Top 5 ways to cut costs as a homeowner
As a homeowner, you may find myself bobbing and weaving through an onslaught of expenses. Some of the costs are predictable, and some of them are just unavoidable surprises. But, you’re probably always looking for ways to cut costs as a homeowner, aren’t you? And small chops that take a lot of effort are sometimes hard to schedule. You want to make big strides in cutting costs, if possible. So let’s rank the top 5 ways to cut costs as a homeowner, from most impactful on down.
1. Negotiate your homeowners insurance down
Homeowners insurance, along with property taxes and a mortgage, are among a homeowner’s largest expenses. But, unlike property taxes and a mortgage, you can actually negotiate the rate that you pay for your homeowners insurance from year to year. Did you know that? Insurance companies have wiggle room, especially when confronted with a competing offer.
It is sometimes daunting to tackle negotiating homeowners insurance. Where do you start? How do you compare apples to apples? And, how do you even know how much coverage you need? To make it simple, we made a video that explains what you need to know about homeowners insurance in general (how much liability do you need? How do you compare companies?) and we also made a how-to guide to negotiating your homeowners insurance down, complete with a step-by-step script you can simply read in order to cut your costs.
2. Find out if you can reduce your property taxes
Most people just accept that their property taxes go up and pay the bill. But, how do you know that your property taxes are being assessed correctly? After all, it’s probably one of your largest expenses. Also, did you know that there are sometimes tax breaks given on a municipal level for various reasons? It pays to see if you might be overpaying or if there are tax breaks you can take advantage of. To make it easy to tell if you are paying the right amount, if there are any ways to reduce your bill, and what to do if you are being overcharged, we made a guide that explains how to tell if you are overpaying and what you can do about it.
3. Strategically plan for major component upgrades
Is there anything worse than having a major component fail, like a boiler, where you have to replace it in an emergency situation? Not only can the cost be extremely high during an emergency, but the immediacy of the replacement can mean that you simply don’t have time to find the best value product at the best price.
Being able to strategically plan for the replacement of major components can mean that you save thousands of dollars and get higher quality products. You can shop around and make the best choice for the long run. The National Association of Certified Home Inspectors has a lot of quality data on how long major components should last. We’ve summarized the data and compiled a list of considerations for how to strategically plan for major component upgrades in this article.
4. Shave 20% off your energy bill
Energy costs are easily one of a homeowner’s largest monthly expenses. I am writing this while it’s 15 degrees outside, and my boiler is working overtime!
Whether it’s summer or winter, there are some tried and true methods you can use to slash your energy costs by up to 20%. That’s savings that you will really feel. Best of all? Most methods are free, low cost, and you can do them all by yourself, yielding a massive return on investment for these home improvements. See how to shave 20% off of your energy bill.
5. Make the little repairs on a regular basis so they don’t turn into big ones
We all know that we should do a bunch of annual home maintenance tasks, but don’t always get around to them. Then, next thing you know, that small crack in the foundation has turned into a major risk that needs remediation. Or, a small issue with your roof creates many hundreds of dollars in water damage. And, most homeowners insurance policies won’t cover repairs due to neglect.
It’s really hard to keep on top of annual maintenance tasks. We created a home maintenance scheduler for both apartments and homes that does the heavy lifting for you.
Do you want to learn more about how to make your home a financial success, no what your costs are? Read about our new book: Avoid the Money Pit, Turn Your Home Into a Financial Powerhouse. It’s available now in both digital and print copies and takes you through everything you need to know about making your home a financial success in the short and long term, without getting taken advantage of.
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