Many people say that buying a home is cheaper than renting. In the short term, it may be. But people forget extra costs of home ownership like maintenance, property taxes, and home insurance. To help reduce the ongoing costs of owing your home, choose a few of these tips to implement:
1. Plant trees around your home. Planting deciduous trees (those that lose their leaves in winter) on the east and west sides of your home will help keep it cooler in the hot summer months. By the time winter rolls around, the leaves are gone and natural sunlight can come in and provide a bit of warmth.
2. Lower your water heater temperature. Set your water temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to save money on energy spent keeping it warm. Very rarely do you use water that hot, so why bother keeping it set that high?
3. Use an indoor clothes drying rack or outdoor clothesline. Air drying was once the norm, and it still is in many parts of the world. You can save electricity costs by opting to dry some of your laundry by air. Not all clothes are dryer safe, so by hanging them up to dry, you'll prolong their lifespan.
4. Replace the locks. When you first move into a home, change the locks. There's no telling who else has a key. Also, you can have a few extra to give to a trusted friend or put in a safe spot in the event you find yourself locked out. Spending $5 on a copy that you leave with your neighbor can save the expense of a house call by the locksmith.
5. Review your home insurance policy. Review your policy to ensure that it's in your best interest. Understand the differences in coverage before signing the policy. Consider raising your deductible to cut premium rates. Pay annually for more savings.
6. Create a home maintenance checklist. There are certain tasks that need done with different frequency. Compile a list of these tasks and schedule time each month to run through them to keep things in working order. When you do find an issue, you'll be sure it's not been causing trouble for long, since you've reviewed it a month before.
These tips won't automatically save you hundreds of dollars upfront; some will cost money. But over the years you own your home, you'll be saving money. If you're ready to look into a cheaper homeowners insurance policy, contact us today.