Keeping up with home maintenance

Plant & soil debris around air conditioning unit

Not many people enjoy doing home maintenance tasks, but deferring those chores can add up when it comes to selling your home. Many of my inspection findings are directly related to deferred maintenance, and those findings create lots of tension for buyers, sellers, and realtors. In a recent transaction, a $300 kitchen appliance almost blew up the deal.  Keeping up with home maintenance leads to a smoother sales transaction, and it will enhance the enjoyment of your home while you live in it.

When doing an inspection, I work from the outside in, so here are my tips for keeping up with outside maintenance.

  • Repair cracks in concrete walkways and patios
  • Monitor places where water can get in like windows, electrical panels, or stucco cracks, and remember to point sprinkler heads away from your home
  • Service pool equipment regularly, and maintain all deck coatings
  • Conduct annual roof maintenance

Once inside the home, there are two categories of maintenance: MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing) systems and general.

MEP systems maintenance:

  • Service HVAC regularly, change filters, replace refrigerant when required, clear plant and soil debris away from equipment; a tuned system runs more efficiently and saves on energy costs;
  • Know the age of your HVAC so that you understand when it’s coming to the end of its useful life and may need to be replaced
  • Monitor water heater for leaks and changes in temperature; remember to use the vacation setting when you’re away on short trips
  • Verify that electrical outlets located near water sources are GFCI protected, and replace cracked or missing electrical cover plates
Taking care of general home maintenance will make your life easier as you live in your home, and it shows pride of ownership at resale time.
  • Clean windows, screens, and slider door tracks
  • Repair running toilets and dripping faucets
  • Repair or update appliances when problems arise

If you’re curious about the state of your home prior to listing it, I recommend doing a pre-sale inspection to highlight needed repairs before you’re facing a deadline or are in the midst of negotiating a deal.



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