Here’s a great article by Josh Garskof from CNN Money that I found on “Home Repair-Which Jobs To Do First”. http://money.cnn.com/2012/02/03/pf/home_repair.moneymag/index.htm?iid=HP_LN
I think this is a wonderful article but I would like to add one small thing: you can’t charge a roof on your credit card. First time homebuyers listen up! Home repairs usually require service providers that do not take credit cards! Let’s take a roof. A new roof is a major investment and comes in very handy to keep you dry in nasty weather, however, if your roof is damaged in the event of a major disaster, your homeowner’s insurance policy will kick in to cover the bill. An $8,000 tear off roof might only cost you the amount of your deductible if you can prove storm damage was the issue. So now the roof is really not $8,000 but is more likely around $1,500 (your deductible amount). Again, what will the repair cost you out of pocket? Don’t forget that contractors are not creditors and they expect full payment for timely completion of work such as electrical or plumbing. The cost of using that cash versus financing it through a HELOC or other personal loan can also be an issue. I suggest keeping that rainy day cash fund for those home emergency projects that require you to pay in full, in cash. Make a backup plan that allows you to work out financing or payments over time to help you smooth out the financial issues as well as the home repairs. In the unlikely event you find a local contractor in Elgin that will suffer through financing terms, please let me know!