Ways to Save Money as a Homeowner

Homeownership is one of the best feelings you can have as an adult.  It brings you a sense of accomplishment, pride and fulfillment.  But with homeownership comes much more responsibility and stress; making mortgage payments, keeping up with repairs, dealing with higher utility bills to name a few.  By no means is home ownership cheap.

I think it’s fair to say that finding ways to save money is something that everyone would love to do.

One of the messages my father instilled in me throughout my childhood was to take care of my possessions; no matter if it was my school books, my bicycle or as I grew older, my first car and now my home.  He always said it was easier to take care of my things from the onset than to repair them once broken or replace them.

No truer words have been said as it relates to homeownership.  Here are things you can do (and make dad proud) that will reduce the maintenance costs of your home over the long haul.

Check the Insulation in Your Attic – And Install More If Needed

If you have an unfinished attic there should be at least six inches of insulation everywhere (more if you live in the northern part of the United States).

If there’s inadequate insulation up there – or the insulation you have appears to be damaged – install new insulation. Many states offer financial incentives, up to a 75% refund, for instance, to encourage homeowners to better insulate their homes.

Negotiate a Better Mortgage Rate with HARP

If you’re a homeowner and you want to save yourself thousands of dollars this year, there’s a government program that you might be able to take advantage of called HARP. The Home Affordable Refinance Plan (HARP) could help hundreds of thousands of Americans reduce their monthly payments by as much as $3,500 in their first year. The program was set to expire in 2017 but has been extended to 2018 for the time being. In order to qualify for HARP you’ll need good or excellent credit, so if you don’t have a very good credit rating then this probably isn’t for you, but the good news is, if approved, once you’re in, you’re in.

Never Pay For Home Repairs Again

Many homeowners don’t have the extra cash to shell out for repairs when something in the house breaks. Furnace breakdowns, electrical issues, broken refrigerator, a broken furnace or an electrical malfunction on a ceiling fan; these are costly repairs.

A home warranty program should be a minor cost that can end up saving you major money.  A Home Warranty Program can save you a lot of money in the long run. It will cover any unexpected repairs to your appliances, plumbing, water heaters, heating and other electrical systems. They also will replace anything that they can’t fix.

Deduct Your Mortgage Interest on Your Tax Return

A report from Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation estimates some $70 billion in mortgage interest deductions annually among American taxpayers. Make sure you get your fair share — not just because mortgage interest can be substantial, but this tax break alone opens the door for many taxpayers to itemize other, smaller breaks instead of settling for the standard deduction. Simply use Form 1098 if you have paid more than $600 in mortgage interest in the tax year.

 

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