Maintaining Your Home
Whether you own one home or several, are a landlord or an owner occupant, maintaining your home and periodic updates are key factors in appreciation and preservation of property values. Yes, the market has a lot to do with this, as do the comparable sales in the area. At the end of the day if your property is outdated, and not well maintained it will more than likely sell for less and take longer to sell than the well maintained and/or updated house down the street.
It is much more economically feasible to plan your update and repair items systematically, before they become a bigger and more expensive issue.
If they are working, great! However, if you have a burner that doesn’t work, or the broil setting is broken on your range, repair it or replace it. Make sure you clean out the dryer vent. A telltale sign of the vent starting to get clogged is if it is taking longer to dry your clothes than normal. Dryer lint is very combustible, and many fires are caused by clogged dryer vents.
GFCI protected outlets should be installed in kitchens, bathrooms and at the exterior of the home when possible. Also, if your outlets are becoming loose, to where your plug doesn’t seat properly, change those out as well.
In Arizona there is a saying, it is never “if” you get termites it’s when. Walk the perimeter of your home periodically looking for the telltale mud tubes on the stem wall of your property. Ensure you do not put plants or place wood against your house. In Tucson depending on house size, the cost of treatment with a warranty is around $500.00 +/-.
Pay attention for other pests such as roaches and ants. There are many eco-friendly options if you have a chemical sensitivity, or just have the exterior perimeter of your home treated to prevent intrusion.
Keep your fascia protected by ensuring you sand and paint any places where the paint is flaking. It will help curtail water and pest penetration.
Heating and Cooling:
It is always a good idea to have your HVAC system checked spring and fall. A lot of reputable companies offer this service for a very reasonable price. This will help identify potential issues, and ensure your unit is running efficiently. Make sure and consistently change your air filter. A dirty or clogged filter will make the system work harder.
Keep your landscaping trimmed, raked and free of weeds and debris. When choosing where to plant a tree be cognizant of the placement in proximity to a wall or structure. If a tree gets close to or is leaning against a wall consult a landscaper.
Exterior painting in our climate should be done at least every 10 years if not sooner, based on quality or paint used etc. If a low quality or watered-down paint was used cut that time in half. Its very important to keep up the exterior of your home.
Keep an eye out for leaks under your bathroom and kitchen sinks. As garbage disposals age they can crack, or the fittings can fail. By keeping an eye on this you can prevent damage to the bottom of your cabinet in a best-case scenario or replacing your cabinet in a worst-case scenario. Bathroom tub drains, sink drains and shower drains can become clogged with hair, and other particles after years of use. The p-trap under the bathroom sink can be unfastened and cleaned out periodically. Possible stinky and gross conditions await, so be prepared with a bucket and gloves. Hot water and Dawn usually do the trick.
Toilets that are running can typically be repaired quickly and inexpensively by replacing the fill valve, toilet handle, the flapper or all three items.
Rooves require maintenance, even tile rooves. Here in Tucson there are several good contractors who will go out and give a free inspection and opinion report. I recommend doing this at least once every 2 years if not once a year. Then have them do the recommended repairs and maintenance.
As windows age the seals may begin to fail. This is visually obvious by either condensation between the panes of glass or the seal between the panes of glass becomes misshapen and/or swollen. The window company can replace the window or in some cases one of the panes of glass. It is a larger investment to do so, however if you are looking to increase the energy efficiency of your home and lower the heating and cooling bills new windows could help!
Maintaining your home, whether it be an investment property, primary or secondary residence will put you in a better position when it comes time to sell or rent than having to perform years of deferred maintenance all at once.