For first time homeowners, knowing how to properly maintain a house can be both a financially expensive and mentally taxing learning experience.
You’ve probably seen the Allstate Mayhem commercials and, although funny, they convey a realistic lesson: bad things happen to good people, so it’s better to prepare for the worst.
For example, unless you have a trusty gas or electric water heater, it’s easy to forget how crucial hot water is to your daily routine.
Or, even scarier, forgetting to perform gutter maintenance can result in structural damage to your home. Yikes!
Unfortunately, few people give much consideration to preventive home maintenance, mostly due to unintentional ignorance.
Regardless, this state of oblivion will inevitably hurt your home and savings account. Take renters for instance, comprised primarily of younger crowds in their 20’s, they normally rely on the landlord to foot maintenance bills and repair costs. However, when these renters become homeowners for the first time, responsibilities change hands. And, if they aren’t paying close attention to the integrity of their asset, the financial risks begin to accumulate. To stay on track, it helps to use an online home maintenance reminder and scheduler app. Tools like this aid in keeping duties top of mind.
Depending on the individual and their ability execute physical labor, maintenance tasks can range in difficulty. For those who cannot lift heavy items or are unfamiliar with tools, the best bet might be to start a ‘home maintenance’ savings account. Otherwise, do it yourself or seek family and friends to help you out – be sure to pay them back in some way. Hint: everyone likes baked goods or tickets to a ballgame.
Let’s take a look at some ways you can stay in front of those chores:
1. Prepare Ahead of Time: It’s difficult to accurately forecast future costs, but some estimates suggest investing approximately 1% of the property’s value per year. However, 1% is on the lower end, a conservative estimate would likely double that at 2%. Also, if you check out that nifty app (mentioned above), you can plan an entire calendar year’s worth of maintenance jobs. Notifications are sent via email and / or text.
2. Keep Up: If you know a task requires completion, set time aside to take care of business. Letting tasks accumulate will find yourself swimming in the deep-end surrounded by sharks. Nobody likes feeling overwhelmed and continuing to put off responsibilities will cause you to sink at an accelerated rate. Devote time each week to performing maintenance and avoid the dilemma altogether.
3. Keep Track of Progress: Even if you hire-off work to an external contractor, it’s good to take notes on what’s been accomplished, how much you spent and what you need to remember for next time. Proper documentation can ease transitions from one service provider to the next if the first performs poorly or isn’t around next time. Also, if you’re the one getting your hands dirty, you’ll want to know what to expect in terms of maintenance frequency and length of time required to perform the task. Remind yourself!
Taking time now will undoubtedly save you from harsh collateral damage. Consistent maintenance will also help you retain a positive relationship with insurance providers. Start today.
Author Bio: this article was written by Mark Healey.