Headwinds Vs. Home Repair


The economic headwinds are gaining speed. While inflation started picking up a year ago, there have now been three significant Fed interest rate increases in 2022. The stock market is getting hammered, and financial anxiety is up. It is also an election year and from now until election day all we will hear about is doom and gloom about how terrible things are, and how each party or candidate has a solution.

Talk of an economic “soft landing” have now been replaced with a discussion of how much pain may be required to bring inflation down, which is the end game here. As all this plays out, housing inventory is starting to grow as consumers pull back on spending.

That pullback is actually the goal here, too cool the economy. Having weathered the great recession, multiple government funding shutdowns, and a few market corrections, I would like to offer cautionary guidance on how to cut back on spending on your home in a productive way.

Discretionary projects can certainly be delayed. An interior paint colour, for example, may be out of style or faded from the colour it used to be. While it may be disappointing to delay this project, that delay will not cause any further damage to your home. You can keep that expense on ice until you are comfortable that the economic storm has passed.

A pluming leak or leaking roof, however, is a different situation. By allowing leaks to continue, the damage will get worse. Moisture leads to mold, and your issues compound. Along with the plumbing repair you might now need a new cabinet, sub-floor repair, drywall repair, and painting. Some issues require immediate attention, regardless of the economic situation.

Taking immediate action is the responsible thing to do for your personal economics. You might invest in a roof repair and put the re-roof off until the economic situation stabilizes but doing nothing in the name of controlling spending on your home actually has the opposite effect.

The goal is to slow the economy, not stop the economy. Projects will continue. As you consider what to delay and what to move forward with, ponder one last consideration. The fundamentals of the housing market are sound, unlike 2008 when bad loans were a root issue. Still, home prices may come down as inventory builds. How does the possibility of lost value effect your desire to proceed with the project you are considering? Maybe this causes a pause, maybe not, but remember to consider this.

Do not allow economic headwinds to scare you into making bad decisions that compound you home repair costs.

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