Real Estate & Area News

Why Home Maintenance Is Important

While home maintenance may be the last thing on a homeowner's mind after a long work week, most experts agree that neglecting your home is a huge mistake that can lead to huge repair bills or even hospital bills. Of course, home maintenance often involves tasks that are not obviously needed, so it's a good idea to design a schedule to take care of important jobs that have to be done regularly. These tasks include changing air filters once a month to save on energy costs and keeping air quality high, cleaning water lines in your ice maker to avoid having to replace them, and lubricating your garage door to avoid having to replace parts.

In addition to helping avoid costly repair bills, regular maintenance can also improve safety for your family and guests. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be checked regularly, based on the manufacturer's recommendations, to ensure batteries still have power, and dryer ducts should be cleaned out at least once a year as it builds up over time even if you're cleaning the lint filter after every load. It's also important to monitor gas lines and the appliances connected to them on a regular basis, as a leak can cause irreparable harm to pets or children very quickly.

In addition to helping you avoid expensive repair bills, regular maintenance can actually help to increase the value of your home. According to estimates provided by the National Association of Realtors, a poorly maintained home can lose as much as 10 percent of its value, while proactive attention to maintenance issues can increase a home's value by about 1 percent each year. Replacing worn or malfunctioning appliances can become expensive rather quickly, but most experts say that the cost is almost always less than the increase to the home's value, making it a no-brainer, particularly for those close to selling. Of course, things can happen even when a maintenance schedule is followed, so many financial experts recommend setting aside at least $5,000 in an emergency fund.

March 20, 2014