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Regular maintenance should be a part of any homeowner’s experience. Unfortunately, far too often simple maintenance requirements go unnoticed which can lead to damage or things that need to be fixed. As the cycle continues, those small repairs can quickly turn into large problems that cost a lot of money.
Whether you’re a homeowner, a flipper, a real estate agent, or just know you’ll be trying to sell a home in the future, simply paying attention to the surroundings on the interior and exterior of a home can make a big difference. You’ll start to notice things that need attention. The sooner you understand some of the most basic home maintenance tips, like checking the property, the major systems, the roof and foundation, you will be able to catch any “problem” areas sooner.
With that, let’s look at some early home fixes you should be aware of, especially if you’re trying to make improvements for a future sale. The sooner you catch them, the more likely it will be that you can fix things yourself and save time, money, and a lot of extra stress.
Indoor Repairs to Look For
The easiest place to start looking for maintenance opportunities is inside the home itself. That starts with knowing the history of the home in question. While historical homes can do well on the market, they can sometimes come with a variety of problems that need to be addressed before they go up for sale.
One of the most common issues for homes built between the 1940s-1970s is the use of asbestos. Asbestos was often used throughout that time period in construction materials such as:
- Ceiling tile
- Decorative plaster
- Furnace insulation
If the home you’re taking care of was built or renovated during that time, it’s very important to take the proper precautions before doing any more renovations or tearing into the walls or ceilings. Asbestos can cause a variety of lung and respiratory issues and has even been linked to certain cancers.
Once you know a bit more about the home’s history, look around for easy “fix-it” issues you can do yourself. Some of the easiest home repairs you can do now to avoid bigger (more expensive) repairs in the future include:
- Replacing the HVAC filter monthly
- Checking for moisture around the home
- Clearing out garbage disposals
- Fixing jammed windows
- Repairing cosmetic damage like cracked molding or chipped paint
A good rule of thumb is to fix things as you notice them. While you can certainly make a list and have a “maintenance day,” it is often easier to tackle projects individually so you don’t get overwhelmed.
Exterior Home Maintenance Tips
Make sure you don’t spend so much time perfecting a home’s interior that you ignore the exterior. According to Barclays Mortgages, 35% of potential home buyers base their decision solely on the exterior of the house. If they don’t like the outside, they don’t even bother going inside.
Landscaping is an easy way to keep a home exterior looking great. Landscaping maintenance should include regular lawn mowing, fertilizing, weed pulling, and leaf removal, when necessary. A lawn that is well-maintained is easy to work with, rather than waiting until it gets out of control and having to call a landscaping company.
Another issue you can work on yourself to save money is maintaining your gutters. Clogged gutters increase the chance of leaks, can cause a lot of weight and pressure on your roof, and can even impact a home’s foundation. Performing routine maintenance on your gutters by cleaning them and looking for damage can save you a lot of money.
Fix Early, Fix Often
The bottom line? You shouldn’t wait for something to become a big problem before you give it the attention it deserves. Many household items can be repaired instead of replaced when you catch the damage early on. For example, appliances can often be fixed with replacement parts, rather than having to get brand new ones. If you’re trying to stage a home, you can also repair furniture and bring it back to life with painting, sanding, and new hardware.
You don’t have to spend over $100 each month on home maintenance or repairs if you know what to look for, and you spend some time frequently checking out what needs to be fixed in a home, you likely won’t have to call in a professional to get it done.
Make yourself a maintenance checklist if you’re having trouble knowing what to look for. In addition to checking off boxes each month, pay attention to any noticeable repairs that need to be taken care of. Early fixes are often easy fixes, and easy fixes are the ones that will save you money! You can then pass those savings on when it comes time to sell the home, while still making a profit.
Article submitted by Ainsley Lawrence