A Note to Home Sellers and Home Owners
The difference between home sellers and owners is simply timing. For a seller, time is tight. On the other hand, an owner has plenty of breathing room; but, eventually, his/her time will come, as well.
Whether a seller or an owner, proper maintenance of the home is important. Here’s why: A well maintained house just runs better, and if and when it comes time to sell, the home will:
- Command a higher price
- Sell faster
- The buyer’s home inspection will proceed smoothly
- Settlement will go off without a hitch.
- And that is an outcome devoutly to be wished.
Here are several basic items to check when examining and maintaining the finer details of your home. And, please note, the inspector who performs the buyer’s home inspection will be looking at exactly the same items for the same reasons. In fact, you may want to consider a pre-listing inspection from Alban Inspections. It’s a great way to get out in front of your home’s maintenance, and your proactive approach will make for smooth sailing come settlement time. Consider the following home maintenance check list:
Heaters and Boilers
Check the maintenance records of the unit to see if it was serviced annually. Like most mechanical objects, regular maintenance is the key to long life. Proper maintenance can eliminate the need to eventually replace damaged materials.
Follow the manufacturer’s directions and pay special attention to the refrigerator (Vacuum the coils for more efficient cooling.) and dishwasher (Clean the food trap often.).
Besides maintaining the grout and caulk, make sure there is a vent to the outside. As an alternative to separate tiles, vinyl floor covering can prevent water seepage.
Exterior doors should be painted periodically to deter rust and rot. Weather stripping should also be secure and fit tightly to prevent heat loss and water entry.
Surface water should be diverted as far away from the house as possible. Good diversion practices include gutters and downspouts with splash blocks, which should take water at least three feet away from the house, and proper soil grading away from the home.
Heat Pumps and Central Air Conditioning
Annual service should include checking the thermostats, switches, bearings, and refrigerant levels. A dirty filter or coil compromises efficiency, increases strain on the fan motors, and ultimately shortens the life of the unit.
Wood siding should be regularly painted and sealed to reduce the risk of mildew, warping, rotting, and cracking. Aluminum and vinyl siding should be cleaned regularly.
Pumping the septic system is absolutely necessary to maintain a functional system and prolong life. Depending on the number of people using the system, it should be pumped every one to three years.
The heater should be drained according to the manufacturer’s recommendation. Older units should be wrapped to increase efficiency, but this is not necessary with newer models.
Roofs in the South last only 75% as long as those in the North due to higher temperatures. The sun causes more damage to roofs than rain or snow. To increase the life expectancy of a roof, consider installing soffit and ridge vents, choosing lighter colored shingles, and increasing the pitch of the slope. A thermostatically controlled roof fan can also help reduce heat and maintain a cooler temperature in the home during the warmer months.
Looking after the items listed above will go a long way toward properly maintaining your home. If you’re a seller and concerned about maintenance issues in your home prior to listing, call Alban Inspections for a pre-listing inspection. It’s a great way to find out up front what issues need to be addressed prior to putting your property on the market, and help pave the way to a smooth sale and settlement.