Judy Korzenowski's Blog
Appliances have a certain lifespan of use, and then, unfortunately, they tend to break down one way or another. Depending on the age of the appliance and the amount of the repair cost, you should make an informed decision as to what will be a good for your finances and your home.
So, when the fridge stops producing cold or the dryer stops drying things, you may go into panic mode and try to either buy a new appliance or call a repair person. Before you make a snap judgment, you should take a step back. It’s important to ask the question:
Is it worth getting this repaired?
If you are able to get an estimate of how much the repairs will cost, this will give you a good place to start. This is the fastest way for you to get the answers that you need. If the life of the appliance is going to only be a few years, you may be better off investing your money in a new appliance. The cost of a repair can run somewhere around 20-30 percent of the cost of replacing the appliance completely.
Understand The Life Expectancy Of Each Appliance
Some appliances are meant to last for a decade, others will last for a shorter period of time. As a general rule of thumb, if your appliance is over 7 years old and breaks down, you should probably replace it rather than repair it. It will be a better investment in the long run. Some typical lifespans for appliances are:
- Dishwasher 9 years
- Freezer 13 years
- Range 15 years
- Dryer 13 years
- Washing Machine 10 years
Before you replace your broken appliance, there are a few things you should understand. First, sometimes, it really isn’t broken. A plug could be loose or a circuit could have tripped. You would hate to spend the money on a new appliance rather than deal with a simple problem. Troubleshoot the problem yourself by taking a peek at the owner’s manual first.
Once you have repair estimates, you should find out how much it will be to replace your appliance completely with a similar model. Make sure that you factor in things like the removal of the old appliance, the taxes, and the installation. By running the numbers, you’ll know if you can afford a new appliance or not compared to the repair costs.
If you have been dreaming of a refrigerator with an ice maker, it may be a good decision for you to spring for a new model. If you love the features you have, you’ll want to either price similar units or do the repairs. Really, your budget and needs very much dictate your decision for new appliances. Consider the options and make the repair or replacement call based on your needs.
First-time homebuyers often gravitate to newly-built homes, and for good reason. In a new build, the buyer often gets to choose finishes, fixtures, and flooring. Newer homes have higher energy-efficiency standards and meet up-to-date codes. Most of all, no one else lived there before you. It’s all virgin territory.
Advantages of new builds
Some new builds offer even more customization, letting the buyer participate in design choices, make minor layout changes, and upgrades to appliances, faucets, backsplashes, and lighting.
Another advantage to a newly built home is that no one else has lived in it. This may be especially important to those with pet allergies or other sensitivities. You already know that no dog or cat dander is hiding in the ducts or illness-triggering spice lurks in the range hood.
Often, new homes come with warranties—ranging as high as ten years— providing protection for expensive appliances such as air-conditioning and heating units, water heaters and spa tubs.
With all there is to love in a new build, there are a few disadvantages to consider when making your choice.
- Ongoing construction: if you’re an early buyer in a new development, expect an impact from dust and noise from other homes under construction. Be aware of debris and hazards on new streets from dropped roofing nails to spilled gravel and traffic slowdowns from construction trucks and trailers delivering building supplies and equipment.
- Fewer neighbors: in a newly developed neighborhood, you might not have neighbors for a while.
- Limited services: when a whole area is under development, you may need to drive farther to shop, find fuel, or get to basic services like urgent care facilities.
- Increased assessments: some communities have extra assessments and taxes on developing neighborhoods to repay the city for water and sewer lines, streets and street lights and other city services.
- Limited landscaping and greenspace: while under development, common-area landscaping, parks, and playgrounds may need to wait for completion of infrastructure, streets, and other necessities. Many new developments have no mature trees or other advanced greenery, so the “feel” is completely different from a mature neighborhood.
- Schools and libraries may be farther: until the new development needs its own school, the nearest school may be some distance away.
- Lifestyle limits: restaurants, nightlife, and cultural events may be more difficult to get to.
Before deciding if a new home works for you, talk to your real estate professional about all your options.
Ready to purchase your dream home? Before you finalize a home purchase, it may be worthwhile to schedule a home appraisal.
With a home appraisal, a property expert will examine a residence both inside and out. The home appraiser then will offer a property valuation.
In some instances, a home offer may be appraisal-contingent. And if the home appraisal valuation falls below the amount of a buyer's offer, the buyer may request a renegotiated price.
A home appraisal may prove to be an important part of the homebuying process. As such, it is paramount for homebuyers to understand what an appraisal is all about and determine whether to conduct an appraisal.
To better understand home appraisals, let's take a look at three home appraisal facts that every homebuyer needs to consider.
1. An appraiser's valuation is his or her opinion of what a residence is worth.
Typically, a home appraiser will use a broad assortment of housing market data as part of a home assessment. The appraiser also will look closely at a residence as part of the home evaluation process.
Although a home appraisal is based on housing market data and a home assessment, it is essential to note that a home valuation is an appraiser's opinion. Therefore, two home appraisers may examine the same housing market data and the same house and come up with two different home valuations.
2. The homes in a neighborhood may affect the valuation of a residence.
Believe it or not, a home's value may be impacted by those around it. Thus, if you intend to buy a home, it often pays to evaluate the neighborhood to better understand whether a house's value will decline, stay the same or increase over time.
Furthermore, what you spend to improve a house is unlikely to raise a house's value proportionately. And if you spend $20,000 on home improvements, there are no guarantees that these home improvements will add $20,000 to a home's valuation.
3. A home appraisal and a home inspection are two very different things.
A home inspection often is considered a must-have during the homebuying process, and perhaps it is easy to understand why.
During a home inspection, a property expert will ensure there are no structural issues with a home and identify any problem areas. Then, a homebuyer can move forward with a home purchase, rescind a home offer or submit a counter proposal based on a home inspection report.
On the other hand, a home appraisal enables a property expert to evaluate the house in its current state. A home appraiser will compare and contrast a home in relation to others in the area and offer a valuation.
If you need help determining whether to conduct a home appraisal, a real estate agent is happy to assist you. With a real estate agent at your side, you can determine whether to set up a home appraisal prior to finalizing a home purchase.
Many factors come into play when determining whether you can afford to buy a house. Since the monthly rent for an apartment is often close to what a mortgage payment would be, you can't help but wonder if your rent money would be better spent building equity in your own home.
While this is often the case, first-time home buyers often underestimate or overlook expenses that accompany home ownership. Although a mortgage broker or bank loan officer can help you calculate the maximum mortgage you can afford, here are a few tips to keep in mind as you weigh your options.