If you are sitting on a million dollars or half a million dollars or even $200,000, you might consider getting advice from a financial advisor. With that kind of money, you'd want the best advice on how to grow your investment. During your first session with him you are going to go over your goals and ambitions, what assets you have, and when and how you plan to retire. With this information, your advisor will put together a plan to help you achieve your goals. You may put some of the money in stocks, some in bonds and some in annuities. At certain milestones you'll change the funds from one place to another to maximize your return. Most of you will stick with your advisor for life, if he does a good job for you. Having a good financial advisor turns out to be a good move for you and your family.
We've all heard that most people's homes are their largest assets. This is repeated in many ways, and in many circumstances. We've heard it so many times that it is rather a cliché of sorts, and we don't give it that much thought. All we know is that when the time comes to sell our homes, we hope to get a good return on our investment.
So, how many of you have hired a financial advisor to protect your home, your largest asset in most cases? I'm guessing that very few have. Most live by the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" rule. When you think about this philosophy, as far as your house goes, it's plain dumb. Take a look at car maintenance for instance. Do you perform routine preventative maintenance on it? Sure you do. You don't want to be stranded on the side of the road somewhere. What if the airlines adopted that philosophy? Now that's scary. Nobody would want to fly anymore. So why let your house rot, and then fix it. Why have your furnace fail on a cold night, and then fix it. Why let your home decrease in value when it could be increasing in value with routine maintenance.
I think you get my point by now. Routine maintenance on your home is very important, not only financially, but also in terms of your comfort and convenience. You need a trusted advisor to look over your entire home and see when certain parts of the home need to be replaced or serviced. You need to know when the repairs or maintenance will be needed and how much it will cost. It's time to —– Adopt a contractor!
Just as you hired your financial advisor, you need to interview a few contractors and get references. She or he need to be experienced with all facets of your home. I would suggest a full service remodeler, possibly with design-then-build experience. They need to know what products are best, and how they should be installed and who should install them. A good contractor should be surrounded by experts in all fields. She or he should have built relations with the best in the business, so you get the best advice and service when it is needed.
Your home is a system. Everything in your home has to work together. Your home's function is to keep you warm and dry, safe and comfortable at all times. It is an envelope that protects you from the outside world. Find a contractor that understands this; one that can see the big picture, and will guide you toward the best possible return on your investment. This should be a long term relation, so that your contractor becomes familiar with your home and your lifestyle and you know what to expect from your contractor. When you find such a person, life will be so much better. Now you can set up an annual budget for the future maintenance needs of your home and schedule them at your convenience.
Your contractor may not wear a suit and tie, but he may well be the most important financial advisor you've ever hired.
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