside the skills and abilities of average homeowners. When that happens, you will need to hire a contractor. It’s vital to do your research since there are fly-by-night repairmen and scam artists. Check the credentials and references of anyone you’re considering hiring, and visit some of their job sites to view the craftsmanship and professionalism of the company. You can do your research online, searching out and comparing professional contractors near you.
Insurance and Coverage
When insurance is involved, you will have a particular process to follow in order to receive reimbursement. Call your insurance company as soon as possible. You should only hire help or pay for replacements and fixes that are immediately necessary; otherwise, wait until an insurance representative has reviewed the damage. Note that some home damage is not typically covered by insurance. While it would be nice if insurance paid for repairs at any time your home or its contents needed help, there are many instances in which you must restore your property yourself. For instance, home damage due to electrical outages, mold, neglect, or sewage backing up, typically falls to the responsibility of the homeowner.
Paying for Repairs
Major home repairs tend to be very expensive, and if nothing else, there is a deductible when you have an insurance claim. In an age when DIY shows and articles are extremely common, homeowners are often tempted to make all sorts of repairs themselves. However, it’s important to avoid repairs and renovations that go beyond your level of skills and experience. As HowStuffWorks explains, certain home repairs are dangerous and should be performed by a professional, such as electrical jobs, plumbing repairs, fixing gas appliances, and roof repairs. When it comes to your rainy day fund, some experts suggest a practical budget for annual repairs is about 4 percent of your home’s value, which is substantially more than the traditional 1 percent. As an example, for a home valued at $320,000, 1 percent is $3,200, and four times that amount is $12,800. However, it’s important to save what you can afford.
Alternative Payment Methods
Ideally, if a calamity occurs, you’ll be prepared with funds in savings to resolve the issue. However, if a major home repair comes along and you don’t have cash set aside already, how do you cover the costs? Thankfully, you have some options. If you have equity in your property, a home equity line of credit is a viable option. In this case, it’s important to pay your loan in a timely manner since your home is the collateral. You can use an online calculator tool to help you approximate the loan. Depending on your circumstances, an FHA loan is another possible option. Your local community might offer some assistance as well, or you can use credit cards or try to get help from friends or family members. Sometimes, homeowners use crowdfunding to tackle big projects. Think outside the box for all your options.
Repairs and maintenance go hand-in-hand with being a homeowner. Weather, wear and tear, and other unforeseen circumstances can damage your property when you least expect it. Your best possible scenario includes having a substantial rainy day fund set up, so when an incident comes along, you’re ready to address it.