The American dream has changed a bit over the past few years. Don’t quote me on that, because I don’t know if that’s official or whatever; but people are more likely to say their own American dream is to be debt-free now than they are to say home-ownership is on their list of big dreams. The whole 2.4 kids, a dog and a white picket fence is less important to many young people today than travel and financial freedom. I, for one, don’t see why we can’t just have it all. Sure, my 2.4 kids are actually 4 kids, I don’t have a dog and my fence is black not white. The point is that owning a home is really kind of the most amazingly stressful thing in the world. It’s yours, and it’s your pride and joy. It’s expensive, though.
Not just the actual part where you have to pay for the house and go through the closing process and all that, either. It’s expensive outside of paying your mortgage. Being a homeowner means you have to do things like fix stuff. If you’re not handy, and I nor my husband is handy at all, you pay people to be handy on your behalf. Things break, things get old and need repair. Things happen; it’s life. The good news is that sometimes life happens, and it’s the best thing that might happen. If you’re upgrading things around the house, or you have to fix something that might be a bit costly, listen up.
You can actually spend some money around the house to save some serious money over the course of time. Don’t pout just yet; so the fridge broke and you have to spend some money to replace it. I know you don’t want to, but you might find that this investment pays off big time in the future because buying smart is going to benefit you. Here are a few upgraded items you can buy for more now that means big savings later.
Buy better appliances
One thing we love about our kitchen is all the high-end appliances. We’re talking super high-end, too, like professional kitchen high-end. They’re not energy efficient, though. The only thing we had to do was purchase a new fridge since our house did not come with one, so we chose a great stainless steel side-by-side with the energy star logo on it. It might not seem like much, but that simple little addition means you’re going to save as much as 30% on your energy expenses.
We even went so far as to replace our ‘beer-rator’ in the laundry room with an energy-star fridge to hold the additional stuff that we have no room for in the kitchen. The rest of the appliances are just too expensive, gorgeous and amazing for me to want to replace with anything energy-efficient (go ahead and judge me for leaving a bigger carbon footprint than necessary…I’ll feel super bad about it when I’m cooking Thanksgiving dinner in my pro-series double wall oven).
The additional good news is that you can replace your appliances with those that are actually far cheaper to maintain and run, and you can see if there are available tax credits that will save you even more money. Check Energy.gov for that information.
It’s a lot more expensive to install a tankless water heater than it is to buy anything else, but it is so worth it. For one, most tankless water heaters save homeowners $80 per year on their utility costs. That’s $800 over the course of a decade. Additionally, you will find that you can save even more over the course of the next 15 years since you’re warranty on that baby is going to last 15 years instead of the standard 6 years that most water heaters offer.
Finally, you’ll also get some tax credits for installing a tankless water heater in your home. It’s worth it to add to the expense of replacing one now since it’s going to cost you so much less in the future.
One of the most important ways for you to save money on your home is to add some security. The first thing to do when you move into your home is replace the locks. For one, you might want nicer locks. Secondly, how many people do you think have a key to your front door after previous owners handed them out to their family, their friends, their dog-walker, their cleaning company, etc.? That’s a lot of people with unwanted access to your home. It’s going to save you an insurance deductible and the cost of a lot of expensive items to change those locks.
Finally, a home security system is also a great investment that always pays you back big time. For one, you can get a break on your homeowners insurance with a security system. Why? Your insurance company is far less likely to have to pay you big bucks after a break-in when you have a security system since most burglars aren’t sticking around when they hear the alarm go off. It’s peace of mind, insurance savings and it’s a good upgrade.
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