Financing Home Repairs: Saving for a Rainy Day and Other Options

Purchasing a home is always a gamble. You never know what unexpected repair bills will crop up, but you will likely face an emergency home repair at some point in your life. Preparing for the worst is both an investment in your property and a hedge against the hit your finances may take when the roof needs repairing or a major appliance needs replacing.

Saving for a Rainy Day

There are many approaches you can take when saving a rainy day fund. There’s the 1 percent rule, which says you should set aside 1 percent of your home’s purchase price (homes in Rochester have been selling for an average price of $139,000) for maintenance and repairs. It’s a well-known formula, but it doesn’t account for fluctuations in the cost of home maintenance. Another point to consider is that the price of your house and the costs of home repairs aren’t necessarily related variables.

You can also save by assessing the average cost of major home repairs, from replacing a furnace to repairing a foundation (this repair averages $5,838), and saving based on those projections. To be adequately prepared, it’s important that you understand how much you’ll need to put in your emergency fund. Regardless of how you choose to prepare, keep your emergency funds secure in a high-interest savings account.

Homeowners Insurance

The first thing you should do if a home emergency occurs is to carefully check your homeowners insurance policy. Some natural causes, such as tornadoes and lightning strikes, are usually covered, while damage from flooding, sewage backup, and construction work damage may not be covered. If your repair is covered by insurance, you should be in good shape, so make sure you’re very familiar with the details of your policy.

Personal Loan

An emergency savings fund is generally considered the best way to prepare for any unexpected home maintenance costs, but it doesn’t always work for everyone. If you need cash for an emergency, a personal loan can be a good option. As an unsecured loan, there’s no need for collateral, and you can usually rely on an interest rate that remains steady through the life of the loan. Additionally, you don’t necessarily have to go to a bank. There are other lending options (such as SoFi and Lending Tree), and some will extend loans to people with bad credit.

Home Equity Line of Credit

A home equity line of credit (HELOC) can be an attractive alternative if you prefer the option of withdrawing cash as needed over time instead of in a lump sum. A HELOC gives you flexibility if you’re not sure how much a repair will cost or how long it will take. And since you’re using your home as collateral, you can expect a lower interest rate than with other loan options.

Credit Cards

A credit card should probably be your last-resort option for financing an emergency home repair. Your credit limit may not be high enough to handle the entire cost of a major emergency repair. Depending on your interest rate, you could wind up paying off a large portion of the repair costs in credit card interest, which is a bad scenario for your debt situation.

On the other hand, if your card charges 0 percent interest for a certain period, that may allow you to spread the overall expense out over multiple payments. It gets even better if your card offers reward points and other benefits. Otherwise, your savings, a personal loan, or HELOC would be preferable options in these situations.

A well-stocked rainy day fund is usually your best option for financing an emergency home repair. If you haven’t been able to set aside enough money for major home maintenance repairs, it’s in your best interest to know what other alternatives are available.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

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The Rochester NY Home Inspector addresses whether you and your families health is at risk due to asbestos exposure in your home

The path to home ownership can be a great time for you and your family. But this process is one that brings new responsibilities into the fold. Many older homes may contain harmful building materials and substances that need to be dealt with.

Homes or buildings built prior 1980 have a strong chance of containing asbestos, a fibrous mineral that was heavily used in building applications throughout the 20th century. Because asbestos has fire resistant and durable qualities, many in the construction industries viewed it as the ideal choice for insulation in piping, roofing and flooring. It was later discovered that the mineral can be highly corrosive and cause serious health problems.

Even homes built in the 1990’s have a small chance of harvesting asbestos due to the vermiculite insulation that came from a mine that contained a large amount of asbestos.

Through a professional home inspection process, you will receive information concerning all of the aspects in a home. As a homeowner, you can avoid asbestos exposure by taking some easy precautions. If asbestos is suspected, a property inspector will evaluate your home and make sure it is free and clear of any harmful materials!

Home Inspections & Asbestos Tips

A home inspection is extremely important in a variety of scenarios. In order to protect your investment, professional consultants can provide an evaluation of the home. Consultants will identify material defects structures and components of the home, in adherence to or exceeding national, state, and industry regulations and standards.

Your home may need structural inspections or even renovations and a home inspector can identify any materials that will be a problem. Through a professional consultation, home inspectors equipment and expertise have made this into a valuable process that rapidly studies any areas of concern.

When dealing with any suspected asbestos, there are certain commonalities and themes to take into account. If asbestos remains un-disturbed and in good condition, it does not pose any health risks. If the asbestos is in a deteriorated state and loose, then it will be a problem because its toxic fibers will move into the air. As a home or property owner, asbestos can appear in roof shingles, attic insulation, pipe coverings, joint compounds, electrical wires, furnace cement, fire brick and gaskets.

When an individual inhales airborne asbestos fibers, it can lead to the development of a severe form of asbestos lung cancer called mesothelioma. This chronic illness has a latency period that can last 20 to 50 years until it develops. This makes a mesothelioma life span not as positive as one would hope because of the difficulty in diagnosing it. With the right amount of awareness and a home inspection, it is completely avoidable and preventable to keep yourself away from asbestos!

