15 Things All Homeowners (And Renters!) Should Be Doing

October 11th, 2018

While owning your home offers a much sought after freedom from the monthly demands of rent, it isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.

Put simply, shit happens and things break.

Granted, being a homeowner definitely saves money on the monthly, but if you’ve got a leaky roof to repair, windows to replace, or groaning pipes in the house…you’re looking at spending a LOT of dough.

Thankfully though, there are some amazing tips out there to save homeowners the big bucks when things go wrong. Here are 15 of the most useful ones.

1. Save Money On House Cleaners By Using Vinegar

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Flickr/Abbey Lanes Source: Flickr/Abbey Lanes

House cleaners are pretty expensive these days, ranging anywhere from $5-$10 for the standard size bottles. There’s no need to buy a new cleaner for every item in your house.

First off, if you’re only using them on one or two specific tasks, chemical cleaners will accumulate in your garage and under your sink and lose their effectiveness before you ever go to use it. Second, most commercial cleaning products are made of harsh chemicals that are full of toxins and bad for you and your loved ones to breathe in. You can avoid all of these problems by using vinegar!

Vinegar can replace over two-thirds of the cleaning products currently collecting dust in most homes. It is just as effective at cleaning and disinfecting, and perfectly fine for you to be inhaling while you work. Try Using it the next time you get a stain on your carpet. Just spray the area with vinegar, let sit, and then blot away like magic!

2. Save Over $4,000 Per Year With A Mortgage Discount

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Pixabay Source: Pixabay

With all the mortgage discount programs and scams out there, it’s hard to know which one to go with. Fortunately, the government has decided to help with that by creating a program meant to save you serious money on your mortgage each year for real!

The program HARP, short for Home Affordable Refinance Plan, was initiated with the middle-class American in mind and can save the average client up to $4,264 each year on their mortgage. That’s up to $355 per month.

Could you use that extra cash? It takes less than one minute to see what type of savings you qualify for, for free. The program is only set to run through 2018, though, so take advantage now.

3. Use Coca-Cola For Household Chores

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Youtube ScreenShot/Rajiv Dixit Official Source: Youtube ScreenShot/Rajiv Dixit Official

If you’ve run out of vinegar and you have a mess to tackle, you might be surprised to know that the answer is likely in your fridge.

Coca-Cola is incredibly acidic in nature (and should probably never have been marketed as a beverage for human consumption). The acid does a stand-up job of removing even the toughest of stains, including grease stains from fabric, toilet bowl stains, grout and tile stains, and permanent marker.

Not bad for a cheap can of cola!

4. Stop Paying Exorbitant Prices For Home Repairs

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Flickr/Team Massachusetts 4D Home Source: Flickr/Team Massachusetts 4D Home

While owning your own home can feel freeing, anyone who has had to pay for a major home repair knows just how quickly you can end up back in debt. House insurance is great, but only under very specific circumstances, and appliances, heating and cooling systems, and leaky roofs generally aren’t covered.

Unfortunately, these are some of the first major costs to arise for homeowners, and chances are they don’t just have the money lying around to fork over to a repairman.

That’s where this amazing home warranty comes into play. Home appliance repairs, roof repairs, and electrical heaters are all completely covered under the warranty, making it the best deal around. What’s better, if the item or problem can’t be repaired, they will just go ahead and replace it!

5. Bring Your Carpet Back To Life With An Ice Cube

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Improve Budget Source: Improve Budget

Rearranging your home can give it new life and keep things feeling fresh. Often times though, if your furniture has been sitting on your carpet or rug for any real length of time, it leaves an ugly imprint.

If you’ve been discouraged from changing things up in the furniture department due to unsightly carpet dents, you will be glad to know that you have the fix sitting in your freezer.

Simply place an ice cube over the dented fabric and let it melt. Once the carpet is wet, you can gently fluff it up with your fingers again for a fresh looking carpet.

**Even if you aren’t looking to rearrange, it’s a good idea to do this every now and again to prevent wear and tear on the area.

6. Get Out From Under Debt If You Owe More Than $20,000

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Senior Discounts Club Source: Senior Discounts Club

Being in debt can feel downright suffocating at times. You want to pay it off, but circumstances have changed and you no longer have the cash flow you once did.

Well, there’s finally good news for folks owing $20,000 or more in collective debt, and it comes in the form of a program called Freedom Debt Relief. The program can reduce the overall amount of money you owe, and put you on a fast track plan to debt freedom in as little as two years.

7. Need To Clean Your Tub? Break Out The Power Tools

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Youtube ScreenShot/manlyhousekeeper Source: Youtube ScreenShot/manlyhousekeeper

One of the most dreaded household chores on the planet is that of cleaning the bathtub. Soap scum and day to day grime can build up fast and be tough to remove.

If you aren’t feeling the whole “elbow grease” thing, there is a much, much easier way to go about it; a drill.

A standard power drill with a foam polishing attachment will take the hard work right out of the equation when cleaning your tub and walls. If you don’t have the attachment, you can easily pick one up from the auto store in the wax section. Trust us, you’ll never rely on “elbow grease” again.

