Buying a home is not a light decision – we know that you know this. The price of homes has shot up dramatically. In 1940 in the United States, the median home value was less than $3,000. You could buy this home (the Westly) for only $1,874.
However when you factor in inflation, the median home price in 1940 would be around $30,600 in today’s market. That might get you one-quarter of the typical family home nowadays. Why am I telling you this? Simple math – life is getting more expensive for homeowners and is probably the main reason why most households struggle with debts as high as $139,500 or more.
Homes are, of course, not the only thing that’s has become more expensive. And the result can be dramatic, both for your bank account – without mentioning your credit score – and your health. Financial worries can create anxiety. Financial anxiety is a serious condition that affects around 25% of young adults who describe their emotions as feeling physically ill at the thought of debts and invoices. As a result, many Millennials find themselves unable to break harmful and costly patterns, such as relying too much on their credit cards at the risk of digging themselves into a much deeper financial hole.
But the truth is that you can’t reverse your financial situation overnight. However, you can address issues in your household that are dragging your budget. Indeed, being a homeowner makes you responsible for every cost related to your house. But more importantly, it also gives you the opportunity to tackle problematic expenses that can accumulate invisibly throughout the year. Indeed, your home might be a money pitfall. Organizing your way through the most commonly overlooked home issues can be the key to taking back control of your finances. Here’s a breakdown of the elements you should consider testing and fixing in your property.
The Electrical System Is A Mess
It’s always the same thing; when you buy an old property, you must deal with the mistakes left by the previous owners. When DIY projects have turned ugly, they can endanger the property, especially if you are unable to spot the problems before it’s too late.
One of the most common issues is your electrical system. Old wires or poorly organized electrical solution can not only damage your appliances, but it can also lead to explosions, hazard fires, and even electrocution. When it comes to managing your finances, you are more than likely going to have to budget for professional rewiring as soon as you notice something odd about your plugs, sockets and electrical wires.
For new homeowners, rewiring an entire property can be an unexpected cost, especially when you need to pay your mortgage back. However, you can take comfort in the knowledge that it’s the kind of project that needs to be done only once.
Unwanted Guests Have Put Your Structure at Risk
Now that little mouse may be adorable in the photo, but nobody wants to wake up to the sound of tiny feet running around, and see a mouse casually nibbling at your favorite jumper. A mouse invasion can be especially harmful to your household. For starters, it’s likely that by the time you realize you’ve got mice, you have a whole rodent family living inside your walls, in the loft, and under the floor.
Mice have sharp teeth. They can eat through your house structure to build their nest, which means that without a rapid pest control operation, you might have to wave goodbye to your home. Mice can weaken your structure, your foundations, and your electrical wiring. Additionally, they also eat your insulation, meaning that you’re likely to notice a sharp increase in your energy consumption.
Vintage Appliances Are Quaint But Expensive
While vintage kitchen appliances can give your modern home a retro feel, you have to be realistic about their quality and costs. While Grandma’s old fridge might look amazing, it’s likely to drain your energy consumption to provide only half of the performance of a modern refrigerator. You can encounter similar issues with old washing machines, dishwashers, ovens, vacuum cleaners, food processors, and electric cooking gadgets. The rule of the thumb is that if a device is more than 15-year-old, it’s likely to cost you most in energy than it would cost to be replaced. However, you can run a retirement savings calculator online to make sure your appliances are still the best they can be for you. Last but not least, there are some great retro kitchen appliance providers out there who give you that retro look on the outside but 100% modern on the inside.
The Leak Nobody Knew About
Leaks can happen out of the blue. It doesn’t take much for a few drops to escape the pipe or the tap. In old properties, especially, leaks can be left untreated for weeks, or even months as a result of occurring in places that you can’t access, such as behind the walls, under the roof or the shower.
Unfortunately, a leak you don’t notice can lead to mold formation and structural damage as a consequence of long-term water exposure. Additionally, a leakage happening in the proximity of electrical wires can cause sparks, electrocution and even an electrical explosion, which could be devastating.
A leak that affects a wall or a ceiling area can lead to a partial collapse of the structure as the materials become weak and porous. Even if the leak doesn’t put your home at risk, it’s likely to increase your water bills. Consequently, it’s always a good idea to get the house audited by a professional before you can commit to the purchase. You can use their report to consider the costs of replacing the old plumbing system in your offer, for instance.
It’s A Little Chilly During Winter
Last, but not least, your insulation doesn’t last forever. Old properties tend to lose heat as the insulation inside the walls and under the roof becomes old and damages. However, often, homeowners choose to compensate through their heating systems. Unfortunately, it’s a common phenomenon. As 98 million US homes are under-insulated, households are wasting 20% or more of their heat. If your house gets cold in winter, the best thing to do is to check your insulation and save yourself thousands of dollars on your energy bills!
In the end, there’s only one approach to your financial anxiety. Ask yourself where your house is wasting money. Tackling electricity, water, heating, and structural issues early can kickstart your financial recovery.
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Disclosure – I have teenagers who constantly need something and a husband who thinks items like race cars and boats are toys. So, throughout the blog you will find affiliate links that enable me to buy a bottle or two or three of wine to keep my sanity intact.