If you’re a new homeowner, congratulations! We’re happy we were able to help you secure your home financing. However, you now need to remember to take care of your home. Beyond the day to day cleaning and yard work, there are certain maintenance tasks that should be done annually or bi-annually. Knowing what to do when, and budgeting for these ongoing needs (see below), may mean fewer surprises, and result in a well maintained home that holds its value.
Here’s a short list of to do’s:
- Clean the Chimney – Annually, depending on use
- Pest Control – Annually-you don’t want any surprises!
- Air ducts – Annually cleaned out by you or a professional
- Dryer vents – Quarterly or more – Keep clean to avoid fire hazard and help with efficiency
- Caulk – Annually replace in counters, sinks, tubs
- Fire Extinguisher – Annually check expiration date
- Water heater – Annually drain and remove sediment (a plumber can do)
- Heating System – Annually service and change filters
- Basement and Foundation – Annually check for dampness, mold and cracks both inside and out
- Landscape Review – Spring and Fall, trim and check for potential hazards (dead trees can fall over in a storm) or limbs hanging over roofs providing easy access for critters.
- Clean Gutters – Spring and Fall- Make sure they are not blocked
- Smoke and Carbon Dioxide detectors – Bi-annually change batteries and test
Budgeting for Home Maintenance:
There are two formulas you can use to budget for annual home maintenance and repair. The 1 percent rules has you set aside 1% of the purchase price of your home for annual maintenance costs. The Square Foot Rule has you set aside $1 per square foot of your home. However, there is a third strategy that combines both approaches, and adds in additional funds based on the age of the home, the location (flood plan for example), climate, the condition of the home, and the type (single or attached). The formula is to take the average of the 1% and square footage rule, and then add in an additional 10% for each factor (weather, condition, age, location and type). Of course these are generalized rules, but it is a good place to start. Now you can relax and enjoy your home!
Are you ready to move? Contact a loan officer near you to discover how we can help you prepare for your next home purchase.