Money Saving Tips You Need to Know as a Homeowner
Even if your mortgage payment fits comfortably in your budget, being a homeowner can prove more expensive than anticipated. Repairs and maintenance are ongoing, and the cost of utilities can gradually increase. So naturally, you might seek ways to save money as a homeowner.
The good news is that there are plenty of tricks to keep cash in your pocket. Here’s how to save so that owning a home doesn’t seem as costly.
1. Shop and compare rates for homeowner’s insurance
When some people purchase homeowner’s insurance, they don’t shop around. Instead, they sign up with the first company they contact.
Homeowner’s insurance rates can vary from one company to another, so it’s a good idea to call around and get new quotes before renewing your policy. Another company might offer a better rate, albeit minor. Still, saving a little here and there adds up throughout the month.
If you don’t want to switch from your insurer, contact your provider and inquire about discounts. You might be eligible for a lower rate if you bundle and get another policy through the company, such as car insurance or health insurance. Or, you might qualify for a lower rate if you’ve installed an alarm system in your home.
2. Make your home more energy efficient
You might not have the cash to replace your doors and windows, but there are inexpensive ways to make your home more energy efficient and reduce your utility bills.
For starters, look into getting a programmable thermostat to reduce wasted energy. These thermostats allow you to control the temperature in your home according to your schedule. You can turn the system off during the day when you’re away, and then program the system to turn on an hour before you return home.
Caulking cracks around doors, windows, electrical outlets, and plumbing also saves energy by preventing air leaks. And don’t forget to service your HVAC system annually. A poorly functioning system has to work harder and uses more energy.
3. Get a home warranty
Even if you love being a homeowner you probably hate home repairs. Many repairs occur unexpectedly, which forces you to open your wallet and spend money you might not have.
You can’t always prevent costly surprises, but you can purchase a home warranty and protect your bottom line. This contract between you and a home warranty company covers the repair or replacement cost of many of your home’s systems. These policies usually cover the electrical, appliances, plumbing, and HVAC system.
If a system breaks, call your home warranty company and they’ll send a third-party repairman to your home. You’ll pay a flat service call fee, which is typically less than the cost of hiring a repairman yourself. If the professional can’t fix a covered item, the warranty company pays the replacement cost. Home warranties average about $400-$500 per year.
4. Take a home repair class
Some home repairs and improvements don’t require a professional. This can include installing a light fixture, changing a faucet, or installing new flooring or a backsplash. If you have extra time and you’re looking to save money on home improvement projects, check with a local hardware store to see if it offers free DIY classes.
For example, the Home Depot hosts free workshops on certain Saturdays, or a community college might offer an inexpensive home improvement workshop or class.
5. Lower your interest rate
Not only should you shop and compare homeowner’s insurance, you should also keep an eye on mortgage rates and consider refinancing if you’re able to qualify for a better rate.
Mortgage interest rates can fluctuate from one year to the next. If current rates are considerably less than what you’re paying, refinancing could reduce your mortgage payment and provide you with more disposable income.
Refinancing creates a new mortgage loan, so you’ll need to complete a new home loan application. Our loan experts at Cherry Creek Mortgage are available to answer any questions you have about the process. They’ll also help you decide which home loan program is right for you —conventional, FHA, USDA, VA, etc.
Give us a call today to learn how you can lower your interest rate and save even more money as a homeowner.