The Worth of Maintaining Your Home

As a homeowner, keeping your home’s maintenance up to date is extremely important, especially if you live in a older house. By planning out minor repairs to do every few months, it adds to your curb appeal, safety and prevents major costly repairs down the road. For example, if you have caulk that is cracked around a window, it might not seem urgent, but water could be getting in causing mold and rot. A $5 tube of caulk at the time you notice the cracking could save you thousands of dollars years later when you might have to replace the entire window frame.

These small preventative repairs will mean a lot if you are planning on putting your house up for sale in the future. If a home shows signs lacking preventative maintenance, it could lose you up to 10% of the appraised value. By not doing repairs, it will affect an appraiser’s estimate of a property’s economic age, which is the number of years a house is expected to survive. A well-maintained house with a long economic age depreciates at a much slower rate than a poorly maintained house. On top of that, a shabby appearance will deter buyers if they are comparing a run-down home with one that has been repaired and updated.

Homeowners should keep a reserve fund to pay for upcoming repairs without dipping into savings or going into debt. On average, if your home is worth $200,000, plan to budget $2,000 to $6,000 for ongoing upkeep and replacements. A suggestion is to plan on choosing one room per year to review and maintain. That way it will give you an area to focus on and allow you to be thorough.

Keep a record and receipts of everything that you do for upkeep and improvements. This will impress a future buyer and let me know what has and has not been done over the last several years.

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