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Owning a home is the American Dream. But what happens when that dream turns into a nightmare. Believe it or not, there are a lot of mistakes homeowners make that end up costing them big time in the long run, greatly reducing the ROI of homeownership.

The truth of the matter for all homeowners is that, eventually, unexpected issues pop up. It doesn’t matter if it’s minor or catastrophic, it’s almost certain to cost you time and money to fix. However, these “unexpected” issues really shouldn’t be that unexpected. More often than not, these costly problems are the result of poor maintenance or some other oversight.

Here are 5 costly mistakes homeowners make – and some tips on how to avoid them:

Ignoring the little things

Perhaps it’s a running toilet, a leaky faucet or a rotting board. These may seem like minor issues, but over time, problems such as these can turn into much larger matters – and potentially costly ones. For example, not only will a running toilet or leaky faucet increase your monthly water bill, but the leaks could be causing more unseen damage that can spread quickly. When you notice these small issues around the house, don’t procrastinate. Fixing one broken board on the deck today can save you from having to replace the whole thing a few years from now.

Not doing random home inspections

Speaking of ignoring the small things, many homeowners never perform simple inspections around the house. For example, when was the last time you checked out the attic or did an inspection on the crawl space under your house? It’s a good idea to inspect these areas and more at least every other year or so to ensure no leaks or other issues arise.

Not bundling insurance policies

Other common costly mistakes homeowners make is having multiple insurance policies with several different carriers. Your homeowner’s policy is here, your auto policy is there … a different carrier underwrites your flood or earthquake insurance. Bundling all these policies together can save you hundreds of dollars a year. For more information on how to bundle your insurance policies, speak with a Brashears Insurance agent today.

Skipping the home warranty

Despite your best maintenance efforts, eventually, your appliances and systems such as HVAC will shut down. One great cost savings program, especially for new homeowners, is a home warranty. Home warranties cover most appliances and home system in the event of failure. The program is especially useful when purchasing an older home and can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars worth of repairs or replacements. Insurance does not cover claims for wear and tear so a home warranty is the only way to not have to pay for failing appliances.

Not getting multiple bids on jobs

When something does break and is in need of repair, you might consider hiring a contractor to do the work. But not getting multiple bids on projects, even small projects, is another common mistakes homeowners make.  Keep in mind, however, that the lowest bid may not always be the best.

Finally, remember that your home is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make. Make sure you’re not throwing money down the drain. To speak with a Brashears Insurance agent and learn how to save money as a homeowner, call us today at (805) 564-7645.