I recently read an article in The New York Times titled, “Why Do All Home Repairs Cost $1,000?” The author was complaining that it didn’t matter much what went wrong at home—be it a leaky faucet, broken garage door, or failed water heater. In each case, the bill came out to at least $1,000.
Most homeowners underestimate the costs of various home repairs, often by as much as four times the actual cost. Can anything be done about this? Here are three recommendations to help you deal with home repair costs:
1. Save for a rainy day and create a special account for repairs. The average homeowner spends $2,000 a year on maintenance. As a homeowner myself, I have a tax fund, a “happy fun day” fund, and a rainy day fund. When you use the rainy day fund to pay for your repairs, you’ll be in a much better financial position.
2. Enjoy being a homeowner. $50 in parts and a YouTube tutorial or a Google search will be enough to repair most home maintenance issues, so try focusing on the smaller, simpler fixes yourself and delegate the more complicated ones to the professionals.
3. Negotiate smart. This means getting multiple quotes from different professionals so that you get the best price. Also, don’t pre-frame the cost of a repair. A lot of contractors will agree to do something for $1,000 if you assume it costs that much, but not everything does, so don’t automatically pay them $1,000 for a job that doesn’t cost nearly that much.
Of course, if you reach a certain point where you’re constantly needing things fixed, it might just make more sense to look for a new home that won’t require frequent repairs.
If you’re considering buying or selling a home or if you need recommendations for contractors to fix those things you don’t want to deal with yourself, give me a call or send me an email today. I can recommend several reliable businesses and I’m always here to help.