by Roy Primm
Paying less for home improvements
Is a growing movement
Black homeowners pay the most statistically
So getting knowledge is time well spent".
Despite large strides in home purchases by blacks. We still lag way behind other races in home ownership. However, there is another area we place at the top of the list. According to the latest HUD (U.S Housing and Urban Development) Study, black homeowners pay the most for home improvements and repairs.
Blacks pay up to 36% more than Whites and 23% more than Hispanics for the same or similar repairs or improvements.
This article will suggest ways to overcome this problem. Although discrimination, racial bias and redlining still exist. Black homeowners can take specific actions to make sure they're getting the lowest price possible for home improvement and repairs.
President Bush pledged $50 million to fight abuses. In that speech he revealed a 2002 study by the Department of Housing and Urban Development that showed as a whole minorities get less information, less assistance and less favorable terms.
Tips To Help You Get The Lowest Price On Home Improvement and Repairs
I. Many Black Homeowners Hate To Negotiate
For many reasons black homeowners are less likely to negotiate, bargain or comparison-shop. Failing to negotiate and comparison shop is a formula for paying the highest prices when it comes to purchasing home improvements and repairs.
According to the study, black homeowners who settle for the higher price wanted to get it done as quick, convenient and affordable as possible. The cost resulted in a higher price for the home improvement and/repair.
Another factor revealed many black homeowners assume all contractors and repairmen's prices are the same. This causes many black homeowner's to settle for the first person that gives them an estimate that's reasonably affordable. Especially, if the repair is an emergency, such as busted pipes, clogged toilet or an electrical short, etc.
That's why it's a good idea to think ahead by keeping up on the cost of various home repairs primarily plumbing and electrical. For example, the charges per hour? Free estimates or not? Overtime for weekends or after 5pm?
It's a good idea to keep a file of at least 3 plumbers, 3 electricians and 3 carpenters. When you have an emergency you can get to them in an instant if you need to.
An added tip would be to check there rates and prices before you need them. List each price on a card so you can see it at a glance. You'll thank yourself for doing this when you have your next repair emergency. You'll save time, stress and money.
II. Negotiation: The Difference Between Over-paying and Saving Money
Many people dread the thought of negotiating. They find it intimidating, confusing and even unkind to participate in. This is an attitude many contractors and repaimen use to fatten their pockets.
Black homeowners have a fear or reluctance to negotiate more than any other race of homeowner according to statistics. This often results in black homeowners paying the highest prices (According to Federal Government Studies). They often pay higher prices than Whites, Hispanics and Asians, who are more willing to negotiate, bargain and comparison shop before making a buying decision.
7 Steps Black Homeowners Can Use To Lower Home Repair/Improvement Cost
1. To become a confident negotiator, you must do your homework. What is the going labor rate for the home repair or improvement? What's the cost of the item or materials (wholesale and retail)? Advance preparation is the key.
2. Remember to negotiate effectively; you must always be willing to walk away if the price is too high. If you have to have it now, your negotiation power shrinks drastically.
3. Generally speaking, the higher the price of the home improvement or repair, the more negotiable the price. Have the attitude " It doesn't hurt to ask. All they can do is say no!" You'll surprise yourself with how much money you save by asking for a lower price or other concession.
4. Price is not the only factor when negotiating. You can also negotiate size, color, material, quantity, service, warranty length and more.
5. Always make sure the person you're negotiating with has the power to make the final decision. This is a key mistake of beginners, negotiating with a worker or salesperson who doesn't have the authority to change the price, terms or service. Resulting in wasted time.
6. Always try to have other options. The more options you have, the more effective your negotiations. Always have a plan B and plan C if possible. Try to use the "Not The Only Fish In The Sea" philosophy.
7. If after reading the previous 6 steps you're still wary of negotiating, find a relative, friend or associate who is good at negotiating to help you. And continue to learn how to negotiate. It's the key to getting the lowest prices. As the saying goes "spend time learning how to negotiate ... or spend more money!
Now that you've read why black homeowners pay the highest prices for home repairs and improvements; follow and benefit from the suggestions.
The purpose of this message is not to just point out the problems, obstacles and rough roads we face as black homeowners. But to offer do-able solutions to overcome those problems now. While the problems of racism, discrimination and fair housing is being worked out - you have solutions you can act on now.
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