While homeownership is a good way to save money and keep you from getting caught in the rent cycle, it comes with an entirely new set of problems and expenses that you may not expect.
Home ownership is more than just signing your name on a deed, it can be dealing with infestations, leaky roofs, bursting pipes, and assorted disasters. Repair costs are sometimes daunting, and the looming threat of a disaster can have anyone shivering in their boots.
However, making investments and catching problems early will help to prevent future disasters, and save hundreds or thousands in repairs.
Here are a few problem-prone places to check if you’re concerned about the durability and safety of your home.
- HVAC systems. Your heating, ventilation, and conditioning system can be faulty or non-efficient if it’s old, and it should be one of the first things you replace if you live in an area with severe seasons. One serious heat front or a heavy snow can have you reaching for your thermostat quickly, so it’s best to make sure all of your systems are upgraded and efficient before that time comes.
- The home's electrical layout. Electrical fires are anyone’s worst nightmare, especially homeowners. Have a trusted electrician on call, and don’t be afraid to call-in if you think you might have a problem. ‘Better safe than sorry’ is the key phrase here, so check your sockets and systems regularly to make sure that the electrical outlets in your home work properly and they are safe. If you are living in an older model house, it’s a good idea to have these checked by a trusted professional.
- The roof. A leaky or unstable roof is a disaster waiting to happen. Water can be the bane of your existence, and one of the largest dangers to your home’s integrity. Rot, mildew, and even mold infestations can be brought on by water leaks and dampness. Be sure to check the shingles and contact a trusted and reliable contractor to replace them if your roof has seen a few too many years for comfort.
- Termites. While they’re extremely helpful in nature, they are a classic example of a ‘homeowner’s nightmare’. They are attracted to dampness and exposed wood, so make sure that the outside of your house is termite-proof. Ensure water never collects around the base of your home, and never forget to call in for your yearly inspection.
- Plumbing. Water-based disasters can be particularly jarring if you aren’t expecting them. Check your pipes regularly, and avoid hard-handed fix-it jobs. They aren’t likely to last, and it’s best to call a trained professional if you encounter a disaster. Do-it-yourself ventures are good when it comes to painting or home-improvement, but it’s best to leave plumbing issues to professionals.
- Mold. Like mentioned above, mold infestations can tear apart your home in a matter of years. They can also cause serious health issues, including infections and breathing problems if left to fester in your walls. Avoid letting any area of your home become damp or wet, and be sure to air out kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms whenever they start to feel humid. If the problem becomes excessive, invest in dehumidifiers to fix the problem entirely.
- Be prepared for natural disasters. If you live in an area prone to flooding or storms, be sure to invest heavily in disaster protection. Earthquakes, tornadoes, and hurricanes are also things to think about when thinking about disaster protection. Improving the windows and doors for example in a hurricane prone area, may mean the protection you need to save your home should a hurricane come that way.
Homeownership can be an incredibly rewarding experience, especially if you think about problems before they occur. Prevention is the best method of treatment when it comes to problems like these, but preparation is the next best thing. Be aware of your surroundings, and take steps to solve problems wisely when they do occur. Always have a professional look at serious issues that arise in your home to ensure tiny problems don’t turn into major disasters.