Asbestos Removal and Healthy Tips

Asbestos removal in public facilities, workplaces and homes must be performed by licensed abatement contractors who are trained in handling toxic substances. They will be familiar with the regulations in protecting you and themselves from exposure to asbestos. They must wear protective equipment such as masks and gloves to avoid any exposure. The area is usually isolated from the rest of the house by shutting down ventilation systems and sealing them.

The New York State Department of Health has an asbestos program that can assist citizens and homeowners with pertinent information in regards to the usefulness of a home inspection and the safe handling/removal of asbestos. (If necessary) These types of public programs help protect and promote the physical and environmental health of citizens from asbestos exposure.

There are many green, healthy materials that replace the need for asbestos and can reduce energy costs annually such as: cotton fiber, lcynene foam and cellulose. Cotton fiber is quickly becoming a favorite for home builders and renovators. Made from recycled batted material, it is also treated to be fireproof. If you are a home owner and suspect that asbestos is present, make sure to call a home inspector immediately to determine the proper course of action.

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Rochester, NY Home Inspector Explains When To Replace an Asphalt Shingle Roof 585-654-7294

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Why You Should Hire A Quality Home Inspector in Rochester NY (585) 654-7294

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Rochester NY Radon Tester Says Your Families Health May Be at Risk

Watch this video to learn more about Radon. The invisible threat.

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National Property Inspections of Rochester NY

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The Perfect Christmas Gift

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A Very Sad & Dangerous Inspection

The Rochester NY Home Inspector thinks that you will find this article interesting. I am re-printing it here with the permission of the author.

I was called on to do a very sad and dangerous inspection.

The homeowner and a local County found me on line and teamed up to hire me to literally condemn a house. I have never been called on to do that before. Of course I have no ability or authorization to condemn anything. But my report can be used by County officials to justify it.
THE STORY – a soft-hearted homeowner hears of a circumstance of an 86 year-old lady, who’s husband had recently died, and a doctor has just “opened [her] up to close [her] back up giving [her] a short time to live.” This homeowner gave her a house to live in rent free, as a “Life Estate Gift,” for the rest of her life, so long as she maintained the property. She was to live in the house alone. Family was nearby to care for her, and could visit, but she was to live alone in the house. The house was built in the late 40s, and was in pristine condition, with recent updates.
THAT WAS TWENTY FOUR YEARS AGO. Over that time the rest of the family had moved in, and why not as it’s free living. Nobody works, all are on various assistance programs, federal and local, and ALL are on disability, including the children. The lady is still 86 years old… you get the rest. They have cost this soft-hearted homeowner tens of thousands of dollars since. They cost the taxpayer way into five figures EVERY MONTH.
At the time of my inspection the house is inhabited by 10-12 adults (nobody really knows), four children, four dogs, two pigeons and a million roaches and black widow spiders. Super healthy molds live everywhere. There is one bathroom, with a tub and shower that do not work, a small fridge, small range and small, one-bowl kitchen sink. There is hot water.
Of course this is a sad circumstance, to say the least. But the County has had many, many dealings with this group for years. I was told there was a coffin (!!) in the house full of enough guns to field an army, so the County was sending two officials to protect me while there. Fortunately, knowing I was coming, it had been removed or hidden off site.
This group knew I was coming to “inspect” the house, but did not know the entirety of the reason for my visit. As such, thinking their complaints were finally being satisfied by my inspection, and the County was finally coming down on the homeowner, THEY WERE VERY NICE TO ME. Nonetheless, the County officials stayed in and around the house the whole time I was there. I politely said hello to everybody and struck up conversations.
Before I went in, the Code Enforcement Officer told me that they had cleaned up and it looked “one thousand percent better” than the last visit. But, I was warned about what I would see.
I discovered something the County did not know, after all these years and dozens of visits to issue citations.
A BASEMENT APARTMENT! Living room and bedroom, taking up about 1/3 of the basement.
This scene was frightful and exasperating! The family living here, and apparently the four children, sleep on the bed. The curtain on the back wall is carpeting hanging from the ceiling and “hides” the oil-burning boiler and water heater. That sofa at the moment of this photograph has about 100 roaches crawling on it. Roaches are everywhere – on and in everything. And that TV on the left is larger than any TV in my house, and one of five in this house!
How bad was the basement overall? Neither County official would go down there! And I had a cough the rest of the day.
Based on just my verbal report at the end of my inspection, the County condemned the house and began relocating this group.
For my safety, they asked me to leave before they went back inside to inform the family of the immediate decision. I was told by my homeowner client that they put a red sticker on the door. I was also told that many County officials were there for the rest of the day, and into the evening.
The homeowner said that demolition could begin as early as twenty four to forty eight hours after my inspection. Yes, demolition was the goal of my inspection!
There will be more posts about this house. The first thing I did coming straight home was to disrobe in the laundry room and put my clothing directly into the washing machine, and take a shower. A day later I am still coughing.
As I said, it was a very sad and dangerous inspection.

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia

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Problems With Spray Foam Insulation

For Rochester NY Home Inspection information visit our website at:

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Rochester NY Home Inspector finds problems with wood composite siding

This video shows what will happen to wood composite siding if it is exposed to moisture. With this type of siding you really need to go around it at least once per year and touch up any exposed areas with caulk and paint or the material will soak up moisture, swell and delaminate.

Go to our website at if you need information on a Rochester NY Home or Commercial Inspection.

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