Tips for Remediating Deferred Maintenance
To defer maintenance on a home is to postpone necessary upkeep or repairs. At times, deferred maintenance is unavoidable due to financial or time constraints, but it's easy for homeowners to get carried away when it comes to putting off their to-do list. They may gravely underestimate just how important the repairs are to the integrity of the home. Here's how to mitigate the long-term consequences of deferred maintenance.
Understand the Consequences
Postponing repairs is primarily a safety issue at its core, but it's also a financial one as well. Experts claim that homeowners can spend up to four times as much on deferred maintenance than on the original repair. If wiring needs to be replaced, the home will be prone to electrical fires. If the tile is chipped in the bathroom, it may only be a matter of time before the stability of the entire floor is compromised. This ultimately translates to larger repair bills for homeowners than if they had just fixed the wiring or tile immediately.
Long-term deferred maintenance can also undercut the value of a Culver City property. It's a primary reason why potential home buyers will greatly lower the initial price to the seller, which can make it difficult to get the asking price a seller may be looking for. Finally, homeowners may face liability claims if they neglect their homes. If a guest trips on a loose floorboard or the mailman sprains their ankle walking across an unkempt lawn, they may be liable for medical or other costs.
The best way for a homeowner to tackle their maintenance is to begin by prioritizing the repairs. By prioritizing, homeowners can use their limited budget to take care of the dangerous issues. Anything that doesn't pose an immediate threat can be pushed toward the bottom of the list for another day. Homeowners can become organized by writing everything down in a notebook next to an ideal completion date, or they can take the digital approach through one of the many home maintenance apps available.
These handy programs can be stored on a phone for a homeowner to keep track of what's been done and what's still on the list. These apps also make it easy for homeowners to keep track of the details of each repair which will be helpful for future home buyers who want to know what type of maintenance was done on the home. It tells the buyer that the seller was responsible and caring enough to take care of what needed to be done.
Even the most cash-strapped of homeowners can do some basic DYI home maintenance. It can be as simple as putting duct tape over a PVC pipe or shutting off the water line to a problem faucet. Or simply replacing or adding insulation to an attic or basement. These free (or near-free) solutions can tide an owner over until they have the money to afford the real repairs. While replacing an old roof is always the better option, a quick patch-up job can go a long way toward preventing water damage in the home. These temporary solutions can make the property a little safer for both the residents and the neighbors, even if it can't fix the problem entirely.
Once a homeowner understands how deferred maintenance affects their safety, wallet, and property values, it's easier to stop the dangerous cycle. Correcting the problem of deferred maintenance starts with paying attention to the state of the home and making a sincere effort to take care of the most pressing problems. And when it comes time to sell a home, a home with obvious deferred maintenance will often be passed over for one that has been well maintained.