Over the last few weeks we have covered numerous ways and reasons to save money in a post-series and today we look at the last batch of money-saving tips in the real estate department.
1. Find a low-rent apartment or housing unit
Shelter is a basic human need and depending on where you live, rent is often your biggest expense during any given month. The prices of real estate are determined by a variety of factors such as age, location, popularity, brand, features and facilities, etc., and the premium charged on upscale pieces of real estate in elite sectors within the city or in the suburbs is usually unjustifiably high. Do a bit of real estate surveying, whether online or through a real estate agent and you will find a place that may not have glamorous or luxurious facilities but will get the job done.
Decide beforehand the feature you do not wish to compromise on, such as accessibility, cleanliness, spaciousness, security, basic utilities, facilities, etc., to make your decision easier. so you have to ask yourself which one of these features you can do without and which features are an absolute must!
2. Save money with regular home maintenance
If you happen to own your living space (i.e. apartment or home) the responsibility of maintenance falls on your shoulders and the best mantra here is ‘a stitch in time saves nine.’ Regular maintenance checks will save you money in the long run and the hassle of cleaning up a big mess if a small leak develops into a broken pipe or a water logged wall, or even a broken wall. It’s not only economical to maintain your home regularly, it is also a great safety measure and will ensure you get a good price if you ever wish to sell your house in the future.
3. Buy or rent a smaller house
Regardless of whether your rent out a place or buy it (read article on deciding whether buying or renting is right for you) you will have to pay for certain home-running expenses that are linked to the size of your abode. To put it simple, if you live in a big house or apartment, you will incur more costs related to decorating and maintaining the place. On the other hand, small apartments and homes are less costly to manage.
If you live in a one or two bedroom apartment, there is only so much furniture and accessories you can buy to fit in the limited space. On the other hand, someone who lives in a studio apartment may feel the need to fill in all that space with ‘stuff’ so the room looks ‘complete’ and well-decorated. If you’re interested in reading about low-budget home décor, check out our articles here.
4. Buy voltage stabilizers in important appliances
This tip may not gel with the other points mentioned in this article but I really couldn’t figure out where to put it. Expensive home appliances like refrigerators, freezers and televisions can easily get damaged if there are fluctuations in the electricity voltage and you could find yourself paying for expensive repairs that sometimes cost almost as much as buying a brand new product.
I’ll share an example here. A friend of mine had purchased a brand new flat screen television and failed to plug it into a voltage stabilizer. A couple of months later there was a minor fluctuation and the screen developed a vertical line of dead pixels, which could only be fixed with a complete replacement of the screen that cost around 85% of the initial buying price. Thankfully the television was under warranty so the friend didn’t pay a penny more, but learned a valuable lesson.