The Investment Killer – Deferred Home Maintenance
Purchasing your new home brings so much excitement and yet, at times equal parts stress once you start looking at the numbers and cost associated with purchasing a new home.
Sometimes, you might be tempted to save money by ignoring “unnecessary” repairs. Does a broken vent really matter? Why drop hundreds on a plumber for a small leak?
You’ll handle the problem when it’s actually a problem, right?
Not likely. When you defer maintenance to save money, you might as well place that money in a box next to your fireplace to use as future kindling. Your cash is going up in smoke.
What is deferred maintenance?
Deferred maintenance can catch you by surprise even if you haven’t been ignoring needed repairs. Purchasing a property with lurking, undisclosed deferred maintenance puts future savings at high risk.
Value your property the same way you value your health. When we visit the doctor, we proactively address potential problems down the road, which otherwise might cost us in medical bills, time and our foreseen future.
Same goes for your home.
The big costs of big-ticket assets
Overspending on the wrong, lower priority items can set you back, but still should not eat into your savings. But when it comes to big-ticket items such as roofs, plumbing, water heaters, electric panels, and furnaces, investors should always seriously consider spending the extra dollar. These are the types of items that are easy to ignore. You might even convince yourself that a $200 repair bill is better than a $1,500 replacement.
However, that $200 repair bill may hold up, it may not—and eventually, you’ll still pay for a replacement. That’s the actual cost of deferred maintenance. In many instances, simply maintaining a system could cost twice as much as a replacement.
Secure your savings
Whenever you purchase a property, make sure you have a plan in place to address the big-purchase building needs, like HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and roofing. Pay attention to what has been replaced, what has been repaired, and what hasn’t been addressed.
If you can’t get that information—no matter how good the deal looks—you can’t make a good decision.
Prevent surprise expenses and emergency repairs
Preventing deferred maintenance from messing with your budget goes beyond maintaining pre-purchase attention. It’s important to frequently survey your property and make sure that your systems are functioning properly. Does your roof have any leaks? What about your HVAC, or any other resources?
Any maintenance you do should be proactive, not reactive maintenance. Sometimes things break and really do need small fixes—we’re not suggesting you replace a new HVAC system because an easily replaceable valve failed. But detailed maintenance plans both ensure small problems are caught early on and establish a money-saving routine.
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