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Home Maintenance & Repairs Done Right Pay Off

Real Estate Agent with DomainRealty.com LLC BK3275810

Home Maintenance and Repair Done right Pay Off


Due to my background in residential design, building, inspecting, maintenance and repair, I provide free advice concerning these matters to my buyers, sellers and landlords.

Here's an example:   


Tenant lost AC and informed landlord. Two hours later landlord returned tenant’s call. Tenant told landlord that her AC guy was there fixing the problem which was a blocked condensate line. The landlord felt that the charge was reasonable, so she agreed to pay for the repair even though the lease clearly stated that the tenant was not to order service unless landlord gave permission beforehand.


After completing the repair and the AC was working properly, the technician informed the landlord that all the capacitors were on the verge of breaking and he strongly recommended that they be immediately replaced.


Since the quote for the capacitor changeouts was nearly $1,000 the landlord called me. I told her to get a detailed written estimate and send it to me which she did.


After a little research and a couple of phone calls to vetted service providers I determined that the retail cost of the capacitors totaled just under $50 on Amazon and they could be replaced by a licensed and insured HVAC company for as little as $325 including the capacitors. Furthermore, I checked the tenant-called contractor’s ratings with several raters and found the highest was 2.3 out of 5 maximum possible. This is a very low rating. The most frequent complaints were upselling under questionable circumstances and suspected inordinately high service charges...and there were plenty of them.


Since its impossible to say with certainty that a capacitor in working order is about to fail I recommended that we wait and see what happens since the AC was now working. Even capacitors with convex ends can perform for several more years and the ends in this case were still flat.


Take-aways and related suggestions include:

-Not all service providers are the same. They range from those who do good work at reasonable prices to those who systematically engage in predatory practices and/or or don't know what they are doing.


-Vetting service providers beforehand is a must. In emergencies there is little time to vet.


-Preventative maintenance is a wise approach. It reduces the probability of failures, especially at inappropriate times. For example, plugged condensate lines can be virtually eliminated with periodic maintenance, thereby avoiding air conditioning outages.


-A small inventory of items such as roof and floor tiles, matching grout, pavers, carpet swatches, touchup paint and toilet seats of all things can help make repairs invisible.


-Knowing your do-it-yourself (DIY) limits and not trying to exceed them is a must. Some DIY repairs can put your life at risk and/or do further damage. Professionals are available for good reasons.


-Consider buying a home repair insurance policy. However, they all have exclusions and limits. Compare them carefully from a cost/benefit standpoint then decide.


-Avoid using low-grade repair parts. Original Equipment Manufactured (OEM) parts often have much longer service lives and make economic sense.


-Document all maintenance and repair activities. They support good care of the home and consequently enhance its value.


-Being on the alert for things that don't look or sound right should become second nature. The early stages of water intrusion is a good example. Let it get out of control and you risk very expensive repairs.


-Don't forget the landscaping. Maintain it well and it will elevate the home's wow effect and value.   


Following the aforementioned suggestions will not on only boost the comfort, safety and enjoyment of your home, it will also help you sell it for top dollar.



Jim Lawson, DBA

Florida Licensed Real Estate Broker Associate

Florida Licensed Professional Engineer-Mechanical/Architecture

Florida Licensed Home Inspector

(239) 450-7178  ~   jilaw@aol.com  ~   www.mynaplesareahome.com

 DomainRealty.com LLC ~ Serving SOUTHWEST FLORIDA


All of my clients receive free maintenance and repair advice for life.

 The more your agent knows the more you are apt to know!


Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

Excellent advice Jim! You saved that landlord a good sum of money!

Oct 07, 2018 07:37 AM
Jim Lawson

Thanks Sharon. It’s a shame that some contractors behave this way and are sometimes arrogant too.

Oct 07, 2018 10:18 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

I was looking for your current posts. I hope all is going well for you.

Dec 01, 2018 04:48 PM
James (Jim) Lawson, DBA
DomainRealty.com LLC - Bonita Springs, FL
Broker Associate, RSPS, BPOR, HI & PE

Not posting much now Roy. Much too busy. Thanks much for asking.

Dec 05, 2018 12:05 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

James (Jim) Lawson, DBA - Those are excellent takeaways!

Thanks for the information.

Jan 21, 2019 07:43 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning James (Jim) Lawson, DBA - good points to remember.  It is good to vet them and also good to have them do regular maintenance.

May 21, 2019 05:15 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much for sharing your experience.

I appreciate your recent comment on one of my posts.

Nov 24, 2019 01:10 PM