If only home emergencies gave advance notice before emerging. If only today’s inflation didn’t make paying for them such a pain.
Inflation is notorious for taking a wrecking ball to the best laid and most-needed home improvement plans. When it comes to essential home emergency repairs, inflation today can even be more merciless.
When you need to perform repairs necessary to maintain your home’s livability you need to have the emergency funds available. For some projects can’t simply wait until tomorrow, next week, next month or next year.
Unfortunately, inflation doesn’t care. These days it’s driving up the completion costs of almost all home repair projects.
“Some expenses that go with home ownership can often be unpredictable and costly,” CNBC.com’s Sarah O’Brien writes.
Per Property Management, here are 2023’s most expensive home repair projects:
- Sewer Line Repairs: $6,000
- Foundation Repairs: $4,500
- Mold Removal: $2,230
- Deck Repairs: $1,800
- Driveway Repairs $1,700
- Septic Tank Repairs: $1,500
- Electrical Repairs: $1,300
- HVAC Repairs $1,000
- Roof Repairs: $870
- Siding Repairs: $750
Planning for the Worst Case Scenario
The problem for most homeowners working on fixed or limited home repair budgets is that most essential emergency home repair projects come with no warning. For unprepared home owners without the ready funds to pay for the job, the result can be financial disaster: Costly home repairs paid for by credit card.
That’s why it’s essential to have a home repair savings account in the event a worst case home repair scenario strikes your family this year.
“When one thing goes wrong it brings a wave of anxiety and dread about what could go wrong next,” Courtney Klosterman, home insights expert at Hippo Insurance, told CNBC.com. “Taking a proactive approach to home care can save not just money but time and anxiety, as well.”
Property Management reports homeowners spend $1,640 on average annually for emergency repairs. The annual cost tag is higher for older homes (7% more on average for homes built before 1940). Water damage repairs run $3,192 on average. Insurance claims caused by freezing average $10,850.
A home water disaster, as anyone who’s lived through one can tell you, is a costly ordeal you don’t want to experience.
“You don’t want a water leak,” Angie Hicks, chief customer officer of Angi, warns. “Water is the worst enemy of your house.”
The 1% Home Emergency Expenses Fund Rule
Most importantly, you can’t afford to face these home repair emergencies with an empty or non-existent emergency home repair fund. Home repair experts recommend investing 1% of your home’s value annually into a Home Maintenance and Emergency Repair Savings Account or Rainy Day Fund. For example, if your home’s valuation is $400,000, have $4,420 on hand for home maintenance and emergency repair needs.
For, by cruel rule, you never know when home appliance and circuit breakdowns and meltdowns may strike.
“Since you never quite know when a water heater will quit or when your AC will decide to go on the fritz on a host day, you need to do what you can now to be prepared,” The Zebra.com advises.
HomeAdvisor expert Dan DiClerico recommends investing even greater into a Home Rainy Day Fund: 2-5% of your home’s value to try to beat home repair emergencies to the punch. Annual home appliance health checks can catch, aid and replace, if needed, ailing appliances before they break down.
“That’s why preventative maintenance is key — basically taking steps to make sure your home isn’t hit with sudden catastrophic damage,” DiClerico stresses.
Because home repair emergencies rarely RSVP before arriving at the worst possible time.