After a relatively long drought we’re starting to see some significant home repairs. These come, of course, right after we did some modest kitchen upgrades, and planned a fairly expensive vacation (at least compared to our normal car trips – airfare is expensive with all of the TSA add-ons. We have now found that a poorly constructed patio is diverting water under our house and will probably need to be removed.
Luckily we caught the problem early and will probably be able to correct the damage to the house with minor repairs. We’re expecting a good-sized bill for removing the patio, however, and then there will be the cost of replacing the patio with something properly constructed.
My first lesson to share is to look carefully at things like grading and water flow paths when buying a house. Also, make sure you get a good home inspector to look for issues like this. Think about where water will go when it rains and make sure it isn’t directed under the house, as it is with ours, by any patios or sidewalks.
The saving grace, however, is that since we have not been racking up debt on credit cards and making two car payments a month, we’ll have the money available to just pay for the repairs. It is not pleasant, and not exactly how I like to spend money since it doesn’t seem like we getting anything new for our money, but at least I’m not looking at getting a HELOC or something to pay for the repairs.
This type of security is a big reason why saving and investing are important. Some people will buy the biggest home for which they can qualify for a loan. They then don’t have the money to heat and cool the place, let alone replace a roof or deal with unexpected repairs. With time they get deeper and deeper into debt until their dream home becomes their nightmare.
When you’ve saved and built up an investment portfolio, emergencies become inconveniences. Job losses become opportunities to find something better. It may be difficult to eat lunch in while coworkers are going out everyday, or spend more time with family game nights than going out for dinners and movies, or vacationing at the beach while friends are flying to Europe, but the security and flexibility it gives you is invaluable. Also, as the income from your investments builds you can start to do the same things, except you’ll be able to pay with cash and end up paying a lot less than your friends.
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Disclaimer: This blog is not meant to give financial planning or tax advice. It gives general information on investment strategy, picking stocks, and generally managing money to build wealth. It is not a solicitation to buy or sell stocks or any security. Financial planning advice should be sought from a certified financial planner, which the author is not. Tax advice should be sought from a CPA. All investments involve risk and the reader as urged to consider risks carefully and seek the advice of experts if needed before investing.