Homes along the street

Man of the House: Your Basic Maintenance

Your house is probably one of your most expensive financial outlays and is a great investment. Also, it represents you. Therefore, it is important to keep the home safe and secure and in good condition over time. The state of your house reflects who you are. Keeping it at its best also protects your investment and makes it grow.

Home prices increased greatly this year, by 24.8 percent from last year as reported by Yahoo Finance based on Redfin data. Home prices reached a median of $386,888. When housing prices rise, so does the equity of homeowners. The Q1 2021 CoreLogic Homeowner Equity Report shows that equity increased by 19.6 percent on average for home mortgage holders in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period in the previous year.

This is $33,400 for every homeowner or a collective equity gain of over $1.9 trillion for all homeowners across the country. ATTOM reports that in June 2021, 34.4 percent of mortgage holders had remaining loan balances that were 50 percent or less than their homes’ market value. This is a very high level of equity and wealth.

Protecting your Home’s Value

Because your home makes up a large portion of your wealth, you must protect it from deterioration. One of the most common causes of deterioration is termites. These can destroy your house from within your walls and floors, even without your knowledge. It is best to have a regular inspection by a professional termite treatment service to address the problem if it is found. Do not wait until you see damage on your walls and floors before you act because this will mean costly repairs. You must catch the problem before it causes any major harm.

You must also regularly have the home inspected by other pest control services to prevent the creation of various pest colonies. Other pests that also cause damage to wood, insulation, or wires are rats, mice, powderpost beetles, carpenter ants, and squirrels. These not only lead to structural damage but also fires.

A home’s value includes its livability and the health and wellness of its residents. Therefore, you must also have your home regularly inspected for cockroaches, bedbugs, mosquitoes, and other types of ants. These bring not only an inconvenience but also various diseases.

Safety and Security

key inserted into a doorknob

It is essential to have a home security system with alarms against intruders. This protects not just your belongings but the lives of all residents, as well. Check the alarms regularly.

It is also vital to have a fire alarm and sprinkler system in every room. Invest in fire extinguishers, as well. Rooms above the first floor must have fire escapes.

One of the most common sources of house fires is a portable heater placed near flammable materials. Ensure that there is a wide clearance around such equipment. Also, turn them off when no one is inside the room and before going to bed.

Another source of home fires is the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (HVAC). Have it checked regularly by certified professionals so that problems are prevented or immediately addressed. Also, install a carbon monoxide detector and alarm because carbon monoxide poisoning from leaks is deadly.

The home’s electrical system is another possible cause of fires. Have this checked regularly by an accredited electrician. Do not hire non-professionals to work on any electrical job in the home. Avoid using extension cords long-term. Have an electrician add wall sockets instead. Appliances that use high amounts of electricity like refrigerators, air conditioners, and water heaters must have their own dedicated sockets installed by an electrician.

General Maintenance and Repair

Ask a professional to regularly inspect your home’s structure from the foundation to the roof for preventive maintenance. This is less expensive than waiting for problems to escalate into major repairs. For instance, a leak in the roof may not be noticeable in the house because it flows into walls and down to the basement. This will create molds that are hazardous to the health of the residents. It will also weaken the structure’s foundation. A professional roof maintenance service will identify such breaches and address them.

Address minor repairs immediately so that they do not pile up and so that the house will not look rundown. These include changing lightbulbs, cabinet and drawer handles, and dripping faucets. Fix doors that do not close properly. Keep windowpanes clean and clear. Repaint the home’s interior and exterior when it starts to look shabby.

Unless you keep on top of things, it is easy for a home to lose its charm and value. It can quickly deteriorate from the gem you invested into a tarnished piece of real estate.