Living in your own home is part of the American dream, but this dream will cost you a lot of money in the long run. Apart from making monthly mortgage and property tax payments, you also need to handle maintenance costs and pay for utilities. There is also the possibility of damages that require costly repairs.
If you are struggling with keeping up with your home ownership bills, you are not alone. According to Fool.com, Americans spend close to $1,700 per month on housing. That amount covers mortgage payments, utilities, and other expenses. While some can afford to shoulder these payments without problem, others are struggling to keep up.
It’s possible to keep your home ownership costs down and save more money for other important expenses. Let’s look at a few tips that will help you maximize your housing budget and give you more cash to spend as you live the American dream.
1. Save on water
When it comes to savings, water has to be at the top of the list. Whether you are using it for drinking or doing the laundry, water gets wasted easily. There are ways for reusing water so you won’t have to open the tap now and then. For one, you can save the water you use to boil vegetables or pasta and pour it over your garden.
You can also install a grey water system to collect residual water from your bathroom and reuse it for irrigating your lawn. Lastly, make it a habit to check your pipe system for leaks and patch them up.
2. Assess and appeal your property taxes
If you want to lower the taxes you pay on your home, you can have your home assessed. If you are still stuck with a higher tax bill, consider appealing your home’s assessed value. This will require a fee and you may need to get an attorney to represent your case in front of the local tax board. Their approval will depend on your home’s comparables with similar homes in the area and compare texas electricity rates.
3. Do an energy audit
How much electricity does your home consume? Over time, appliances and lighting fixtures consume more energy. You will need to see if there’s anything you can do to reduce your electricity bills. Consider doing an energy audit and determine the improvements you need to apply that will save you a lot of money in the long run.
From there, you can identify leaks, add insulation, or even switch energy plans. Check if you can sign up for affordable wind energy plans in your state.
4. Consider refinancing
If your home has gained at least 20% equity, you can opt to refinance your property. This allows you to get a new mortgage at a lower interest rate and for a longer-term. Just be sure to shop around for a mortgage that fits your current financial needs. Do your homework as well and look for rates that are best suited to your situation.
Home ownership doesn’t have to be costly. You just need to follow the right approaches so you can enjoy the American dream on your terms.
Also read: Why & How to Refinance Home Mortgage?