How to Reduce Maintenance Costs on a New Family Home



Buying a home is the single largest purchase a family will ever make. However, that isn’t the end of the matter. Studies show that the average homeowner spends two thousand dollars a year maintaining their home. This doesn’t include services like landscaping services and housekeeping that can add several hundred dollars more to the cost of maintaining your home. However, there are some things every homeowner can do to significantly reduce these costs. Here are a few tips on how to reduce maintenance costs on your new family home.


Learn How to Do It Yourself for Less

The average homeowner spends 200 to 300 dollars a month on housekeeping. Landscaping services cost 100 to 200 dollars a month. This means learning how to cut your own grass or properly deep clean your own kitchen could save you a lot of money.

If you clean your home yourself, learn how to make your own cleaning products with simple ingredients that may already be in your pantry. Learning how to maintain appliances such as changing out air filters yourself will delay the day they eventually break down.

However, you have to know your limits. Things like electricity issues or plumbing should be left to professionals unless you have professional experience yourself. Things can quickly go from bad to worse, and you could end up putting yourself in danger in the process. The same goes with roofing work.

Even seemingly minor things like repainting the cabinets should be done by pros. Kitchens are different than the average room in the house and have to deal with unique conditions. Your cabinets will see a lot of smoke and grease, and will have to be prepared properly before being painted if you want the results to last. Not only that, but you can’t do these with a brush and rollers, so we don’t suggest you start practicing on your cabinets unless you know how to pressure paint.

Do Your Homework

Don’t just go with the first person to show up saying they are there to inspect your roof for damage after a thunderstorm. Make sure that you have a shortlist of professionals available on call for important and urgent repairs like roof leaks.

Use a directory to find multiple local roofing companies. You can then get multiple quotes and have them compete with each other for your business. You might get a discount from the higher quality mid-level quote by showing them the lower price quote. At a minimum, they’ll explain how they defined their scope of work and the factors that went into the total price. Then you can discuss ways to save money such as using cheaper materials or repairing instead of replacing the roof.

Prepare for the Repairs

One way you can prepare for the day things need to be repaired is to set aside 100 to 200 each month in a savings account. Then you’ll have the money to pay for unexpected repairs be it a broken pool pump, leaking hot water heater or anything else that requires a professional. This gives you the money to pay for the repair instead of charging it on a credit card or taking out a loan. Some people choose to get home warranties or appliance specific warranties, as well.

Keep Track of Your Expenses

Keep track of what you spend on repairs around the house. This information gives you a baseline for when you need the service again. It also allows you to see how much you’re spending fixing all those leaking pipes or the furnace that keeps acting up.

That information will allow you to see when you’ve hit the point where it is better to replace it rather than repair it. In other cases, tracking what you’re spending on housekeeping, gardening or pest control and comparing it to the norm tells you when you need to find someone cheaper. You might be able to call up the service provider and tell them how much you’re spending and see if you can get a discount. The mere possibility of saving ten or twenty percent on your largest home maintenance expense is worth the time to try. Alternatively, it may motivate you to learn how to do it yourself.

Conclusion

While most home buyers plan for their mortgage payments, they often fail to plan for the steady but significant monthly costs of maintaining their home. Fortunately, there are ways to plug these financial leaks without hurting yourself over the long-term.


3 comments

  1. Yep, home expenses sure doesn't end with the mortgage. All those little nickel and dime costs will eat into your income.

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  2. These are great tips. We could have paid $60 a month for landscaping but instead bought a hedge trimmer for $80 and already saving by month two.

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  3. You’re so right! When we bought our first home, we knew there would be repair costs, but didn’t save the all important emergency money! The money we did have saved, we were spending on things we wanted for the house! Plus we had all four kids still home and they wanted new things too for their rooms. We did have a home warranty for the first couple of years. One thing we were really fortunate to have was a lot of friends that knew different trades that helped us and in return we helped them. I thank God my husband knows plumbing! He helped save us lots of money on clogged drains, etc. with 4 daughters and me with long hair. As a matter of fact, my husband had long hair back then too. By the time we bought this house though, circumstances changed. Some of our friends moved away or unfortunately, died. And we were all older and were busy with grandkids and some with blue collar careers. Of course, we knew more about taking care of our home. But now there are different situations like taking care of the lawn and such. So now there are whole other costs to consider. In the end, owning your own home is rewarding! Thank you so much for sharing, especially for new home owners!

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Diana