Your House Is Crumbling Around You!

Real Estate Agent with Veritus Realty Group and RE/MAX Metro+Eastside

Image of tired house, starting to crumbleThat catchy title is better than saying you should think about deferred maintenance, but that's really the topic - the topic of maintaining your own home, and what it might cost you if you don't. It's a serious topic, but I'll try not to preach :-)

We all know about condominium homeowners dues that have to be paid every month. We often don't think about the fact that their primary purpose is to pay for the ongoing maintenance of the property - depositing money regularly into a building maintenance fund. Typically those dues amount to about 1.5 % / year of the value of the property. On a $400,000 condo they would run about $6,000 a year, or $500/mo.

So on your own home you might want to think about that 1.5% in similar terms. Most of us don't have a reserve fund set up that we pay into every month. We just wait until the roof needs redoing, or the house needs painting, and then we do it. But what if we don't? That's called deferred maintenance. And then what happens if you want to sell it?

An out-of-date kitchen might cost you in reduced price only what it would cost you to do it. Maybe that's a wash, so to speak, but you could have been enjoying it if you had done it a little earlier. But roofs and exterior paint and the appearance of front doors and garage doors are a different matter. If those are in bad shape when you want to sell, our experience is that you will pay for them twice. First, because they have such a negative effect on the appearance of the house, the buyer will offer you a lower price to start with, and then second, on inspection the buyer will ask for them to be done anyway. Sure you can negotiate, but you don't really have much wiggle room these days.

So think about doing the maintenance basics when they need doing. Otherwise the value of your home will be dropping about 1.5%/year, like 15% in 10 years, and your house might literally be crumbling around you.

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Best Regards,

  Chuck and Diane
Chuck & Diane Reiling
Veritus Realty Group & RE/MAX Metro+Eastside
(206) 850-3507

Comments (2)

Doug Rogers
Bayou Properties - Alexandria, LA
Your Alexandria Louisiana Agent

I love the idea of putting aside a maintenance fund. Those home repairs seem to come at the worst possible time.

Apr 23, 2011 03:22 PM
Don Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services - Idabel, OK

A maintenance fund is a great idea.. Public institutions usually handle their budgeting that way and it's a wise move for individuals instead of having their house fall down.

Apr 23, 2011 04:52 PM