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It's Yours - Keep It!

The new year is fast approaching (and for those of us trying to shake off 2020, not fast enough!). That means it’s time to start looking ahead and dreaming big about the future for your home and family.

No matter where you are in your homeownership journey – whether you’re a new homeowner or you’re on your third house – setting goals for your household helps you prepare for whatever the coming year may throw at you.

So, make some room on your resolutions list – these are goals for every homeowner.

1. Start an Emergency Fund

Right now, 37 percent of Americans do not have a fund to cover a $1,000 emergency and would need to use a credit card for the expense, according to a 2020 Bankrate poll.

Life is unpredictable and full of unexpected costs. Owning a home is no different. An emergency fund can help you meet hurdles with a plan rather than panic.

So if you suddenly need to fix a leaky roof or a broken water heater, your fund can help save the day and keep you from putting the expense on a credit card.

Aim to have six months’ worth of expenses sitting in a savings account but start somewhere. Sock away any money you get for the holidays. Add a portion of every paycheck to this savings account. Make your emergency fund part of your household budget in 2021.

2. Get a Better Rate on Your Home Insurance

The new year is a great time to get your finances in order. That also means making sure you aren’t leaving money on the table.

Our survey found that 40 percent of Florida homeowners don’t know the cost of their home insurance. A surprising 36 percent said they hadn’t shopped for home insurance in more than five years. Both are a recipe for overpaying on your homeowners insurance.

If it’s been a few years since you’ve shopped around for coverage, request some quotes and see what’s out there. It’s also smart to review your policy and make sure your coverage is up to date with your needs. For example, if you live in a flood-prone area in Florida, it might be time to consider flood insurance.

3. Reduce Your Energy Consumption

Energy bills can be super expensive depending on where you live. Make a goal this year to find small ways to reduce your energy consumption or to consume smarter without sacrificing comfort.

For example, you might install a smart thermostat that adjusts the temperature of your home at just the right times to save on heating or cooling. Energy Star appliances can help you use less water and less electricity. Or you might simply unplug devices that aren’t in use – it adds up!

Many utility companies offer a “home energy audit” to show where you use the most energy. Ask for one and make some small adjustments. And here are more other energy saving tips to get you started.

4. Shop for a Home Warranty

The average cost of an appliance repair is $175, but costs can often range from $50 to $500. Luckily, these are costs a home warranty can cover.

When shopping for home warranties, look for a company that has a low monthly contract fee, low trade service fee, and covers as many systems and appliances as possible, including plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems.

5. Make an Emergency Kit

Natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, wildfires, and tornadoes affect millions of people each year. Prepare an emergency kit in case the day ever comes that your family needs to shelter in place or evacuate.

Your emergency kit should have enough food and water to last for at least three days. It should also include medications, chargers, maps, emergency radios, flashlights, first-aid supplies, and a copy of important documents like IDs and house deeds.

Get more tips in “How to Make a Disaster Preparedness Plan.”

More Importantly if you have any questions or concerns, GIVE US A CALL!!

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