We all like free stuff! Better yet, when free offerings return value to your home or property, we like “free” even better.
Here is a curated list of free offerings from security to entertainment to home repair that is offered by various services and websites you likely did not know about.
Table of Contents
- Free Financial & Legal Protection Services
- Free Entertainment & Media Services
- Free Landscaping & Gardening Services
- Free Home Repairs & Modifications
Free Financial & Legal Protection Services
A sign of the times is the uptick in theft, scams and fraud that can occur to unsuspecting homeowners. Mail theft can lead to credit card or identity theft, check fraud and a host of other problems, such as hits to your personal credit score and a plethora of legal issues.
Any one of these can have a severe impact on your creditworthiness thus affecting your ability to refinance or obtain a home loan. As a homeowner, you need to be constantly protecting your largest asset, your home. Here are several free services that can help you keep your guard up:
- Experian Security Freeze
- USPS Informed Delivery
- Title Protection & Property Watch
- Online Legal Services
Experian Security Freeze
To ensure that no one can use your good credit by impersonating you over the internet, Experian has introduced a free service known as Security Freeze. This service limits access to your Experian credit report which helps to protect against identity theft and unauthorized accounts in your name.
After you set up your account, you control who can view your credit and when by applying a temporary “thaw” to your credit information. When the authorized user is finished accessing your information, use your security password to “refreeze” your secured information.
Also signup for Free Credit Reports from:
USPS Informed Delivery
Keep track of what will be arriving in your mailbox, whether you’re traveling or at home. Informed Delivery is a free service by the USPS that allows residents to track packages, and other mail items from the comfort of any smart device.
Expected mail can be seen as early as 7PM the previous day, for deliveries the next day. The service also allows redirection of packages, placements of vacation holds and other services all from your desktop or phone.
Title Protection & Property Watch
Check to see if your County Recorder’s Office offers Property Watch monitoring services, which will alert you to any changes in your property’s title. There is no need to pay a third-party service a monthly fee to perform the same service that is provided free-of-charge to property owners to alert them of reconveyance deeds, liens, claims and other issues that may threaten clear title to their property. Simply sign up with the recorder’s office to have alerts sent directly to your email address.
Here are pioneering programs that are great examples of what to look for in your county:
- Property Watch by the Salt Lake County Recorder
- Property Watch by the Washington County Utah Recorder
Online Legal Services
Need an answer to a contractor dispute or an ongoing issue with a neighbor? A number of online legal services offer free consultations with well-qualified lawyers in your state to respond to your legal inquiry quickly and efficiently.
- Important Must-Have Legal Documents for Homeowners
- Best Online Legal Services for Homeowners & Property Owners
Avvo is a marketplace for legal services providing advice, legal referrals and answers to questions for the public for over fifteen years. Simply find your category and state and ask your question. Within twenty-four hours anywhere from 1-3 legal professionals will answer your question and provide further counsel if necessary, as they offer follow up services
Get easy to understand, free and up-to-date legal information on FindLaw.com, through various blogs and newsfeeds. The site includes a free legal dictionary, case law, state and federal statutes, a lawyer directory, and current legal news and analysis to help homeowners understand key topics.
Rocket Lawyer offers access to hundreds of Business Contracts, Real Estate Documents and Personal Family Agreements and Authorizations all free-of-charge. Create your personal Lease Agreements, Eviction Notices, Quitclaim Deeds and more that are specific to your state, all approved and validated by highly qualified and experienced lawyers.
Additional legal documents on Rocket Lawyer:
Quora’s Legal Issues in Everyday Life forum provides general legal information regarding how the law works in response to specific legal questions asked by visitors to the website. The site is actively frequented by both laypersons with similar experiences and lawyers who provide general guidance on how to proceed with in a given hypothetical situation.
Free Entertainment & Media Services
Although we enjoy the wide variety of older TV shows on free ad-driven streaming channels like Tubi and FreeVee, we prefer not to have commercials interrupt us when we are deeply engaged in more recent series and movies. Luckily there are channels that are sponsored by your local library that allow you to stream several movies each month without ads, all for free!
Kanopy is an on-demand, streaming video platform for universities and public libraries that offers films for free-of-charge with your institution’s library card. The service has thousands of movies, many of which are hard to find on popular streaming channels such as Amazon Prime and Netflix.
Viewers can choose from a wide-ranging list of Comedies, Documentaries, Foreign, Independent and Classic films, all without a monthly subscription fee. The only limitation is that each library has a set number of borrows per month, usually about 9. However, with so many streaming services we have never had a problem with the limit. The quality of their collection is quite impressive, as well.
