Budgeting for Home Improvement

When calculating the cost of homeownership, it’s important to include not only everyday costs, such as mortgage payments, utilities and property taxes, but also inevitable home-repair expenses. Some of the most common home repairs involve plumbing fixtures, patios, fences and driveways, heating and air conditioning systems, and painting – both inside and out.

The good news is, keeping up with home maintenance will preserve or enhance your home’s value; however, it’s crucial that homeowners plan ahead for the costs involved. Here are some tips from BMO Harris Bank:

– Contribute small amounts regularly to an emergency fund for maintenance and repairs.

– Understand how a repair or renovation will impact the value of your home by researching which renovations create increased value and are popular selling features.

– Think long term when making financial decisions. Whether you are using savings or borrowing to renovate, take the time to meet with a financial expert to ensure your renovation meets your long-term financial objectives.

– Expect the unexpected. Be financially prepared for the unexpected, such as a leaky roof, broken pipe or other course corrections that may occur during the project.

– Get renovation quotes in writing and understand what guarantees they provide – for example, if the cost of the plumbing in your renovation is more work than expected, will the quote go up?

Although no one has a crystal ball, financially preparing for repairs and renovations is a smart move for all homeowners!

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