Have you ever noticed that so many people take better care of their cars than they do their homes? Don’t get us wrong: Maintaining your car is important, but your Southern Maryland home is far more valuable and an investment definitely worth protecting.
Most problems in a home don’t happen overnight. They start out small, and neglected over time, they reach the point where the price to repair them is costly. These homes suffer from what real estate experts call “deferred maintenance,” and they sell for much less than well-maintained homes.
Deferred maintenance does more than drag down the value of your Southern Maryland home – by as much as 10 percent, according to the folks at House Logic. Putting off maintenance can also cause health and safety issues. Even if you’re not planning to sell the home for years, it is important to get on a maintenance schedule and stick to it.
It’s mainly about water
“Water causes more damage to homes than any other single deferred maintenance issue,” says Handyman Hub in Denver. They go on to explain how repairing a leaky wax ring around a toilet, if discovered early, costs less than $100.
But if you wait, the cost can balloon to thousands. The repair may now include pulling up the toilet, the vanity, and the floorcovering; and replacing the subfloor. All the while, though, you’ll be crossing your fingers hoping that the joists aren’t water damaged, too.
Frank Lesh, former president of the American Society of Home Inspectors, told House Logic how cracked caulk around a window, which costs less than $4 to repair, can quickly blossom into a $5,000 repair bill if moisture seeps into the sheathing and causes rot and mold.
What is the moral of these stories? If anything on or in your home can be damaged by water, inspect it as often as possible.
Make a schedule
Home maintenance experts will tell you that regularly inspecting the home is key to finding small problems before they become huge ones. Once inspecting becomes habit, you won’t need to worry about remembering to do them. Until then, make a schedule, and stick to it. You’ll find a great schedule on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) website.
Pay special attention to the home systems that cost the most to replace or repair. Roofing contractors suggest a routine roof inspection twice a year – once at the beginning of spring and then again in the early fall. This seems like a lot of time on just one part of your home, but when you learn that a new roof can cost as much as $15,000, that time becomes worth it.
While you’re inspecting the roof, clean out the gutters and downspouts to make sure that water is directed away from your house. Multi-tasking on home maintenance chores will save you time and money.
Other tasks need to be performed more often, including changing the HVAC filter and dropping a few ice cubes into your garbage disposal to clean the blades each month. Annual project include checking sealants and caulking and checking the water heater for leaks. HUD’s home maintenance schedule is a good resources for annual and monthly tasks as well.
Some repairs to keep your Southern Maryland home maintained will require the services of a professional, DIY types will be happy to know that many tasks are easy and can be done on your own inexpensively.
La Plata MD Homes for Sale and Real Estate Services in Southern Maryland. You now have a search engine to help you with your Southern Maryland home search! And I’m ready to provide you with a custom home valuation if you’re considering selling your home. Let’s connect to discuss how I can help you. Contact Kimberly Bean at 301-440-1309
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