One of the major differences between renting a home and owning one is that if anything goes seriously wrong, its all down to you. There will be no landlord paying for expensive boiler repairs, or no management company arranging for an emergency plumber to come and fix a leak.
Youre on your own, and when disaster strikes – which it inevitably will – you need to be ready. But heres the thing – how can you prepare for the unexpected, particularly if you have no experience of these disasters happening before? Were going to explore a few ideas you can use right now, so read on to find out more.
Invest in fire extinguishers and first aid kits
First of all, make sure that you are ready to deal with accidents in the home with a first aid kit – it can really make a big difference to when it comes to first response treatment. And the potential of a fire occurring at any point is a very real one – so invest in a few fire extinguishers, ensuring you know the difference between colours and uses – you need a different extinguisher for electrical fires, for example, than you do for your furniture going up in flames.
Get the best possible cover
Insurance is one of those incredibly dull and dubious things in life we all cant abide, but have to bite our tongues and get on with. But dont just pick the first policy you come across – take some time reading the small print and ensure that you have the right levels of cover. Its also important to check your policy every year or so to make sure you have enough cover. Whenever you make a new major purchase, renovate, or even buy a dog, your insurance needs to change.
Build an emergency fund
Another great way to ease the pain of a household breakage or disaster is to create an emergency fund. In an ideal world, it will be somewhere between 3-6 months of your current income levels, and it will allow you to pay for emergencies of breakages without impacting on your usual spending and saving.
Seek out favourable borrowing
You may have to borrow money to make repairs on your home, but its important to ensure you choose a company that offers the best possible deal. Using quick loans is an option, of course, but only if you can guarantee you can pay it back as soon as possible. You might try applying for an interest-free credit card, too – so you can pay back the amount you borrow over 12-18 months and avoid any interest charges.
Get to know your local trades
Every community has small armies of tradespeople who offer electrical, building, repair and plumbing services. But lets be honest – in every community, there will always be some that are better than others. As a homeowner, you should be looking to find reputable, experienced tradespeople and firms that you trust, so when the time arises you can call them straight away to help out.