8. Save Money With A $350,000 Life Insurance Policy

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Simplified Life Source: Simplified Life

One thing many people put off is getting under a good life insurance policy. It can be hard to justify spending money you could really use on covering the costs of your death. After all, you need that money to live.

Well, the good news is that there are a lot of really great policies out there that you can secure for an amazingly low monthly payment. Granted, it is still money out of your pocket, but it’s a minimal amount that could be the difference between your kids being able to inherit your hard earned belongings or turning over their own to cover your debt.

The first thing you will need to do is compare quotes, and that’s where this crazy helpful website comes into play. It sends your information through their algorithm and scours the web for the best plans at the lowest cost, saving you up to 70% on your policy.

9. Clean Your Microwave Without Chemicals

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Lifehacker Source: Lifehacker

This hack will save you both time and money. Getting every streak of grease out of your microwave can be smelly, messy, and take the better part of your afternoon.

Instead of dealing with all that, hack your way to a beautifully clean microwave with some lemon and vinegar. Just quarter your lemon and cover with 1 1/4 cups of vinegar, then microwave for 4 or 5 minutes.

As the solution heats up, the steam will easily break down the grease and food buildup in your microwave, doing all the tough work for you. Then you simply wipe the mess away with a cloth, and the lemons will leave it smelling fresh and clean.

10. Get New Windows And Save Money

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Clera Windows Source: Clera Windows

As the nation strives for energy efficiency, installing new windows is one of the first items on the road to efficiency bill. While modern windows can save you up to a whopping 40% on your bill, the cost of installing them can make you want to cry.

Fortunately, there are plenty of window manufacturers that offer great discounts each season, you just have to find one. That’s where Remodel Connection comes in.

Their website is free to use, and after entering in a few short bits of information, they will compile a list of the best deals and rates on new windows from top manufacturers, including Anderson, Champion, and Pella.

11. Get The Grime Out Of Your Toilet Bowl With Kool-Aid

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Vorply Source: Vorply

Over time, your toilet can develop unsightly stains and rings, especially if you have hard water. While you can purchase water softeners to prevent this problem in the future, it doesn’t do anything for your unattractive toilet bowl right now.

If you’ve got a Kool-Aid packet sitting in your kitchen, then you’ve got your 10¢ solution. Just sprinkle a package of orange, lemon, or lime Kool-Aid (you want the kind with citric acid), into your toilet bowl before you go to sleep. Then, when you wake up just give it a quick scrub before going about your morning routine.

The stains will come right out and your toilet will look like new again.

12. Save Money And Energy By Going Solar

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The Solar Institute Source: The Solar Institute

More and more people these days are installing solar panels on their homes and outbuildings to meet their energy needs. By going solar you can drastically reduce your energy bill, or even erase it if you live in a particularly sunny area.

Why wait, then? What deters most people is the cost of installing new solar panels, which can cost thousands of dollars. What people don’t realize, though, is that there are some truly amazing rebate programs out there for people willing to convert to solar power, with many rebates and subsidies collectively covering up to 99% of costs for converting.

This rebate program is known as Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit and works to put thousands of dollars back into the pockets of people in qualifying zip codes. See if your home qualifies here.

13. Deep Clean Your Mattress On The Cheap

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Popsugar Source: Popsugar

Let’s face it, mattresses can get pretty disgusting in a very small amount of time. With the insane costs of a good mattress, it’s not really feasible to just toss the old and bring in the new, but paying for a deep cleaning makes just as little fiscal sense.

The good news is that you can deep clean your mattress on your own with products you already have to hand; baking soda and essential oils. Just fill a container with baking soda and add 4-5 drops of your favorite essential oil. This is where you can get creative with combinations, such as lavender for inducing sleep and cedarwood for its disinfecting properties…the possibilities are endless here.

Mix up your oils thoroughly into the baking soda and sprinkle all over your mattress, then let it sit for at least an hour before vacuuming. The fabric will shine like new and the essential oils will leave a nice, refreshing smell.

14. Plan Your Home Improvements To Increase Value

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Remodeling Source: Remodeling

It’s always a good idea to invest in your home by making improvements. What a lot of homeowners don’t realize, though, is that all home improvements aren’t valued as equal.

While you probably could really use a new roof, your return on investment won’t be anywhere near as high as, say, replacing your garage door.

The cost vs. value on any given home improvement project changes with every year, so it’s a good idea to know what investment will yield the highest value when you go to sell the place. You can see 2018’s full value guide here.

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15. Get Help With Paying For Home Repairs And Improvements

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Lending Tress Source: Lending Tress

After learning about all the great ways to save money and increase your home’s value, you might be ready to get started right away.

If the only thing standing in your way is coming up with a way to fund the project, you can finance your dream home by taking out a personal loan. You may qualify for as much as $35,000 in unsecured funds, meaning you don’t have to use your house or car as collateral on the loan.

If you’re interested in taking out a personal loan, but don’t know who to go through to get the best rates, you can visit Pick A Lender. This website will compare loan rates based on your personal info for you for free, taking the headache of home lending completely out of the equation!

H/T: Improve Budget