PREVENT YOUR HOUSE FROM AGING
Whenever we watch television, read magazine ads, or see ads flash before us while perusing the Internet, we are bound to see ads about staying young. Have you ever thought about how your house might be aging, as well? It seems like everyone wants a "move in ready" house these days. Sure, there are lots of home improvement programs on television that show you how much money you can save by doing things yourself, buying a fixer and putting your spin on it. However, in the busy world we live in today, most of the clients I meet want to move in, unpack, and put their feet up. They don't have time to work on DIY projects. They want it all done before they buy.
If you are a homeowner and hope to sell your house one day and get top dollar for it, how can you keep your house from aging? Just like the health fitness craze we are experiencing now for our bodies, we have to take some of those lessons and apply them to our homes.
If you keep on top of things and do some routine preventative maintenance, you should be able to keep your house looking "young". One of the biggest problems facing homeowners is damage caused by water. Leaking windows and doors, broken sprinkler pipe, and aging roofs and siding can cause serious water damage.
If you see caulking that is splitting around the windows, go to the hardware store and buy a tube of caulk. It might cost you a couple of bucks, but that's a far cry from the hundreds it may cost if a leak goes unnoticed and water seeps into the walls.
If you have automatic sprinklers coming on in the wee hours of the morning, turn them on manually once in awhile on a Saturday morning and watch the water cycle through. Replace broken sprinkler heads as soon as you see them. I remember my daughter calling me at work several years ago and telling me we had a pool of water under our house, and water was going down the sidewalk. Turned out the sprinkler head was bad and the water never turned off. If we never noticed this, not only would we have paid a higher water bill, but the moisture around the house could have caused major problems.
If your roof has been there awhile, get in the habit of inspecting it once a year before the rainy season. If you aren't comfortable doing it yourself, pay to have someone walk around and do a visual inspection for loose or missing shingles, rotting material or any other potential hazard. It's a small price to pay to ensure the roof is okay, rather than waiting to see a big water stain in your living room ceiling.
REPLACE BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE
When buying a house, most people don't want to think about the cost of replacing things after they move into their new home. If you want top dollar when you sell your house, maintain the furnace, air conditioning, water heater and plumbing. Make sure they are inspected occasionally and they are working properly and efficiently. It's so easy to just forget about these things and go on with our busy lives expecting everything to always work when we need it.
When buying a house, it's a good idea to take an assessment of what's in the house and when things were last replaced. Make up a schedule to have things routinely inspected and budget to replace them before it's too late. No one wants to suddenly be faced with paying for a new central heating and air conditioning system. If you have them inspected and cleaned on a routine schedule, not only will you prolong the life of the unit, you will have a better idea of when you may need to replace them. If you have a "replacement/maintenance" budget, you can slowly save money for the replacement instead of being hit with a huge replacement cost.
No one likes to think of getting old, but if we take care of ourselves, we can age gracefully and continue leading active lives. We need to treat our homes the same way. Take care of it as it ages, and your house too can continue looking "younger" than its age.