THIS ARTICLE IS A CONDENSED VERSION FROM “SOUTH BAY REAL ESTATE NEWS”, WRITTEN BY MY COLLEAGUE, ROB MCGARRY. HE WAS THE REALTOR I USED WHEN I SOLD MY LAST HOME IN HERMOSA BEACH, CA AND I HIGHLY RECOMMEND HIM. WWW.BEACHHOMEBROKER.COM.
THIS ARTICLE REALLY HIT HOME WITH ME BECAUSE I JUST WENT THROUGH A GUT WRENCHING NEGOTIATION ON ONE OF MY LISTINGS BECAUSE OF SOME DEFERRED MAINTENANCE. THIS SERVES AS A GREAT REMINDER THAT HOME MAINTENANCE WILL COST YOU TIME AND MONEY WHEN YOU EVENTUALLY SELL YOUR HOME AND IT’S TO YOUR BENEFIT TO MAINTAIN YOUR HOME.
A good friend of mine began a career as a fireman several years ago, and he frequently describe the arduous process of cleaning the rigs and other equipment everyday. Because he was the new guy at the station, it was simply part of his job. I was curious about the incessant need for cleanliness so I asked if it was some method of teaching discipline. He chuckled and replied, “Clean equipment works better, is more reliable, and lasts longer.” The fire department was using this rite of passage to teach the rookie a valuable lesson.
Home maintenance is much the same and it’s a necessary part of home ownership. Your home is your most valuable asset and maintaining it in the best condition is crucial. Unfortunately, home maintenance ranks low on many priority lists due to the time and expense, but it needs to be done regularly to preserve your home’s value and prolong its life.
In the current real estate market, many homeowners are less inclined to spend money to make repairs around the house because they believe that there isn’t a buyer waiting in the wings to reimburse them when they sell, but maintenance isn’t just for resale value. Home maintenance is a cost of ownership, just like property taxes and mortgage payments. The more you are willing to do on a regular basis, the less you will have to do when you make the decision to put your home up for sale.
Although you can’t tally your home maintenance expenses and expect a buyer to tack it on to an eventual offer price, you will benefit when you sell by keeping your home well maintained. Buyers tend to pay more for homes that are in top condition. If you don’t take care of deferred maintenance, buyers are likely to adjust the price they’ll pay for your home accordingly because it places the burden of making the repairs on them.
It is also a great idea to set a schedule for taking care of home maintenance items like having the furnace and fireplace checked, trimming trees and clearing drains. Always keep copies of invoices for work performed on your home. It will serve as a good reference for you and for the next owner of your home.