Part of the American dream is growing up and making enough money that you can afford to put a down payment on your own house. We all dream of the days when we can stop worrying about renting and landlords. However, more often than not, when the time comes to actually enjoy your life in your new home, it turns out that you’re constantly spending money on the property.
While houses can be expensive to protect and maintain, there are a few steps that you can take to protect yourself from costs that you simply can’t afford.
1. Stick to a Small House at First
It’s tempting to opt for the most expensive house that you can get a mortgage for – particularly when you’re dreaming of raising a family with your partner, or you’re imagining what you could one day do with the most amazing piece of property. However, your first home should usually be something small. Buying a house that’s under budget means that you should have extra money aside that you can put towards an emergency fund.
After you’re done paying your mortgage each month, make sure that there’s enough cash left in your income to put money aside for your future, emergency maintenance, and any other extras that you might need.
2. Control your Thermostat
In the summer, you spend a fortune on electricity because you have your air conditioning cranked up to full blast. In the winter, you’re still spending over the odds on your energy because you’re relying on heating. It seems like there’s never a way to keep your home at the perfect temperature.
However, rather than relying on your thermostat, you could find that you save a lot of money, and do the planet a favor, by changing the way you deal with heat. Open windows and doors if you’re hot, rather than turning fans on. Alternatively, think about putting draft excluders in front of doors and wearing sweaters in the winter.
3. Invest in Maintenance
Sometimes, when you know that you don’t have a lot of cash left over in your savings at the end of a heavy bill month, the last thing you want to do is deal with something like a leaky faucet or a wonky pipe. However, simply burying your head in the sand and ignoring the problem isn’t a good idea either. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to invest in some maintenance.
Sometimes, simply dealing with a little problem now, even if that means borrowing some money from a personal loan, could mean that you avoid paying for a very big problem in the future. Don’t ignore the issues – no matter how small they seem.
4. Invest in your Home’s Future
Speaking of borrowing cash to look after your home, you don’t need to stick to just borrowing money to deal with problems. You could also think about how certain investments might help you to accomplish more in your property in the future too. For instance, you might discover that getting some more energy-efficient devices in your home helps you to cut down on your electricity bills. You could even think about installing solar panels so you can use more natural energy.
On the other hand, maybe you’ll decide that you want to replace an old roof now, even if it means spending a lot of money, to ensure that you don’t have to pay for both the roof, and the repairs that come from the demands of water damage at a later stage.
5. Spring Clean Regularly
Finally, this might seem like a strange way to save money but bear with us for a second. Spring cleaning your house more than once a year gives you a chance to save cash in a number of ways. First, you can use your cleaning experience to look for any issues in your home that needs to be fixed, such as cracks in your walls or problems with your wiring. This can protect you from bigger expenses that you need to deal with later on.
At the same time, spring cleaning can help you to find more money to put in your emergency fund. While you’re cleaning out old cupboards and crawl spaces, you might track down some items in your house that you’re happy to sell for extra cash. This way, you can reduce the clutter in your property and get some extra money at the same time.