4 Things That Every Homeowner Should Know (and Know How to Do)

Most homeowners will tell you that the expenses of repairs and upkeep are what hurts your wallet more than anything, typically because those types of expenses are all out of pocket. A condo in Manhatten, which costs an average of $1.9 million in the third quarter of 2017, would cost you a lot more than that in property taxes and repair bills.

Here are a few things that every homeowner should know to save them time, money, and frustration.

Know the cost of ownership

The first thing that any homeowner should know, whether prospective or current, is the total expected costs of ownership. That includes everything from purchasing price, closing costs, agent commissions, related fees, sales tax, property taxes, and maintenance costs. You don’t want to bite off more than you can chew, and you should be aware of any expenses that might come later on. If you plan on renovating or remodeling, you should factor that into your budget planning. A shocking 35% of remodels involve the entire home, so planning your expenses is your first step to avoiding unnecessary ones.

Fix a leaky toilet

A toilet that is running nonstop or is leaking water from the base can be a one-way ticket to a pretty hefty water bill — or worse, water damage. Luckily for you, roughly 93% of water damage is preventable and that includes fixing your toilet. When you pull the lid off of the back of the toilet, familiarize yourself with the flush valve assembly. Often, the problem can be fixed relatively easily with a few adjustments or a gasket replacement, but for more serious problems it may need a full repair. If that’s the case, then you should read up on DIY toilet repairs.

Locate all of your filters

The solution to a common problem that homeowners pay hundreds of dollars to find out is usually a bad air filter. There are numerous appliances throughout your home that require air filters. When they go bad, the appliance won’t function as it should. Something like an air conditioning unit with a bad filter can end up costing you a lot more in electricity bills, so it’s important to know where all the filters are and how often they need to be changed. Buying a supply of air filters and labeling them for each date they need to be installed is a good way to stay on top of your filters.

Unclog a drain

Supporting your local plumbers can be a rewarding feeling, but not every time your drain decides to get clogged. A plumber bill can put a damper on anyone’s budget, so it’s important to know how to inexpensively unclog a drain. Even buying chemical drain uncloggers can be pretty pricey, so opt for a small plunger and drain snake instead. Typically, a recurring clogged drain is caused by a stoppage in the pipe and once that is removed, the drain will work as it should. If snaking or plunging doesn’t work, then you might have to remove the u-joint underneath the sink. Be sure to turn the water off before removing the joint and placing a towel down underneath the pipes to absorb any leftover water sitting in the bend.

Despite everything that you can do to avoid unnecessary expenses, there are some things that you won’t be able to get away from. Things like roof inspections, which you should have done once or twice every year under normal circumstances, are necessary expenses of homeownership. Knowing what you can save money on though, is a great way to minimize your expenses.

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