If you own a home, January is a great time to plan for the year ahead and set goals that keep your place (and your bank account) in good shape.
We’ve collected a few ideas that could kick your homeownership game into high gear:
1. Set up an emergency fund
If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s to prepare for the unexpected. Setting up a dedicated emergency fund for your home can come in handy in case of natural disaster, illness, or even job loss. For budgeting tips, read this advice from our Castle & Cooke Mortgage CFO.
2. Save on utility bills
One of the easiest ways to lower your gas, water, and electric bills is routine maintenance. Set a goal to change your furnace filters every month. Then, read these tips to save water around the house. You can also check out our list of ways to stay warm in the winter.
3. Create an emergency kit
You never know when disaster will strike, and it’s a good idea to have a 72-hour kit packed and ready. Include chargers, flashlights, emergency radios, copies of important documents, medications, cash, and first aid supplies. To learn more, visit Ready.gov.
4. De-clutter, one room at a time
It can be overwhelming to think of tidying up your whole home at once, but why not set a goal to clean up just one room a month? Get tips and tricks in our Springtime Organization Checklist.
5. Make a monthly maintenance plan
It’s a lot easier to reach your goals if you have a solid plan in place. This month is a great time to assess your home’s maintenance needs and prioritize tasks. From there, you can make a monthly plan and set up reminders in your phone or email so you can execute that plan on time. For more info, visit this sweet home maintenance blog.
6. Re-evaluate your mortgage financing
Rates have been near record lows for a few years now. If you haven’t refinanced lately, the time is now to give your loan officer a call.
Even if you have refinanced in the last few years, you may be eligible for a new cash-out refinance to pay for home repairs. You might also want to consider making extra mortgage payments to save on interest down the road. Your loan officer can help you understand options and make a solid plan for the future.