Black Homeowners Paying The Most For Home Improvements? Shocking Reasons Why

Despite large strides in home purchases by blacks, they still lag way behind other races in home ownership. However, there is another area black homeowners 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.

They pay up to 36% more than whites and 23% more than Latinos 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, there are specific actions black homeowners can take 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.

Here are Tips To Help You Get The Lowest Price On Home Improvement and Repairs

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 settled for the higher price wanted to get the job done as quick, convenient and affordable as possible.

In addition, the cost resulted in a higher price for the home improvement and/repair.

Another factor revealed many black homeowners assume all contractors and repairman’s prices are the same.

This causes many black homeowners 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 faulty wiring.

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 PM or not?

It’s a good idea to keep a file of at least 3 plumbers, 3 electricians, and 3 carpenters and any other repair or home improvement service in a file where you 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 and money.

Negotiation: The Difference Between Overpaying and Saving Money.

Many people dread the thought of negotiating. They find it intimidating, confusing and unkind to participate in. This is an attitude real estate agents, lending officers, car salesmen, and insurance salesmen use to fatten their pockets.

Because many black homeowners have a fear or reluctance to negotiate, they often pay higher prices than whites, Latinos and Asians. Why? Because they’re more willing to negotiate, bargain and comparison shop before making a buying decision according to research.

Here are 7 steps Black homeowners can use to negotiate down the price of home repairs and improvements:

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.

4. Price is not the only factor when negotiating. Size, color, material, quantity, service, warranty length and other similar items can be included or traded as well.

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 better and more effective your negotiations. Always have a plan B and plan C.

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.

Now that you’ve read some of the key factors of why black homeowners pay the highest prices for home repairs and improvements use them to find better bargains.

Mom and Pop Home Improvement Verses Big Box Stores

Ever since the first English settlements in Jamestown in 1607, entrepreneurs were using their home improvement skills to help build a better life. These specialized skills will always be needed, no matter how they are utilized and/or distributed. From plumbing to window installation, these trade services are practiced within all areas of civilized life.

Up until the end of the late 19th century, most home improvement services were worked by individuals or smaller mom and pop type businesses. Not until stores like Lowe’s started popping up in the early 20th century did we start seeing larger entities become highly competitive against the smaller mom and pop type home improvement businesses. The fact of the matter is, these large businesses could provide services for cheaper, but not necessarily better.

So, why do big box chains like Home Depot and Lowe’s provide home improvement services? Why don’t they just sell improvement goods? Isn’t the whole idea behind these large hardware stores to provide goods to do-it-yourselfers? Well, the problem is… more and more consumer do-it-yourselfers are buying their goods online. It saves time and allows the consumer to be more flexible when it comes to getting their job done. These big hardware stores are trying to send a message to these consumers. They want these people to not only buy their products, but also allow them to install it for them at minimal costs. By doing this, it could draw in consumers that need a job done, but can’t necessarily afford a mom and pop business. Not realizing, that these stores often do a poor job, because they use, in most cases, inexperienced staff.

The fact of the matter is… mom and pop home improvement businesses are usually family owned and operated. They pass down their many years of experience in their trade to their workers. They often use the best quality products and provide top notch warranties. We’re not saying that the big box stores can’t provide quality, we’re just saying that your chances are better with smaller service providers.

As these larger, big box home improvement companies grow… will they expand and improve their services or will they return to their roots and only sell goods? Chances are, these big businesses will look to improve quality of service and offer a broader range of these services. The three largest stores, Home Depot, Lowe’s Companies, and Lumber Liquidators are not going away any time soon. Small mom and pops know that. They also know that they do it better and a majority of the public knows it.

So, before you choose who is going to install your replacement windows, replace your kitchen counter or repair that leaking pipe, do your research. Compare experience, quality of products used, warranties and most important of all… customer service. Who are you going to want inside your home? Someone who has been doing the job their whole life or someone from a big box store with no credentials. The choice is yours and most likely a choice you will have to live with for years to come.