Shari Sagan McGuirk's Blog
97 Phillips Avenue, Swampscott, MA 01907
When you budget to buy a home, you sit down, do the math, and try to estimate what all of your monthly costs will be. There are so many monthly costs that come with being a homeowner that can make the whole process complicated. Sure, you have taken the standard costs into account like home insurance, property taxes, and even utilities. But there are a few out-of-the-box costs that you’ll need to consider for your house hunt.
Flood Or Other Natural Disaster Insurance
Natural disasters are costly and devastating. Many homeowners who live in areas that are affected by natural disasters like floods and earthquakes often opt for additional coverage for their homes. Premiums for earthquake and flood insurance often end up being very high. As a natural disaster strikes, these premiums can go up even more. If you live in one of the high-risk areas for natural disasters, you’ll want to check with your insurance agent ahead of time to plan for the additional costs that these special kinds of insurance will incur.
Water Costs During A Drought
There are many areas across the US that suffer drought conditions from time to time. Your water bill can skyrocket during these times. It’s best to continue conserving water and watch your bill closely in order to try and save some costs. There’s not a whole lot you can do otherwise to control your bill. You’ll need to stay prepared with some extra cash on hand in case of these emergencies and know that costs can rise due to different environmental conditions.
Tax Hikes And Special Assessments
As a homeowner, you’ll need to prepare for different kinds of assessments and tax increases. If your condominium complex needs significant repairs then you’ll probably end up paying an assessment to help offset the costs. This is what comes with belonging to a homeowner’s association.
You can’t prevent that the town is building a brand new school that requires a tax increase, nor can you prevent roof damage on one of the buildings in your complex. Financially, this is a hidden cost of homeownership that you should be prepared for.
Unexpected Maintenance Costs And Home Furnishings
Once you move into a home, you’ll need to prepare for the unexpected. The dishwasher may need to be replaced. The roof may need repair. The walls may need some paint.
When you buy a home you may also need a bunch of things to furnish the home. These could include dishes, pots and pans, sofas, beds, and more. You don’t want to leave your new home completely empty! You also don’t want to be without vital appliances like an oven or a sink for too long if they are outdated or in disrepair. This is why it’s a good idea to have extra money on hand to deal with any of these costs.
The best rule of thumb to follow when buying a home is to always be prepared with a but of extra cash on hand to avoid major issues down the road.
When you hire a house cleaner or maid service, you expect that your house will be neater and cleaner. There are certain rules that you should follow to keep your house maid happy. Your maid is not there to clean up after you for absolutely everything you do in your home. You need to give your cleaning person the tools to do his or her job well.
Here’s What You Should Do Before Your Cleaning Service Arrives
Pre-cleaning before you are paying someone to clean your house may seem counter intuitive. They are there to clean for you, right? The problem is that the more your cleaning service has to clean, the longer that it will take. This means that the messier your house is, the more expensive that it will be for you to have your home cleaned. Here’s what you should do before the maid service gets to the home:
Clean Up Your Dirty Dishes
You should take the time to load your dishwasher and clean up your sink a bit. It can take a lot of time for your house keeper to take care of these small things that should be a part of your daily tasks.
Do Your Own Laundry
It is advisable for you to take care of your own laundry if you have the time to do it yourself. Doing laundry could take your house keeper hours of time. They could use that time to do other things like dust, scrub, and deep clean your home.
Put Away Your Own Things
Do you have leftovers in the kitchen that need to be put away? Are there clothes on the floor of your bedroom? Do the kids‘ toys need to be put away? Some of these tasks can be done simply by you in a matter of minutes instead of by your house keeper.
The bottom line is that you don’t want your house keeper to see you as a slob. While they are more than happy to clean your home, they aren’t your personal servant. Also, your house cleaner probably isn’t showing up to your home daily. You want to keep up your clean home in between professional cleanings.
What You Should Let The Housecleaner Do
Your house cleaner is there to help you complete certain tasks around your home. In fact they really want to do certain things in your home to help you get a deep clean that you wouldn’t otherwise have. Your housekeeper wants to help you with:
- Deep cleaning your bathroom sink
- Cleaning your toilet
- Deep cleaning your kitchen
- Mopping the floors
How To Assist Your House Keeper
There are a few things that you should do to help your housekeeper do their job well. These tasks include:
- Keep pets out of the way
- Tell your housekeeper exactly what you need
- Make the maid aware of any special tasks you need to be completed
If you cooperate with the housekeeper, hiring a cleaning service can be one of the best time-saving decisions for you for a cleaner home.
Home renovations are generally thought of as a good thing. You can update your home for your own comfort. New amenities will make your life easier. Your home can expand in size. Whatever you are planning to do in your home is bound to have a positive affect. One thing to be aware of when you’re gearing up for the process of any type of home renovation is that of your home insurance. You want to protect yourself and your home as your go through the stages of home renovations. Below, you’ll find some tips to help you complete renovations you desire in your home without having surprise insurance bills.
Check That Your Contractor Has Insurance Coverage
Before you sign a contract with any contractor be sure that they have sufficient insurance coverage. In particular you want to be sure that they have workers‘ compensation coverage and liability insurance. Don’t be afraid to ask the contractor for the necessary certificates and confirmation of insurance coverage before you even sign the contract. It’s your right as a consumer to know that your contractor is covered properly.
Beware Of Subcontractors As Well
Just because your general contractor is covered doesn’t mean that all subcontractors that are hired have the correct insurance. Electricians, plumbers, and other specialty contractors will need their own insurance on the job. The same rules apply as when you’re hiring any other contractor. Check with the general contractor to understand if their policy will cover all workers that are hired, or if these individuals need to carry their own insurance policies. Check with your home insurance company to see what your home insurance does and doesn’t cover during a renovation period on your home. The more knowledge that you have going into the process, the better it is for you.
For Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy
Once the renovations are complete, you’ll need to reassess the policy coverage amounts that you have for your home insurance policy. The renovations that you have completed will undoubtedly increase the value of your home causing you to need to increase the replacement value of your home on your insurance policy. Don’t forget to include everything from new appliances to furniture that has been replaced in the renovation. This will help you to avoid any gaps in coverage. This way, you’ll know that your home will be fully covered. With the right insurance coverage you’ll know that your home is can be rebuilt to the same specifications in the event of a complete loss. You always want this peace of mind as a homeowner.