THE MOST IMPORTANT HOME MAINTENANCE TO ENSURE YOUR HOME’S VALUE
08 Oct, 2021
Did you know that ignoring your home’s maintenance needs can cause you to lose 10% of your home’s value? Simple tasks that take only a little time can greatly enhance your property value. If you let your property, go you run the risk of getting a lower price for it when you sell, and it costing you more money in repairs because the home wasn’t properly maintained.
What Does Home Maintenance Mean?
Home maintenance doesn’t mean repairs when something breaks down. Instead, it means keeping up with your home’s needs so that things don’t break down or cause serious issues. Certain maintenance chores can save you thousands of dollars in repairs.
For example, if you maintain your A/C and furnace regularly, you can prevent a sudden breakdown and need for replacement on the hottest or coldest day of the year. If you maintain the A/C and furnace, they’ll work efficiently and have a longer lifespan, saving you money.
How Much Does Home Maintenance Cost?
Owning a house isn’t cheap. Home maintenance can cost anywhere from 1% - 4% of your home’s value. If your home is worth $200,000, save at least $2,000, but up to $8,000 for regular maintenance and repairs.
It may sound like a lot but look at the big picture. If your furnace breaks, it costs an average of $4,500 just for the furnace. That doesn’t account for all the other maintenance (or potential repairs) you’d have to pay for.
When you keep up with maintenance, which costs a fraction of replacement, you prolong the life of many of the moving pieces that make your house operate.
Some years you’ll pay minimal charges and other years you’ll pay more just because your utilities, foundation, or basement need repairs. It’s a part of owning a home, but the higher years are typically offset by the ‘cheaper’ years.
Monthly Home Maintenance Chores you Must Do
Home maintenance is an ongoing thing. Consider doing the following ‘chores’ monthly:
- Clean and/or replace air filters
- Check pipes and toilets for leaks
- Clean all vents including those in the kitchen
- Walk around your home’s exterior looking for any cracks, leaks, pooled water, or insect damage
- Check your gutters to ensure they’re clear
- Replenish water softener salt if applicable
- Inspect drains for clogs
- Make sure all indoor and outdoor vents aren’t blocked
Seasonal Home Maintenance Chores
In addition to your monthly maintenance chores, consider the following maintenance chores at the start of each season.
- Check the roof and gutters for any winter damage
- Check all window and door seals for damage
- Replace fire alarm and carbon monoxide monitor batteries
- Inspect septic tank
- Have your A/C inspected and/or repaired?
- Check your siding and consider washing/pressure washing it
- Walk around your home and check the foundation
- Cut all grass and weeds around your HVAC systems
- Check your fence and decks for damage
- Check all appliances (dishwasher, washing machine, and refrigerator) for leaks
- Have your furnace inspected/cleaned/repaired
- Have your fireplace and chimney inspected/cleaned
- Shut off water to the outside
- Clean gutters and check the roof for damage
- Fix all cracks and gaps in sidewalks and driveways
- Winterize your plumbing
- Test your windows and doors for drafts
- Test your sump pump
- Cover your A/C unit
- Clean all drains throughout the house
- Vacuum coils in the refrigerator and freezer
- Look for roof damage after major storms
Annual Home Maintenance
Some chores can be done once a year, just make sure you do them every year to avoid major issues with your home and appliances. Here are the top chores you should do every year:
- Clean your dryer vent
- Drain your hot water heater to eliminate sediment from pooling
- Clean the septic tank
- Look for pest infestation/damage
- Check the grout and/or seal it
- Replace caulking around the windows and doors
Less Frequent Maintenance
Other chores you can put off for a few years but should revisit and consider every 5- 10 years including:
- Painting the exterior and/or fixing the siding
- Checking the kitchen sink for signs of wear and tear and consider replacing
- Check all faucets and consider replacing if worn or leaking
- Check the hot water heater and its effectiveness
- Have the garage door inspected and maintained
- Check your appliances for effectiveness, damage, and the need to replace
Why Focus on Home Maintenance?
Home maintenance is the best way to take care of your home. Why wait until things fall apart? If you do, you’ll have much larger expenses on your hands and a lot more work. If you let appliances and utilities become completely damaged, they’ll need replacement more often, which could make it a lot harder to afford your home.
Instead, set yourself up on a maintenance plan. Get with local contractors and see what they offer. HVAC companies, for example, offer deals if you contract with them to come out once every spring and fall to check the A/C and furnace. They’ll clean it for you and check it for any damage or potential issues. You’ll know about the issues ahead of time and may be able to offset sudden replacements and large expenses.
Don’t ignore your home maintenance! If you want to keep your home’s value, take it seriously. Ignoring home maintenance can cause you to lose value in your home, but maintaining it can contribute to your home’s appreciation by as much as 1% a year. This gives your value a nice boost on top of the natural appreciation it has as well as the equity you earn by paying down your mortgage.
Your home is your largest investment, make the most of it by taking care of it regularly and avoid any unpleasant surprises.