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 sump pump. In each case, the bill came out to at least $1,000.
Most homeowners woefully 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. The average homeowner spends $2,000 a year on maintenance. The trouble is that those repairs are often unexpected. To deal with this, consider starting a maintenance account and adding a little bit to it every month.
2. Take time to enjoy being a homeowner. In short, this means giving do-it-yourself home fixes a try. You might balk at this suggestion, but many of those $1,000 repairs can be solved with $15 worth of parts and a few YouTube tutorials. Start small and build your skills, do what you feel confident about, and pay somebody to do the rest.
3. Negotiate smart. No matter what you are quoted for any sort of repair, it's likely that somebody else will do it better for less. Make sure to get a few quotes.
When you do hire a professional, realize that their fee covers not only their expertise and labor, but also various kinds of insurance, certifications, workspace rent, and so on. If you've done everything else on this list, you can accept the final repair price without feeling cheated or worrying that you're wasting money.
Of course, sometimes it can simply make sense to look for a new home that won't require frequent repairs.
If you're considering selling your current home or if you need recommendations for contractors to fix those things you don't want to deal with yourself, give me a call at 703-328-3434 or email me at Janet@TheGreshGroup.com. I can recommend several reliable businesses and I'm always here to help.