Deferred maintenance is the technical term for homeowners who postpone major home repairs for any reason. Whether it's due to a lack of funds or a lack of awareness, deferred maintenance is a common problem for many homeowners today. But not every homeowner understands the damage they're doing to both their home and the people who live in it. Deferred maintenance can impact the selling sucess of homeowners. Remediation of deferred maintenance can make it easier to avoid long-term consequences of these kinds of delay, so keep the following tips in mind.
Learn the Truth
The first step to remediation is recognizing the real costs of deferred maintenance:
- Destroys value: From yearly appraisals to future resale value, postponing repairs can seriously damage the value of the home. It can also devalue neighboring homes as well, as future buyers may believe the block is on the decline.
- Increases future repairs: Catching a defect early on is the best way to mitigate repair costs. Fixing deferred repairs can cost up to four times more than the original cost of the repair.
- Safety hazards: It only takes one loose railing to cause a serious accident in the home. If this happens to an unsuspecting guest, they may sue the homeowner for the expense of their injuries (and even for time spent outside of work).
Hire a Professional Inspector
Real estate experts recommend that homeowners should have their home inspected for major repairs once a year. Even if they choose not to act on the repairs, they'll at least know the extent of the damage. Those with newer homes can likely get away with waiting several years before hiring an inspector, but even this can be tricky. Wiring can be damaged by rodents hidden in the walls long before the homeowner ever realizes it. An inspector may be able to catch this problem before the wiring causes a fire.
Prioritize the Repairs
Once homeowners have a solid idea of what needs to be taken care of, they need to make a list of their deal-breaker priorities. For example, if they have small children living in a home, then they may make fixing the flooring the top repair. This limits the potential of injuries, accidents, and falls. As homeowners consider their (likely limited) budget for these repairs, it's important to remember how much more expensive it will be if they choose to wait on their plans.
For those who may be a little scatter-brained when it comes to keeping track of the repairs, there are plenty of home maintenance apps for smart phones. These apps are carefully designed to make it easier to stay on top of what needs to be done. They'll even give homeowners an alert for seasonal maintenance and tips on how to complete home inspections. Maintenance doesn't necessarily have to cost very much (or anything at all) if homeowners are invested in their property.
DIY It All
One of the more common and affordable ways to remediate deferred maintenance is for homeowners to take on the jobs themselves. This advice can be tricky, considering everyone has their own baseline knowledge of how to make general repairs around the home. However, if the choice is between doing nothing and doing something, then the answer is always to do something.
From patch-up jobs on the roof to duct tape on a PVC pipe, there are plenty of options that homeowners have if they're looking for a stop-gap solution. These amateur repairs may not last forever, but they may last long enough for homeowners to save up for a professional.
Another option is calling around to contractors in the area. They may be more willing to work around a tight budget than a homeowner initially believes—especially if they're calling in the off-season. If they can't do the job the way the homeowner wants it done, they may be able to suggest a temporary fix will minimize the total impact of the defects.
Start at the Beginning
Homeowners are always encouraged to take more of an interest in their home, even if they believe they have no talent for home repairs. The more they inspect the home, the more they can learn its quirks. As time passes, it will be easier to set priorities and do smaller repairs without the help of a pro.
The remediation of deferred maintenance can increase the value of the home and assist in selling the Pagosa Springs home. The more everyone cares for their property, the more future buyers will recognize and respond to the level of love and attention that went into the home.