One of the most challenging aspects of homeownership is the unexpected added costs. When calculating monthly expenses to maintain a home, it's important to include not only everyday costs such as mortgage payments, utilities and property taxes, but also to factor in possible home repair expenses. Some of the most common home repairs are done on plumbing fixtures, patios, fences and driveways, heating and air conditioning systems, and painting the interior or exterior of your home.
Keeping your home in good working order can add value to a home; however, it's crucial that homeowners plan ahead for costs associated with unexpected repairs. Contributing small amounts regularly to an emergency fund for maintenance and repairs can go a long way in preparing for unforeseen expenses.
By adding in the cost of a reserve fund to the monthly household budget, homeowners can prevent a financial blow from unplanned additional costs.
BMO Harris Bank offers the following financial tips to homeowners looking to make home repairs:
- Understand how a renovation will impact the value of your home by researching which renovations create increased value and are popular selling features.
- Think long term when making financial decisions — whether you are using savings or borrowing to renovate, take the time to meet with a financial expert to ensure your renovation meets your long term financial objectives.
- Expect the unexpected — be financially prepared for the unexpected such as a leaky roof, broken pipe or other course corrections that may occur during the project.
- Get renovation quotes in writing and understand what guarantees they provide – for example, if the cost of the plumbing in your renovation is more work than expected, will the quote go up?
Although no one has a crystal ball to foresee what repairs you may encounter during the time you own your home, financially preparing for the unexpected is a smart move.