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Home Maintenance to Save Time and Money

by Tami Rapaport’s Team

Most homeowners have had to endure costly repairs to their homes, seemingly at the most inconvenient times possible. Roofing repairs always seem to pop up during rainy season for instance, and the air conditioner always breaks down when temperatures begin to soar. At least some of those costs can be avoided by a conscientious program of regular home maintenance. Here are some of the most common ways to save time and money with regular home maintenance.

Don't Pay Full Price for Tools

Handyman tools can be very expensive, especially good power tools - but you do need some of these on hand to address as many home issues as possible. Yard sales can be a great place to find used tools still in good working order, and they are commonly listed in local classifieds as well by owners who are buying new sets and want to get some value from the old set. When you need a very large tool or even a power tool that would be seldom used, consider renting it at a local rental shop.

Remember Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance can literally save you a fortune sometimes, if you keep it in mind as a regular routine. Clearing your gutters of debris and leaves might prevent a water dam that comes through your roofing, and sweeping snow off the roof during winter might prevent a catastrophic collapse. Other good ideas are covering pipes in winter to prevent freezing, clearing shrubbery away from your air conditioner, and periodically draining your water heater to avoid sediment buildup.

Stay Organized

As odd as this sounds, it can be fairly significant. If your tool shed is a mess, with things scattered about the area, you might spend a lot of time looking for that one wrench you need for a task - or you might concede defeat and go buy another one. The concept can be extended beyond the tool area to include anything around the house you should organize so that it can always be found when needed.

Shop Around for Major Repairs

When you're faced with a major repair project - say a replacement of the furnace - shop for the furnace and the contractor separately. Very often, separate pricing is considerably cheaper than buying the furnace and having it installed by the same vendor. Chances are you'll find a great deal by avoiding the huge markup applied by some contractors for service.

Energy-Efficient Mortgages

by Tami Rapaport’s Team

As a homeowner looking to renovate or remodel, you may have heard the term “Green” Or Energy Efficient remodeling. These options are a great method of improving your home, adding greater efficiency and productivity, but pricing can make it a daunting undertaking. Luckily, this is where Energy-Efficient Mortgages (EEMs) come in. These mortgages roll the expenses of green renovation directly into your mortgage cost, avoiding the need to acquire multiple loans. There are three “primary” forms of EEM to choose from, each offering slight advantages tailored to your needs and situation.

Note that the use of an Energy-Efficient Mortgage is likely to make the initial cost of your purchase higher, with the understanding that it will save you considerably more in the long run. This is fairly obvious, but it’s still useful to keep this knowledge in mind.


A Conventional EEM is your basic option, being the easiest to handle and most widely utilized. The option allows the lender to credit the borrower’s income equal to the estimations of energy saved by the planned upgrades.

Put simply, a buyer with an income of x who stands to save three thousand a year, can by use of a Conventional green mortgage have an effective income of x+3,000 in home or home renovation purchasing power.

Federal Housing Administration (FHA-EEM)

Buyers looking to purchase or refinance a home and roll the costs of energy-efficient additions may look to a FHA-EEM as a solution. With this option, the borrower may use one of two options (Whichever is the lesser):

  • The net cost of the renovation, including inspections
  • 5% of the total value of your property

To qualify, the total cost of your chosen improvements have to cost less than the estimated total savings of your planned improvements. Also, funds for the improvements are held in escrow until the loan closes.

VA EEMs (Veterans Administration)

An option specifically available to Veterans who qualify for financing through the Veterans Administration, these are simple loans generally capped between three and six thousand in most cases.

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Tami Rapaport
Tami Rapaport
130 Dean Drive
Tenafly NJ 07670