2019 saw the largest growth in first-time homebuyers in over a decade. They represented 38 per cent of all homebuyers in the single-housing market.
Whether you’re a first-time homeowner or have owned a house for years, you know it’s a significant investment. Not only do you spend a lot of money upfront to purchase the home, but it takes a lot of cash to maintain it too.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep your home from draining your bank account. Today’s technology allows us more control over our homes than ever. Here’s how you can take advantage of that to save money!
Take advantage of smart home settings
Today’s technology allows us to control a variety of devices remotely. This technology, also known as the Internet of Things (IoT), gives you many ways to save money.
The IoT has impacted almost every aspect of our society, from how we manage finances to how we run our homes. Having a smart home gives you the ability to control many of the costs and risks of homeownership.
A smart home includes Wi-Fi-equipped safety features, including smoke alarms, water leak detection, and electrical outlet shutoffs. You can respond quickly to any emergency, allowing you to save thousands of dollars. You don’t have to worry about coming home to a surprise flood or fire!
Smart locks and video surveillance are also features that can save you a lot of cash and prevent major headaches. Detect intruders, alert police, or simply let your children in securely after school. No more hiding a key under the flowerpot where a thief can find it.
Finally, you can use smart home settings to save money on your heating and cooling. By setting temperatures to raise and lower automatically throughout the day, you optimize comfort and protect your budget. Whether you’re home, asleep, or on vacation, smart home technology allows you to maximize your cost savings.
Get regular maintenance on appliances
Maintenance is one of those things we love to put off. After all, why pay a service fee today if we don’t have to?
The biggest reason is that failing to get regular maintenance can cause you to need significant repairs — or even a whole new appliance — in the future. Make sure you follow through on routine tasks like draining your water heater and having your plumbing inspected each year.
It’s important to get your HVAC serviced regularly and perform preventive inspections and repair on your roof, foundation, and more. Having a home maintenance checklist will help ensure you don’t miss anything that needs to be done.
Like regular medical checkups, maintenance on your home helps you catch small problems before they become big — and expensive. Don’t overlook this critical part of your routine!
Do an energy audit
Energy costs are one of the biggest recurring expenses you’ll have in your home. You can benefit both your wallet and the planet by doing a home energy audit and making improvements that help reduce your energy bills.
During a professional audit, an energy inspector will come in and assess your energy use. They will show you where you’re losing air and how you can improve your efficiency. If you’d rather do it yourself, research common ways homes waste energy. Then, review your property to see if any of them apply to you.
Some quick fixes that can help you lower your energy bills include:
- Changing to energy-efficient light bulbs;
- Sealing windows and doors;
- Using smart technology to turn off appliances and lights when not in use; and
- Managing the temperature of your home carefully.
If you’re interested in larger projects, you can look at replacing windows with energy-efficient options, installing Energy-Star rated appliances, or even using solar panels to provide some of your home’s power.
Review your mortgage
Many homeowners choose a mortgage lender based on the loan options they need at that time. For instance, your mortgage choice may have been limited by a low down payment or the desire to use a specific homebuyer incentive program.
Once you’ve had your home for a few years, things change. Not only do you no longer need to qualify for those specific programs, but interest rates may go down, and new mortgage options may be available.
One way to keep your home from draining your bank account is to review your mortgage arrangement every few years. You might be able to refinance and remove private mortgage insurance (PMI), for example. Or, if interest rates have dropped, you can take advantage of that with a new loan.
It never hurts to look into the options available to you. However, watch out for fees and closing costs because those can eat into the savings you hope to realize.
Your home doesn’t have to be a drain
Owning a home is wonderful for many reasons. You generally do what you want with your property, you have more space than a condo or apartment, and you are building an asset for your future.
However, from day to day, owning a home can be expensive. The good news is that you can do something about that! With the tips above, your home will be more efficient and less costly. You deserve to enjoy your home, not worry about your budget. Take some of these cost-saving steps today!