Congratulations on your new home! Are you prepared to move in or set to redo the floors and paint first? Make sure you’re prepared for inevitable repair bills, too.
Whether your bid was just accepted, you’re about to sign on the dotted line, or you’ve just taken the “For Sale” sign down and are an official homeowner now, you may not realize the extra costs associated with owning and maintaining a house. It’s no fun, but along with budgeting for any exciting renovations or upgrades, you need to be aware of the obvious and not-so-obvious home repairs you may face in the coming year.
One handy tip: Before you buy a house, the seller likely had to complete a Certificate of Occupancy report. Each city requires certain repairs based on local and state codes, in areas such as plumbing and electrical. You should have a copy of this report (if not, you can get one easily by requesting it from the building department at city hall). Armed with this information, you can assess what requires your proactive attention. Here we look at the considerations for the most and least expected repairs.
Have your home appliances inspected annually and sign up for an appliance protection program if you can. This will save you on unexpected appliance repair costs.
Home appliances such as your stove, refrigerator, washer, dryer, microwave, freezer, and dishwasher can stop working at a moment’s notice. So it makes sense to have them properly maintained. Look for a credible appliance repair company in your area that is licensed and specializes in all brands and models. Check out the company’s Yelp reviews and status with the Better Business Bureau to make sure they’re reliable and trustworthy. The Better Business Bureau rates companies based on customer feedback in the areas of quality and performance. When an appliance goes on the blink, you can call the company to do an inspection and/or repair, and, depending on your protection plan, you may end up paying nothing.
On average, most homeowners spend $104 to $236 on major appliance repairs. But some appliance repair protection plans can cost as little as $1 a day, so they’re definitely worth looking into.
While you likely see appliances every day, other key mechanics of your new abode are (fortunately) out of eye shot. If you’re having plumbing issues, you may have a backed-up sewer. If a plumber determines the problem stems from the sewer pipe under your home that connects to the main sewer line, it’s your responsibility. If it’s not coming from that area, it’s likely the city’s responsibility. In that case, you’ll need to call the city to have them inspect your sewer line. If it’s yours to fix, you may need sewer pipe repair. As soon as you see any signs of a problem with your sewer, call an expert immediately, before the situation becomes worse. The longer you wait, the more expensive it can be. Depending on the problem, a sewer line replacement can cost between $3,000 to $25,000, so it pays to call right away.
In some cases, your homeowner’s insurance may cover the costs of a sewer repair. According to the Law Dictionary, “Your insurance company will want to know where exactly the break occurred.” Your plumber can provide that information. If you’re covered, you’ll end up saving a good amount of money.
It could be that the last thing you want to think about after closing on a new house is repairs on that house. Keeping your home appliances well-maintained and having a licensed professionals inspect your sewer line are just two examples of how you can keep a few steps ahead of hefty repair bills by preparing for the unexpected.
Whatever you do, leave appliance and sewer repairs to the experts, and save your DIY skills and some money for your next home improvement project.