Homeownership is one of the single biggest investments one will make in their lifetime.
That is why proper home maintenance is so important.
Regular home maintenance enhances the property's economic age (the number of years a house is expected to survive), ensures safety, prevents simple upkeep from turning into costly repairs and may even reduce energy consumption.
Having a well maintained home provides piece of mind and increases resale value. To support our fellow homeowners in achieving this objective, Greenwood Real Properties has put together a monthly checklist, home improvement and inspection routine to follow.
- Replace filters or wash permanent ones in heating system. To learn how, click here.
- Check faucets in kitchen, bathroom, basement, etc. for leaks and other problems. Then repair or replace as needed.
- Check washing machine hoses for leaks. If one has old rubber hoses, it might be a good time to replace with no-burst hoses available at the local hardware store. For step by step instructions, click here.
- Remove and clean the intake screens of clothes washer water supply hoses.
- Inspect and clean out the clothes dryer vent.
- To keep water shut-off valves from sticking, turn them off and then on again. If they do not shut-off the water, it is time to replace. If they do not operate smoothly, a little WD-40 works wonders.
- Remove drain traps under sink. Clean them thoroughly.
- Clean pop-up drain plugs in sink. Inspect the linkage, making sure they are set properly. To adjust the linkage just squeeze the finger-operated pressure lock to release it and slide it up or down.
- Remove sediment from buildup in hot water heater tank; if it's warm to the touch, cover the tank with a water heater blanket.
- Clean the exterior of range hood and its filter.
- Inspect the attic for signs of roof leaks, condensation or frost build up and clear vents.
- Remove snow and ice from evergreens.
How important is preventative maintenance? Without it, a home could easily lose 10 percent to 12 percent of its appraised value.Researchers suggest that regular maintenance increases the value of a house by about 1 percent a year.
However, professional appraisers are quick to point out any gain is typically offset by the ongoing cost of maintenance. According to the U.S. Census, over time, annual maintenance can cost upwards to $3,300 or 1 percent to 3 percent of a home’s initial cost, dependant on its geographic location. To put this in perspective; owners of a $200,000 house should plan to budget $2,000 to $6,000 per year for ongoing maintenance and upkeep depending on the age of the home.
Brian Greenwood is an owner/partner at Greenwood Real Properties/Keller Williams Realty with offices in Canton, Easton and Westwood.