Unexpected repairs to your home… they always seem to come at a bad time, right? You either don’t have the money for them or have the money for them but the money is designated to something else… either way you look at it, unexpected home repairs are so inconsiderate of your time and money.
Before you became a homeowner, you probably paid rent somewhere, whether it was in an apartment or rental property. As a renter, you didn’t have to worry about unexpected repairs. The only worry about unexpected repairs was what you had going on at your living space (if you had company over). But the financial side of unexpected repairs as a renter was the least of your concerns… All you had to do was put in a work order with your landlord or maintenance department and they would typically have your repair fixed within the same week… those were the days, right?
Yes and no, actually. Both living options have pros and cons. As a renter, the pro was that you didn’t have to worry about unexpected repairs but the con was that the rent was too expensive. As a homeowner, the pro is that you own your home and have the freedom to do to it whatever you want but the con is that if you have any type of unexpected repair that needs to be done, you’re going to have to pay for it out of pocket.
So as you can see, each has its own good and bad but if you were to ask any adult which of the two is better, you bet your money that they’re going to say that homeownership is much better than renting… unexpected repairs and all. The biggest thing about unexpected repairs is making sure you have the money to pay for the repairs and that’s what makes it hard for homeowners and it can take a major toll on your health. According to the American Psychological Association, 72% of Americans are stressed about money in general, so just imagine the added stress with an emergency home repair that you don’t have the money for.
One of the biggest and most expensive repairs for a homeowner is installing or replacing an HVAC system. To replace an HVAC system, it can cost you anywhere from $4,800 to $10,000 and to install a new one, it can run you $6,000 to $17,000. If you’re only needing simple repairs like fuses and thermostat replacement, you can pay $100 to $200 per hour… that’s not too bad but when you don’t have the money for those repairs, it can be a major financial burden. So what do you do when your home repair costs exceed your budget?
Well, first and foremost, before even getting into the financials of it all, you need to find an HVAC repair company that not only has good comparable rates but you also want to find one that has a good reputation for good quality work. It’s important to look for the best one because HVAC repairs aren’t cheap and you want to fix it once and not need to get it fixed again for a very long time. If you’re a homeowner and want to be proactive against possible unexpected repairs to your HVAC system, take a look at your financial options.
Put in a Claim For Your Homeowner’s Insurance
A home repair emergency is something that could be covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy and an HVAC repair would definitely be considered as a home repair emergency but it would all depend on what your homeowner’s insurance policy considers as an emergency. You might not be able to see what kind of repairs need to be done but that’s why you would have an HVAC technician inspect your system.
Upon inspection, they might see that you need a whole new HVAC system. By putting in a homeowner’s insurance claim, it might be able to cover the majority, if not all, of the costs but you’ll never know until you check your policy. That’s the whole point of having homeowner’s insurance, right? Check it out and see how you can get your money’s worth.
Consider a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)
A home HELOC is a great option for you to consider paying for emergency home repairs, especially one as serious as an HVAC repair. What it does is allow you access to your home’s financial value but it’s very important to keep in mind that this type of loan is provided to you by your home’s value, so make sure you pay the money back on time.
Look Into Community Development Programs
When you have an HVAC emergency, you, of course, want to get it fixed immediately, so looking into community development programs is something you’d want to do before an emergency happens… this is an option you’d want to have in your back pocket, so to say.
Community development programs are financial options that lots of homeowners are completely unaware of. These programs are backed by state and local governments and financial institutions as well but it’s important to do your research on the various programs because certain programs have certain restrictions that may disqualify you, like income. It’s still worth looking into… you never know what you may qualify for, but again, this is something you want to look into before an emergency happens.
You Always Have Credit Cards to Rely On
When you have an emergency repair like something going wrong with your HVAC, your first instinct is probably to put it on your credit card… it’s just easier that way, right? Sometimes. You just have to be careful with credit cards because you might have credit cards but not have enough of an available balance to pay for the repairs you need. If that’s the case, you might have to apply for a new credit card with a new line of credit… that will only be another bill to pay every month unless you’d be able to pay it all off.
So just make sure you’re in a good place to take on utilize your credit card to pay for your emergency home repair… because remember, depending on the company you go with, HVAC repairs can be an hourly cost.
Image source: Morguefile.