The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up | Manage  Green editions icon Green editions

Calendar


Weekend to-do list
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.
Published: Thursday, May 29, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Protect your investment in your home with a maintenance fund

Saving for a rainy day takes on new meaning if your roof springs a leak during a storm.
Top-rated financial planners tell our team that homeowners should build up an emergency maintenance fund of about $5,000.
That way, you can handle a sudden expense, such as the need to replace a roof or a furnace.
Of course, how much you can set aside for home-related matters will depend on your home’s condition, your income, and other expenses and savings goals.
Planners say it’s important to take a balanced approach to financial priorities, with attention to saving in case of job loss, paying off consumer debt and taking advantage of retirement savings options.
But since your home is such a major investment, it’s also smart to be prepared to afford routine maintenance and surprise repairs.
If you don’t have a good sense of your home’s current condition, consider the services of a reputable home inspector.
Plan to take advantage of the inspector’s knowledge by accompanying him or her during the inspection.
You can use the detailed written report you should receive soon after the inspection as a starting point for planning home project priorities.
Remember that you don’t have to do a big project all at once. For instance, you can have new windows installed one room at a time.
If money is tight and you can only build a home emergency and project fund slowly, postpone purely cosmetic projects and focus on necessary maintenance.
If you’re not sure how to get started on a home fund, open a savings account that’s attached to your checking account.
Set up the accounts so you automatically transfer a regular amount from checking to savings every month or pay period.
Out of this, you can plan to pay for routine maintenance and emergencies.
Savers often notice that they forget about automatically set-aside money, so that it builds up faster than they might have imagined. That makes dream projects easier to afford.
Angie Hicks is the founder of Angie’s List, a resource for local consumer reviews. Go to www.angieslist.com.
© 2014 Angie’s List
Story tags » Home Improvement

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus

HeraldNet highlights

A quest to high places
A quest to high places: Everett man hopes his journey will help save fire lookouts
43 lives. 43 trees
43 lives. 43 trees: Ceremony unlocks Oso stretch of Highway 530
Faith in her voice
Faith in her voice: Stanwood singer's voice, spark earn her notice
Chris Pratt's star rises
Chris Pratt's star rises: Lake Stevens roots keep him grounded as he hosts 'SNL'