If you’re not familiar with them already, then you certainly will be soon. Home disasters are among the most stressful things that can happen to a homeowner.
You’re finally managing to change your spending habits, you’re setting out some firm plans for a new home budget, then out of nowhere your boiler starts to play up!
As I’m sure you can imagine, emergencies like this can really throw all our financial plans into the air. If you don’t have any savings to fall back on, and your home runs into a mess like this, what will be your next move?
Here’s some of the best ways to pay for emergency home repairs.
Take Out A Loan
The obvious way of covering your emergency home repairs, which a lot of people jump to as soon as these things happen, is by taking out a loan. I know that if you’re trying to stabilize your budget and improve your credit score, taking out any more loans can really go against your gut instinct. However, no one’s going to call you wasteful for covering a repair you really need, and a loan can often be the most straightforward answer to your problems.
If you’ve got quite a considerable figure to pick up, then you may want to go straight for a home equity loan. If your house happens to be worth more than you owe on it, then you can use this equity to cover the cost of any major work which you need done in your home. The only real drawback here is that they use your home as collateral, and you’ll lose it if you fail to pay back the loan!
Aside from that, you may be able to cover the costs by taking out a simple personal loan, or borrowing from your retirement fund or life insurance. Extra debt isn’t ideal, but a loan will certainly fix the issue!
Check Your Homeowners Insurance Policy
I’ve heard of many people who take out loans to cover pressing home costs, and later end up kicking themselves when they realize they didn’t need to take on the extra debt at all! Before you make any serious financial decisions when sorting out your emergency repairs, be sure to check your home insurance policy.
The cost of a major home repair may be fully or partially covered. Let’s say there was a massive storm, and your roof took so much damage that it had to be replaced completely. In most cases like these, your insurer will pick up some, if not all, of the cost to replace the roof. If your insurer pulls through for a claim like this, it can wrap up your home repairs swiftly and save you all kinds of financial headaches further down the line.
The important thing is not to shy away from filing the claim. Even if the damage to the roof seems fairly minor, it will likely cost you a small fortune to have all the repairs done off your own back.
Home Repair Assistance Grant
In very exceptional circumstances, when some freak damage to your home is actually causing a risk to the health of you and your family, you may be able to apply for a home repair assistance grant.
Recently, these grants have been ground down fairly significantly. Furthermore, it’s only paid to you after all the work is done, and you’ve been able to produce all the right receipts and documentation. There have been a lot of different uses recorded for home repair assistance grants. However, the large majority of them have only been approved for significant damage to the outside of the house, for example rendering and roofing issues.
Aside from that, the damage to your home has to be a significant threat to your health and safety for a home repair assistance grant to be approved. If the electric wiring in your home has been damaged out of the blue, and you can show that it’s making your home less safe, then you may have a shot at getting one of these grants. However, if a pipe has burst and you’re just getting a steady drip from your ceiling, you’ll probably be told to sort your own problems out!
Community Development Program
Depending on where you live and the nature of the damage to your home, you may be able to deal with your repairs by seeking assistance from a community development program. These are typically run by small, council-funded groups of volunteers who work to help people in the local community. When natural disasters strike, or something equally unpredictable grinds your house down into disrepair, these groups may be able to source money from the local government or push through a home repairs grant to help you out.
As you can imagine, just like the home repair assistance grant, you’ll only be able to go with this option when you’re going through very rare (and often tragic) circumstances. There are usually a set of rules dictating who can qualify for this kind of assistance and who can’t. For example, you may need to have an income that’s equal to 80% of the town’s median income. Disabled or senior homeowners may also be in a better position to qualify for community development assistance.
The precise regulations vary a lot from place to place, so do your research before reaching out to one of these groups. Even if your house is in a great shape, it can pay to find out the rules in your area right now!
There you have 4 handy ways to deal with your unexpected repairs if and when they come up. While I’ve tried to make this post as helpful as possible, I hope you never have to use it!