Becoming a homeowner is a major milestone in life. It should be one of your best investments, but sometimes it becomes a primary source of financial stress. If you’re interested in reducing that stress so you can enjoy your home more fully, you’ll want to take note of the tips shared below.
We’ll discuss ways to save on bills, how to increase your home’s value with maintenance, and how to protect your investment in your home with insurance. We’ll help answer questions like, “What’s the best policy for older homes?” and “How can I save?”
Save on Monthly Bills
There’s not much you can do about your mortgage and escrow payments each month, but you can do quite a bit to save on your other bills.
Reduce Electricity Consumption
There are many ways you can use less electricity and thus pay less for power each month. Here are some of the easiest ways:
- Adjust your thermostat – In the summer, turn your thermostat up a few degrees and in the winter, turn it down a few degrees.
- Switch to ENERGY-STAR LED lighting – Instead of replacing burned-out bulbs with the same traditional incandescent bulbs, switch to LED. They’ll cost more initially, but they’ll save you money in the long run on electricity.
- Unplug unused devices – Many electronics continue to draw a small amount of electricity if they’re plugged in, even if they’re not in use. If you unplug electronics after you use them, you’ll eliminate the draw.
- Wash with cold water – If you wash your clothes with cold water, you won’t use electricity to heat the water.
By lowering your energy usage a little every day, you’ll see a difference in your power bill.
Decrease Water Usage
If you’re in an older house, it may have toilets installed that use six times the amount of water that modern toilets use. So a new toilet will significantly reduce the amount of water you consume, and the more people that live in your house, the more dramatic the savings will be.
Another way to use less water is to take care of leaks right away. A drippy faucet may waste two gallons of water a day.
If you turn the water off when you’re not using it, you’ll save gallons of water a month. For example, while you’re brushing your teeth, the water doesn’t need to be running. You can turn it off while you brush and then turn it back on when you rinse.
Some services are essential, but others may be unnecessary. Carefully review your monthly products and services. You may pay for multiple streaming services and cable. If you rarely watch cable anymore, you can eliminate that bill by canceling the service.
Maintain to Add Value
Not only will maintaining your house help it retain or even increase its value, but it will also help you avoid costly damage. For example, if you clean your gutters, you help prevent pooling water by your house and causing expensive foundation damage.
You should consider investing in the following maintenance tasks:
- Carpet care – Vacuuming regularly and shampooing your carpets periodically will extend their lives.
- HVAC service – You should have your furnace serviced each year. Not only will that help it to run more efficiently, but it will also improve your home’s safety.
- Lawn care – Mowing your lawn, landscaping your property, and trimming your shrubs will give your home better curb appeal, increasing its value.
- Paint touchup – Keeping up on paint touch-ups will help preserve the exterior of your home.
When a house isn’t lived in, it starts to deteriorate quickly, and if a home isn’t maintained, it can begin to mirror what happens in a vacant house.
Protect Your Investment
Even if you’re diving into the stock market investment process, your home is still probably one of your biggest investments. It provides you with a place to live but also has monetary value that typically increases over time.
Insurance is the best way to protect your financial investment in your home. If something causes damage to your home, an insurance payout can help you restore your house.
Get the Right Coverage
When you choose a home insurance provider, there are a few things you need to consider, and the first one is what kind of coverage you want.
A replacement value policy will pay for what it would cost to replace a damaged item, while a cash value policy will pay what the item was worth. For example, if you have a recliner that you spent $1,000 on five years ago, a replacement value policy will reimburse you $1,000 so you can purchase an equivalent chair.
A cash value policy may only pay you $300 because that’s what they determine the depreciated value of the chair is.
Replacement cost policies will cost more in monthly premiums, but since they provide more comprehensive coverage, the increased cost may be worth it to you.
You may wonder what the best type of policy is for an older home. The answer is the same as for a new home. Whether you live in a new or old home, insurance is meant to provide you with a way to pay for your home to be restored to its pre-damage state.
Get the Best Rate
Comparing home insurance rates is a great way to determine which insurers are the most competitive. You should also look into discounts. You may be able to save 30% on your premiums with discounts.
You can often get discounts for things like security systems, storm-resistant windows and roofs, fire suppression systems, and bundling home and auto insurance.
Saving a little bit on your monthly bills can make the difference between money stress and enjoying your home.
Melanie Musson writes and researches for the insurance comparison site, ExpertInsuranceReviews.com. She strives to help people understand their insurance needs so they can protect their financial investment and stability even if disaster strikes.
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