Hoopla is an on-demand platform or digital media service that available free-of-charge for patrons of participating local public libraries. Hoopla offers a vast collection of content tiles available in various formats: Feature and Short Films; Instructional Videos; Audio Books; Music; Comics; Television; and eBooks. The borrowers are limited to the number set by your particular library, usually 5 per month.
OverDrive is the largest supplier of digital books to schools and libraries worldwide, which connects readers to digital and audio books through libraries, schools, retailers and corporate clients. A free subscription gives you access to Libby, a one tap reading application that offers access to the OverDrive library of content in seconds.
Free Landscaping & Gardening Services
We have been recipients of some amazing free finds via Nextdoor and Craigslist in the gardening and landscaping category. In one instance, the son of a recently deceased homeowner needed help cleaning out his mother’s overgrown, but very valuable yard of succulents, fruit trees and flowering plants.
His only rules were, bring your own shovels and pots, be respectful to the plants and property, and do not leave a mess! This turned out to be a very successful endeavor for all of the local, passionate gardeners who turned up, and for the son, who was left with a free yard cleanup project that would have taken several weeks and thousands of dollars. In short, a partial legacy of the son’s mother was left to a large group of caring gardeners throughout the community. Several of the plants from that event are now thriving in our garden and around our property.
- Lawn Care Juggernaut: Using YouTube to Pay It Forward
- Best Fruit Trees to Plant by Hardiness Zone
- How to Create a Thriving Pollinator Garden with These Plants and Trees
- The Traits & Risks of Dangerous Trees: Is Your Property Safe?
Municipal Tree Programs
In order to increase the greenscape and reduce energy costs for homeowners, many communities offer free tree programs to homeowners. Homeowners must first make an appointment with the city’s arborist to help determine how many trees and the placements of each tree, in relation to providing shade from the sun.
A list of available tree species is provided to homeowners to choose the best trees for their needs and landscape. Within a week of the consultation the trees are delivered to the property for planting.
Municipal Mulch Programs
Some municipalities invite homeowners to access free mulch for their gardens to decrease the amount of watering necessary during summer months. Large mounds of mulch are often a byproduct of tree trimming operations that is replenished regularly and the amounts vary from week to week. Anytime is a great time to add a layer of mulch to your landscape! Mulch suppresses weeds, holds moisture and supplies nutrients to the soil.
Call811.com is a free national call-before-you-dig notification service. This program initiates a home visit from the various local utilities to mark their buried utility lines, to ensure that any upcoming projects will not disrupt their utility services or damage their infrastructure. The program’s locators are sent to your property to mark their utility lines with paint or flags so you know exactly where NOT to dig!
Free Home Repairs & Modifications
Veterans, elderly, low-income and disabled homeowners benefit the most from programs offering free home repair and complimentary construction services.
Benefits.gov for Veterans
As part of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Benefits.gov provides grants to Service members and Veterans with certain permanent and total service-related disabilities to help modify an existing home to accommodate the disability. Two grant programs the Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant and the Special Housing Adaption (SHA) grant provide necessary repairs and modifications to allow them to remain and function in the home.
Additional Military Veteran Services
Senior Citizens, Disabled and Low-Income
There are a number of organizations offering free home repair to senior citizens, disabled and low-income individuals.
- Habitat for Humanity
- Rebuilding Together
- Area Agencies on Aging
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- Single Family Housing Repair Grants (Section 504)
- Department of Energy Weatherization Assistance Program
- Homemods.org: National Directory of Home Modification and Repair Resources
- 11 Sources of Free Home Repairs for Senior Citizens from Law Guideline
- USAGov: Repairing and Improving a Home
- Need an Aging In Place Specialist? Look for These Certifications!
Assistive Technology Programs
We also recommend looking out for local programs that provide Assistive Technology support programs. Assistive Technology is any device, gadget, hardware or software that enables a person with a disability to do things for themselves that might otherwise be challenging or not possible on their own.
An example program is Ability Tools, the embodiment of California’s Assistive Technology Act Program that provides a variety of services for Californians with disabilities of all ages. Free services include the ability to borrow devices for up to 30 days while yours are undergoing repairs, or trialing devices prior to making a purchase. There is also a directory of devices that includes items available for free.
- Department of Health & Humand Services’ Assistive Technology Resource Page
- Types and Examples of Assistive Technology
- Aging in Place Technology for Today and Tomorrow
Additional Recommended Reading
- Need an Aging In Place Specialist? Look for These Certifications!
- Pet Waste Removal: A Valuable Home Service for Homeowners & Their Communities
- Are You Ready for a Robotic Lawn Mower?
- Uber Apps for Lawn Care & Outdoor Services
- Current State of Landscaping Technology for Your Home
- Best Garden & Landscaping Shows Now on Amazon Prime
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