Owning your own home is a great feeling. It gives you a safe place to return to every day and you can make a variety of internal changes without any issues or permissions. It’s also a good way to create a nest egg for the future.
But, when you own your home you are also responsible for all the maintenance and upkeep. This can be a steady trickle of money going out or it can be sudden and unexpected repairs that can leave you searching for the money you need. That’s why you need to act today to prepare yourself for the unexpected.
Get Surveys Done
It costs surprisingly little to have an array of surveys done on your home. You should get the electrics and plumbing checked annually and have dye penetrant testing done at least every five years along with a complete building survey.
This will identify any issues or potential issues. In short, it will give you a warning which buys you time to put money away for repairs and avoid unexpected bills. Naturally, in many cases, you’ll find that dealing with the issue sooner saves you money as well.
Put Money Aside
In order to be ready for the semi-planned expenses after surveying, and the completely unexpected issues such as your cooking stopping working, you need a pot of money available. Unfortunately, there isn’t one at the end of the rainbow.
Most experts recommend you put 2% of your annual salary aside to help ensure you have enough for the unexpected. This may seem like a small sum but it can quickly build up and give you the reserve you need in emergencies.
It should be noted that this is separate from your emergency reserve which should equal three months salary. That is designed to help you if you lose your job.
The best approach when saving is to set up a transfer that takes the money as soon as you get paid. This way you won’t miss it and you’ll find it easier to save the necessary funds.
Keep Maintenance Up To Date
Another way to ensure you have the funds available when they are needed is to make sure that you maintain and service appliances and other equipment regularly. This will ensure that they are all working properly and reduces the likelihood of breakdowns.
Best of all, maintenance is surprisingly cheap.
Consider the Sums
Although experts recommend 2% of your income, it’s worth taking a look at the likely cost of different issues.
You can find out approximate prices online or even get quotes from local tradespeople. This will allow you to calculate what it would cost you if something unexpected did happen. When you know what sort of costs you could be facing you’ll find it easier to decide how much money to save annually.
The good news is that you can’t save too much! If you’re lucky and the pot isn’t needed you simply have another fund for the future/retirement.