U.S. News and World Report: What to Do When You Can't Afford a Home Repair


What to Do When You Can't Afford a Home Repair
A look at loans, grants and refinance options that may be available to you
By Geoff Williams
January 10, 2014

If you had to have your furnace or pipes fixed after that recent cold snap, you aren't alone. According to a study last year by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, approximately $300 billion is spent on home remodeling and maintenance every year in the United States.

That number should be even higher, though. Plenty of repairs go unfixed every year.

According to another 2013 study, this one from the National Center for Healthy Housing, 35 million metropolitan homes in the United States, or 40 percent, contain one or more health and safety hazards. The most common repairs that aren't fixed? Water leaks from outside, which affect 11 percent of metro-area homes, followed by openings in homes that mice are able to exploit (10 percent) and interior water leaks (9 percent). Meanwhile, 5 percent of homes throughout cities and suburbs have unrepaired roofing problems, damaged interior walls and foundation problems.

So what happens when you have a home issue that needs attention but lack the funds to repair it? You can do nothing, of course, and live with your problem. But there may be more options available than you think.

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