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“An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure”

July 8, 2011

Maintenance is key to maintaining any single item you buy and ensuring a long life, and a home is no different. Not maintaining your home means lower property values, especially if it looks very run down. The worn condition could lead appraisers to devalue  it by 10%, a significant adjustment. The appearance will not only turn off buyers, but also sink the selling price of the home.

When selling a home, there is something called “economic age” that has a huge impact on the value of the home. Basically, how long is the house expected to last given the current condition? If the house has regular maintenance, it can keep the value of a home up as opposed to upgrades, which are intended to raise the value of the home.

So what is the value of maintenance? There is a study by University of Connecticut that suggests maintenance can actually increase a homes value by 1%, so every time you do something to preserve the home is actually making you money. However, that gain is usually offset by the cost of actually doing the maintenance. Some years, the cost can be less than $100, others, you may need to replace the roof at upwards of $10,000. The research suggested that over time, annual costs average out to be $3,300. LendingTree.com and other sources suggest budgeting about 1% to 3% of the initial cost of the home for annual maintenance. This will give you a reserve that can really be helpful in emergencies and planned repairs.

Being proactive will make repairs that much easier. Re-doing one room per year can be a great way to keep them all updated, and if they need minimal work, doing the basics will keep them in tip-top shape. Keep track of what you do, warranties and the like, and make sure you create a schedule for maintenance! This can be the easiest thing to do, and will keep your property on track!

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