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57 Ways To Reduce Housing & Home Expenses


First some good advice & warnings. Check the license of any contractor you are hiring. Check with the Better Business Bureau. Get recommendations from friends. Hire a handyman for small jobs, but again, with a recommendation. Handymen do not need to be licensed for jobs under $500 (CA), so you will not be able check a license in this case.


Do not
contract with anyone who comes to your door with the "we are doing work in your neighborhood" routine. It is likely you will get shoddy work, and will never see them again.


Reducing Housing Expenses:

1. If you are "handy," consider buying an old, inexpensive house & modernizing it yourself.
2. Check firms that build the house's exterior and you do the inside work.
3. Give thought to living in a mobile home or modular housing.
4. You can save substantially by learning how to conserve home energy.
5. Insulate your home yourself & you may be entitled to a large tax credit.
6. Use solar energy in your home & reduce conventional energy expenses.
7. Pay property insurance premiums annually for substantial savings.
8. Moving costs may be tax deductible if it was done for business reasons.
9. If necessary, add extra rooms instead of looking for a larger house.
10. Keep your home in good condition. It will insure top money when selling.

Saving On Home Repair Bills:

11. Practice preventable maintenance. Take good care of what you have.
12. Get an illustrated manual & learn to repair most common problems yourself.
13. When needed, ask friends & neighbors who they recommend for repair work.
14. Always get competitive bids for larger repair jobs.
15. Before hiring a firm, ask for names of their customers you can contact.
16. If a loan is required for repairs, shop around for lowest interest rates.
17. Borrow money for the shortest period possible.
18. Use reputable firms. Check with Better Business Bureau if necessary.
19. Establish a good trusting relationship with a reliable repair service.
20. Get a signed cost estimate before repair work is started.

Where To Find The Best Home Bargains:

21. Discount stores.
22. Auctions.
23. Catalog stores.
24. Garage sales.
25. Flea markets.
26. Thrift stores.
27. Classified ads. (You'll get a better bargain from private owner, than from a store).
28. Sales and clearances of reputable stores.
29. Look for "floor samples" and "demonstrator's models
30. Shop for discontinued models and "slightly damaged" merchandise.
31. Buy "unclaimed" and "repossessed" furniture at warehouse sales.
32. Buy unpainted furniture and finish it yourself.
33. Try to buy wholesale. Some manufacturers have "wholesale outlets."
34. Consider working a swap with friends, relatives, neighbors.

How To Buy Furniture, Appliances, Furnishings Intelligently:

35. Before you buy, ask yourself, "Do I really need it?"
36. Shop around before you decide. Become an expert comparison shopper.
37. Ask around. Talk to others and ask their experiences, suggestions.
38. Go to the local library or Internet and check out recent articles on the subject.
39. Is the merchant reliable in case you have any problems later?
40. Never sign contracts or agreements until you know what you are signing.
41. If you buy on credit, keep a written record of your spending in your wallet.
42. Use charge cards only if you pay bills before interest is added.
43. Buy only low-energy, high efficiency appliances.
44. See if you can "make do" with what you have.
45. When ordering carpeting, ask for broadloom remnants and save about half.
46. Make some items yourself, such as curtains, draperies, bedspreads, etc.

When Is The Best Time To Buy What:

47. Buy radios and TV's during January & May sales.
48. February & June are good times to buy bedding, floor covering, furniture.
49. Shop March & July for good buys on washers and dryers.
50. Buy rugs during August and October sales.
51. Stock up on household linens during the months of January, May, & August.
52. March is a good month to buy a house, right after school vacation starts.
53. Buy a kitchen range, paint & wallpaper during April sales.
54. March is a good month to select a new air conditioner.
55. January sales are good for buying small appliances, blankets, quilts.
56. Buy housewares in February, September; china & glassware in March & September.
57. Buy fabrics in January & October; storm windows in June & July.


A Super Home Center Article
SuperHomeCenter.com, 2005 – All Rights Reserved


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