Common Household Electrical Problems

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There are many important maintenance responsibilities that come with owning a home. One comes in the form of household electricity. While many people take the electricity in their homes for granted, there are a number of common problems that could arise. When homeowners are prepared for these common household electrical problems, they will know how to approach them when they arise.

Electrical Surges are Common

One of the more common issues with household electricity is the development of power surges. There are a few reasons surges might take place. Sometimes, there are faulty power lines or weather-related events such as electrical storms or lightning strikes. Alternately, there could be issues related to the internal wiring of the home. Surges might only last for a millisecond but they can lead to serious damage throughout the electrical components of the home. While you can’t control a storm, you can troubleshoot from inside. When electrical surges occur, the problem could be related to a device or appliance that is plugged into the power grid. In some cases, unplugging problematic devices can help stop the surges from happening.

Problems with the Light Switches

Another common electrical issue is light switches don’t work reliably or as expected. Those who have dimmer switches might be frustrated with how responsive the switches are. This could simply be a wiring issue that was introduced during installation or the problem with the hardware itself. You could try replacing the switch yourself, always turn the electricity off and following installation steps or better yet, work with an experienced electrician who can help to identify and resolve the problem’s source.

The Circuit Breaker Keeps Tripping

Some homeowners may find that the circuit breaker keeps tripping. A circuit breaker is meant to protect the home from being overpowered. Microwaves, hairdryers and heaters often cause circuit breakers to trip so consider what was drawing power when the issue last occurred. You may need to use the device at a lower setting or consult with an electrician about increasing the capacity of the outlet in question. Additionally, avoid using multiple power strips or extension cords as this can overload and destroy circuits. Unplug devices that are not being used. For example, phone chargers still draw on the electrical system even when they aren’t being used to recharge a device. Finally, plug devices or appliances into different locations to avoid placing all of the stress on a single circuit.

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How Much Mortgage Can You Afford?

There are so many factors that go into finding and securing the financing to buy a home.   While lenders require quite a bit of information for you to get a loan, you still need to be aware of your own financial picture. Even if you’re pre-approved for a certain amount of money to buy a home, you still need to dig into your finances a bit deeper than a lender would. The bottom line is that you can’t rely solely on a lender to tell you how much you can afford for a monthly payment on a home. Even if you’re approved to borrow the maximum amount of money for your finances to buy a home, it doesn’t mean that you actually should use that amount. There are so many other real world things that you need to consider outside of the basic numbers that are plugged into a mortgage formula.   

Run Your Own Numbers


It’s important to sit down and do your own budget when you’re getting ready to buy a home. You have plenty of monthly expenses including student loan debt, car payments, utility bills, and more. Don’t forget that you need to eat too! Think about what your lifestyle is like. How much do you spend on food? Do you go out to the movies often or spend a regular amount of cash on clothing? Even if you plan to make adjustments to these habits when buying a home, you’ll want to think honestly about all of your needs and spending habits before signing on to buy a home. 

Now, you’ll know what your true monthly costs are. Be sure to include things like home insurance, property taxes, monthly utilities, and any other personal monthly expenses in this budget. If you plan to put down a lower amount on the home, you’ll also need to include additional insurance costs like private mortgage insurance (PMI).

The magic number that you should remember when it comes to housing costs is 30%. This is the percentage of your monthly income that you should plan to spend on housing. Realistically, this could make your budget tight so this is often thought of as a maximum percentage. By law, a lender can’t approve a mortgage that would take up more than 35% of your monthly income. Some lenders have even stricter requirements such as not allowing a borrower to have a mortgage that would be more than 28% of monthly income. This is where the debt-to-income ratio comes into play.

As you can see, it’s important to take an earnest look at your finances to avoid larger money issues when you buy a home.