Five ways to find housing specialists that fit your budget
Owning a home can quickly add up in costs. If you read our blog last month about the hidden costs of home ownership, then you’re no stranger to this truth. Whether you need pipes replaced or someone to mow the lawn, your home will require ongoing maintenance. There are ways to keep those costs down, however.
1. Trade your services with friends
Do you have a skill you can use to trade services with a friend or neighbor? You don’t have to be an expert to do this. Maybe you can hook up a dishwasher, clean a house, or babysit. People are always needing extra help, so seek out people you know with the particular skill set you’re looking for, and offer a few options of how you can help them in return. This is probably the most effective way to save money.
2. Ask friends, family members, neighbors, or your realtor for referrals
When hiring someone to work inside your home, a good rule of thumb is to ask a family member, friend, or neighbor if there is someone they recommend. There are a couple of benefits to going this route: You will be able to compare what you were quoted with what your family member paid, you can ask about their reliability, trustworthiness, and if they were satisfied with the work before hiring someone, and you may even get a deal because your friend sent them to you, and they are hoping to be referred to other people in your network. “I know a guy” is the response you’re looking for.
3. Learn a new skill
Depending on your flexibility, you can use this time to learn a new skill. This may not be the best option for those who have full time jobs, kids, or other obligations, but if you have time to fit it in on the weekends or evenings, then go for it! These days, there are many platforms that offer video tutorials and blogs that can teach you to DIY. YouTube is a great platform with many video tutorials from real estate and house specialists like this. Home improvement stores often have classes (in person and online) for basic home repair as well.
4. Hire local teenagers/college students to help
Teenagers and college students are always looking for extra income. Ask the kids in your neighborhood, at your place of worship, or community centers if they would be willing to help for a specified fee. While this option may not work for more complicated projects, by delegating smaller tasks to younger people, you can save money for one type of service and use it toward hiring a professional in another.
5. Find an app or website for local contractors, freelancers, and handy people
Use a platform like Facebook, Angie’s List, Nextdoor, Craigslist, or Google Reviews to search for groups and pages for local contractors. Many people advertise their skills and services this way, and if you use Facebook, you can see if you have any mutual connections, which allows you to “vet” the person before hiring them.
There are ways to save money
Whether you use one of these strategies or all of them, there are ways for you to save money on services needed for your house. For some tasks, it may be more secure to hire a professional, despite the costs. Don’t skimp when it comes to serious problems like plumbing, wiring, and roofing - in the long run you will probably end up spending more on further repairs. For simpler tasks like landscaping, painting, or installing kitchen hardware, these are great options to help you save money. Learn more about money management with our informative course!