Saturday, February 9, 2008

Home Maintenance & Improvements

Home ownership is the biggest investment most people ever make. But owning and buying a home is just the beginning. Below are some of the factors to think about and include in your homeowner's budget.

  • Utility costs can add up to 25% of a household budget, sometimes even more. That includes heating, electricity, water, sewer, telephone, internet, cable and garbage collection. (Don't forget to check the “CPOL Buyer's Binder” on the homes you view for samples of each listing's electric and water bills. Knowing this ahead of time will help you budget accordingly.)

  • Set aside money for maintenance and repairs. You should aim to save 1% to 3% of the value of the home annually. This number is about the average cost of home maintenance and repairs. (Don’t forget, many Certified Pre-Owned Listings have already completed repairs for you and others have completely disclosed the issues needing attention, helping you better prepare your budget!)

  • Use the “CPOL Buyer’s Binder” you receive at closing as a home maintenance log. This will help you stay organized and keep everything in one place. Keep track of the dates of repairs and maintenance tasks completed.