A house and a car are two of the most expensive things that most Americans will ever buy. But the expenses and financial concerns aren’t over when the ink on the contract is dry. Your long-term financial future is tied up in how well you take care of your most valuable possessions.
Things like tire rotation jobs and invasions of cockroaches can have very real impacts on your long-term financial well-being. That’s why you need to make a point of caring for your home and your car.
Caring for Your House
Homeownership is something that many Americans aspire to, but it doesn’t come cheap. Even in the most affordable states in the United States, homes sell for an average of $200,000 or more. In more expensive states, average home prices creep towards $750,000. That’s quite an investment, and buying such a home generally requires a homeowner to take out a hefty mortgage.
But a home is a valuable thing, and it can contribute quite a bit to a homeowner’s net worth. Perhaps it will later be sold for even more than it was purchased for. Given how important the value of your home is, it’s crucial that you care for it properly.
That means making repairs and addressing disasters. Take pests, for example. Ants and spiders are not rare bugs, but no homeowner should shrug off the sight of an insect inside. Common household pests can be a real problem for a home. A pest problem can even prove dangerous to your home’s very structure: Termites, for example, can damage the very material that forms your home.
It’s a good idea to react fast and call residential pest control specialists. Pest control is serious work, so don’t try to get the job done by yourself. Swatting a few mosquitos is one thing, but ridding your property of a whole bunch of mosquitos is another. Rodents, bed bugs, fleas—they’re all tough customers.
Which brings us to another point. A homeowner doesn’t just care for his or her own house. They partner with professionals like pest control technicians, renovation contractors, and various types of other service experts and technicians.
Nor should homeowners wait until disaster arrives to make their repairs. Sometimes, that’s unavoidable—you can’t know that you need wasps removed from your basketball hoop until they take up residence there. But, in other cases, preventative measures and regular maintenance are key. Keeping cracks in your walls and doors sealed will help keep out rodents and other unwanted pests out of your home in the first place. The best way to keep your home value is to stay once step ahead of its problems.
Caring for Your Car
Unlike a home, a car is unlikely to increase in value. Virtually all vehicles depreciate over time. But that doesn’t mean that all vehicles lose value at the same rate. There’s a lot that you can do to ensure that you get as much as possible out of the life of your vehicle and maintain its value for potential resale.
You don’t need to be an auto repair service technician to keep your car healthy. You just need a few car care tips and the good sense to take your vehicle in to see a service technician regularly.
Sure, it helps to know how to react to flat tires and low tire air pressure. Knowing what sort of gas mileage your car gets is good, and knowing a few car maintenance tips by heart is a good idea. But you’re not a car expert, and your local auto repair service technician is. Bring your vehicle in for regular maintenance to complicated things like brakes (caring for brakes means caring for brake pads, brake lines, and more). Rely on your service technician to find the best way to care for your car.
Keep a schedule and keep coming back—not just when you need emergency auto service or when you’re preparing for a long trip, but also when it’s simply time to change the motor oil. As with your home, the best way to take care of your car is to take a proactive stance toward maintenance. There are plenty of preventative maintenance tasks to worry about in between the flat tires and check engine light issues, so be sure to stop by for oil changes, air filter changes, fluid level checks, and more. A good time to go to the auto shop is right now, and regularly after that.