Buying a house is likely to be the biggest financial commitment that you make. Not only that, it is a commitment that is constantly renewed as you work to maintain your home and shape it until it is just right for you and your family.
In addition, your home is a huge emotional investment, containing precious memories and hopeful dreams for the future. Therefore, protecting this investment is one of the most important tasks you will ever face. So, when disaster strikes and threatens to devalue or damage your home, here are some of the steps you should take to protect your home.
Act quickly to stem financial troubles
For the majority of home purchases a mortgage will be used to pay off the property over a number of years. While this is generally a financially secure way of buying a home, if something occurs that negatively affects your income, then the investment that you’ve already made into your home could be at risk.
If you do start to fall behind on your mortgage repayments, the most important thing to remember is to not put your head in the sand. Talk to your mortgage broker or adviser as soon as you can and talk through your options. Also, don’t be tempted to use shady loan companies that are offering you quick money. Interest rates are often eye-wateringly large and will get you into further trouble.
Finally, the best way of protecting your financial investment is to avoid potential issues in the first place. Negotiate realistic mortgage payments when you buy your home to reduce the likelihood of you falling behind.
Get it inspected before the warranty expires
Your home can become damaged when you least expect it and not just as a result of unforeseen natural disasters. General wear and tear also takes its toll and can devalue your property significantly if not taken care of.
What most homeowners don’t take advantage of is the one-year warranty that is included in most purchases. Before the year is up, search for the best home inspection company based in your local area and get them to check everything. Your home may appear in good working order, but the inspection firm may discover a hidden fault that can be repaired as part of your warranty and save you money in the long-run.
Conduct regular home maintenance
Another way of protecting your investment is by conducting regular home maintenance. Although it’s easy to enjoy your home, waiting for for something big to break or go wrong rather than fixing the small issues, is often more expensive. The best thing you can do is give your house the regular TLC that it needs.
In addition, you will be able to carry out many of these home maintenance projects yourself. Firstly, keeping your home looking tidy and well-decorated is the easiest way to ensure that it doesn’t lose value. If you do come to sell your property, a buyer’s first impression will count a long way towards their final offer – so make sure it looks good. Secondly, tasks like clearing gutters, patching leaks, and checking walls for any cracks won’t take long but could have a major impact on your home’s value if you neglect them for a long period.
Get the right insurance policy
Home insurance is a great way of protecting your investment, but it’s not as simple as getting any old policy. Do you want buildings insurance, contents insurance, or both? Also, check the fine print carefully to find out exactly what you are covered for. If disaster does strike, you don’t want to discover that you haven’t been insured for a particular problem all along. Moreover, keep your insurer informed of any major changes that you make to your home. If you don’t, there’s a chance they won’t pay out when you need them to.
Work with the community
Sometimes forces beyond your control will act against your best interests. For example, a local council decision to build some concrete monstrosity in view of your house could have a negative impact on your home’s value, and it’s unlikely that you’ll get much of a say in the matter. As a lone voice, they are unlikely to take your concerns seriously.
However, ff you create a community initiative with your neighbors, your protestations are likely to have a much more powerful impact. By printing out some leaflets and expressing your concerns to local newspapers, you may just be able to amend or even prevent any developments scheduled to take place in your local community. Protecting your investment is a lot easier when you work together.