If there’s one thing every homeowner becomes aware of after a few years of owning a property is that things are bound to break. As life would have it, they don’t always break down when you’re ready to handle them. When you least expect it a pipe bursts, the basement leaks, your HVAC system starts acting up, or the roof needs a repair. Trying to afford the cost of repairs, can stretch your budget further than you’d like to – unless you have a plan. Below are some convenient ways to handle emergency home repairs that won’t overextend your budget.
Check Homeowner’s Insurance
You have insurance on your property for a reason. Depending on the type of policy you have and the nature of the repair, you may be able to have the costs covered (or at least partially) by the insurance company. Contact your insurer and explain your emergency repair to find out if its covered. An example might be a tree branch having destroyed your roof after a storm. Of course you’d be required to pay a deductible, but it’s a lot more affordable the footing the entire bill for the repair.
Roll Up Your Sleeves
Are you pretty handy? If you’re pretty good with common household tools and a quick learner, there are some home repairs you can do yourself. You should never try to complete a repair that is too complex, requires a permit, or involves electricity as it can be dangerous. You can learn a few tips by watching online tutorials or reading how-to guides. Then, acquire the necessary supplies, roll up your sleeves, and get to work.
Hopefully, you’ve been putting aside some money for a rainy day. If your basement is flooded or you need your HVAC repaired, this would certainly constitute an emergency. You can dip into your savings account to cover the cost of the repairs. Just make sure you make up for what you took by adding a bit more money back to the account each month.
If you have no home equity and poor credit, getting a home equity line of credit or traditional personal loan are pretty much out of the question. There are, however, service providers like Western Shamrock Corporation that extend services to those with no credit, bad credit, and/or no collateral. You can apply online and get approved for several thousand dollars which can be used to pay for the repair. Before accepting the funds, however, make sure that you can reasonably afford the monthly installment payments and add them to your household budget so you don’t forget to repay it.
Hire Local Experts
When hiring a contractor to complete the emergency home repair, avoid the temptation to opt for the first big brand name you see. Though these companies are good, their popularity often means you’re going to have to pay more for their services. Look for local experts instead. These smaller businesses have less overhead and often charge a lot less for labor on their services. Of course, you still want to do your background check to make sure you’re hiring a reputable service provider.
If you have a credit card with a limit high enough to cover the cost of an emergency home repair, you can charge it. This means you’re not paying anything up front and can start budgeting to pay down the balance over time. Keep in mind, however, that when you charge a repair that takes up more than 30% of your credit card limit, this can lower your score. Therefore, you should repay this balance as quickly as possible.
Ask for Help
If you’re dealing with an emergency home repair that could cause harm to you or those living with you, you may need to ask others for help. Your friends and family may not be able to give you all the money, but if a few are willing to give a few bucks, it reduces the amount you need to come up with. If you’re going to borrow the money from loved ones, just make sure you pay it back to avoid ruining your relationship – and the extra help if you need it in the future.
Emergency home repairs must be handled right away to avoid further damage, injury, or costs. The only problem is, most families aren’t prepared to cover this unexpected bill. If you’ve found yourself backed into a corner, there is some financial relief out there. Start by checking with your insurance provider, dipping into your emergency savings, and asking family members for help. If that’s not enough, then consider applying for an installment loan or charging it to your credit card.Now, you can handle the emergency without ruining your budget.