HOW MUCH WILL HOME MAINTENANCE COST? By Suzanne Majure
The expense of owning a home goes beyond the monthly mortgage and utility payments. Home maintenance involves several tasks, including, but not limited to, painting; caulking, sealing; cleaning and repairing the roof, gutters and downspouts; clearing clogged drains; landscaping; etc. These items can be a financial strain on homeowners if not planned for accordingly. Homeowners should take the attitude that home maintenance is mandatory. Your property will DECREASE IN VALUE if you let your property fall into disrepair. The better a home has been maintained, the more a buyer will be willing to pay.
Set up a budget and plan for both routine and major repairs. Know how you are going to pay for these expenses before a major repair comes up. If your roof or heating system fails and you do not have a “rainy day” fund, you may need to obtain a home equity loan or have a home equity line in place or obtain a personal loan. The bottom line is you need to have a plan for dealing with major expenses that may come up.
ROUTINE MAINTENANCE TIPS:
Safety Equipment: Check all smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers. Replace batteries as needed, at least twice a year.
Washer/Dryer: Check rubber hoses on washing machines for cracks, stress, etc. It is recommended that rubber hoses be replaced every 5 years. Be sure to clean lint from dryer vent before drying the next load of clothes. Remove entire duct vent and clean at least once a year.
Furnace: Check and change furnace filters at least every 3 months.
Roof: Check roof around vents, skylights and chimneys for leaks, cracked caulk, etc. Repair as necessary.
Gutters: Clean gutters and downspouts so leaves won’t clog them. Be sure they drain AWAY from house.This is usually a twice a year necessity if you are surrounded by trees!
Air Conditioning: Check filter often and replace if necessary. Be sure no dirt or debris is blocking unit. You can wash unit with tap water on low pressure.Generally it is good to have an HVAC man check your systems seasonally for best performance!
Fireplace: Remove ashes often. Have chimney professionally cleaned and check for loose and missing mortar.
Windows and Doors: Seal drafty doors and windows. Consider replacing old, drafty, single-pane windows. If you can’t afford to do the entire house at one time, replace a few windows at a time.
Siding and Paint: Look for cracks and holes in siding and/or paint. Paint and re-caulk if necessary.Check those triangle boards around the roof line as they wear out more quickly than the other outside trim!
Brick:don’t cover the weep holes with pine straw or other ground cover.These holes are breathing spaces and must remain clear and unburied!
Staying on top of your home maintenance is critical for a top dollar resale price. Save this list and pay attention to it regularly!