Hidden Costs Of Owning A Home


by Brandi Savitt – revised September 16, 2013

Woman_Fixing_Lightswitch

9 Home Repairs Not to Ignore

Did you every see that Tom Hanks 80′s movie The Money Pit?  It’s all about an unfortunate couple’s hugely expensive and endless efforts to repair their new house- and yes it’s a comedy! If you own your own home, you too have most likely experienced a surprise breakdown or two that has cost you an unexpected pretty penny.

The reality is, home ownership is not just about budgeting to cover your monthly mortgage payments and property tax, you also have a responsibility to care for your property- which means maintaining the foundation, structure and inner workings of your house, but also being prepared to pay for UNEXPECTED REPAIRS. Obviously this is easier said than done when money is tight, and you’re not a contractor or have your own live in handyman.  Needless to say, whether you’ve owned your home for twenty years, or you’re considering becoming a homeowner for the first time, there are some absolutes that you should know how to fix yourself, budget for, and pay forward, to avoid catastrophic repairs & major surprise expenses!

Repairs to Fix IMMEDIATELY!

1.  Don’t Ignore Electrical Inconveniences

Any electrical problem should be taken care of immediately to avoid potential blowouts or worse, A FIRE!

  • Dead Outlets: A sudden non functioning outlet (that does not go out from a blown fuse) could indicate a more serious problem such as a loose wire that could spark and cause serious damage.  Get these problems checked out and repaired by a qualified electrician as soon as possible!
  • Dead Light Switch: A non functioning light switch (that does not go out from a blown fuse), could also mean something is shorting out inside the walls.
  • Excessive Static on TV or Radio: These malfunctions could indicate the house is not properly grounded (not safe)- which can cause even more serious problems down the line.
  • Strange Noise from a Major Appliance: Any electrical appliance (oven, stove, refrigerator) that starts humming should be repaired immediately!
  • Frayed Wires: Any frayed wires (exposed or not) should not be used and replaced immediately!

2.  Deal with ALL Leaks

  • Ceiling Leaks & Water Damage: If you see water dripping from your ceiling, or if you see any discoloration due to water damage, you may have a small problem that is about to get much worse!  Water takes the path of least least resistance, so just because you see discoloration in one spot, it does not mean that that is where the leak has originated.  If there is a spot on your ceiling that gets wet more than once, or you see actual water dripping down, find the leak & get it repaired at once!
  • Pipes & Plumbing: A continually running toilet, a dripping sink, a leaky pipe under the sink, or any drips you hear in the wall, all should be repaired to avoid further damage,  flooding and MOLD!
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9 Responses to “Hidden Costs Of Owning A Home”

  1. Denise says:

    I just did a post about this this morning – Well, how to find a handyman for all of those unexpected repairs! I thought by buying a semi-new house, I wouldn’t run into maintenance issues, but boy, was I wrong!!!
    Denise
    http://frugalluxe.blogspot.com

  2. Mary says:

    Boy!! Are you right on!!! This site is so resourceful!! Thanks!!

  3. Louise says:

    Use your computer or phone pdf to date remind you and schedule maintenace checks on the key points mentioned in this article. great advice here, but needs to be remembered to be pro-active.

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  6. [...] until there is two feet of snow on your roof to fix that pesky leak that you noticed last summer.  Budgeting for home repairs – and fixing them before bad weather hits – is the best way to get your house ready for [...]

  7. tinagleisner says:

    Very impressive & absolutely correct list of things to be careful about when owning a home. I love seeing things from a homeowner perspective as my articles at Home Tips 4 Women are much more detailed.

  8. Nicole says:

    Another great article! Thanks for the advice.

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