You might not be investing in a luxury kitchen remodel anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean your home couldn’t use a little work. Experts advise that you spend at least 1 to 2 percent of your home’s value annually on routine maintenance projects. Every homeowner needs a bank account cushion, but getting there takes some financial planning. Here’s how:
Keep an Eye on Your Home
Many homeowners only notice their property’s failings when the issue becomes so large that it can’t be ignored. However, most home repairs are a lot simpler—and easier on your wallet—when they’re caught early. Plan on inspecting your home twice a year, in the spring and fall. Check out high-priced areas like the foundation, doors, windows, and roof.
Know the True Value of Non-Essential Upgrades
Pop quiz: Which improvement will add more value to your home, a new front door or a bathroom upgrade? Pound-for-pound, small updates, like a new door, often increase the value more than a full remodel. Not every home improvement is essential; it pays to know which ones will produce the best bang for your buck. Keep an eye on the trends, and stick to the upgrades that will last.
Spend Now to Save Later
Want to save long term on your home expenses? Energy efficient upgrades are the way to go! High performance products like ENERGY STAR labeled appliances, new windows with efficient glazing, or heating and cooling equipment with a high SEER rating typically cost more, but they earn back your investment over time. Depending on how much you spend, your new air conditioner could pay for itself over time!
Prioritize Your Projects by Most Important First
Most homeowners don’t have excess money to make all of their home improvements, which means prioritization is necessary. Anything that could lead to a leak or potential structural damage should be a top priority. Take care of the important stuff first; you’ll thank yourself later.
Understand What Goes Into Each Job
If you have multiple projects in your future, it’s hard to estimate how much money you’ll need for each one. To get a better understanding of the cost, ask a contractor for an estimate. Gathering cost information ahead of time will help you plan your budget for the next six months. When it comes to home improvements, a little planning goes a long way. It can mean several blissful years free of expensive repairs!
Erin Vaughan is a blogger, gardener, and aspiring homeowner. She currently resides in Austin, TX where she writes full time for Modernize, with the goal of empowering homeowners with the expert guidance and educational tools they need to take on big home projects with confidence.