Property management is almost always considered, in considerable detail, regarding commercial properties. However, each homeowner needs to pay particular attention, to maintaining, enhancing, and focusing, on a plan, to manage his personal property. Most home buyers consider their monthly carrying charges, and think about their mortgage interest and principal, escrow items (such as insurance, real estate taxes, etc), and utilities. However, far too often, there is no planning for the other necessities and obligations of home ownership, and because of this, many are unprepared for major repairs, or even minor ones. For that reason, I have created these 6 items every homeowner needs to plan for, prepare for, and pay attention to.
1. Painting/ power – washing: Depending upon where your home is, and what material is on the exterior, your schedule for these things will differ. If you are in a region where there is a lot of snow and ice, or one which is close to the ocean, you will need to maintain it more often. If the property is in the woods, it will probably require special care. If you have a wood house (such as cedar shingles, etc), ask a local paint store, how often houses in your area need painting. If you have a vinyl, etc – sided house, you should probably power – wash it, once every year or two. Doing regularly scheduled preventative maintenance, will often cost far less, than waiting for the major disasters.
2. Grounds: What kind of property is your home situated on? Is it level, or sloped, clear or wooded, etc? If there are lots of trees, regular leaf removal is needed. Obviously, mowing, repairing and maintaining your lawn, which includes regular watering, etc. Do you need in – ground sprinklers, and if you have these, prepare for regular maintenance, including winterizing, back – flow devices, repair, etc? How about your gardens, etc? How will you care for them?
3. Heating/ air conditioning systems: Make sure you have your boiler maintained and cleaned, and that a Preventive Maintenance, is performed, prior to the winter! Change/ clean your air conditioning systems, winterize (if needed), and make sure these are kept clean and well – maintained. Don’t forget your air filters.
4. Windows/ doors: Are you heating the inside or outside of your home? Unless your windows and doors are somewhat air – tight, you will be wasting lots of money, on your heating bills, as well as on your utility bills when you use your air conditioners! Make sure windows are caulked, when needed, and doors have sweeps, and close securely!
5. Roof: Two considerations in this area of the house. A new roof will usually last 25 years or more, but that doesn’t mean, there may not be a faulty area. Remember to clean leaves from your gutters, etc, and at the same time, take a look at your roof. Are there any areas, either in your house, or attic, which appear to indicate some dampness?
6. Interior: floors, walls, etc: Don’t forget the inside of your house. Remember, you often need to paint around windows and window sills, more often than the rest of the house. Consider a rotating painting schedule, so you paint one or two rooms, every year, on an alternate schedule! Inspect your floors, and do your wood floors need care? How are your tiles holding up? Inspect your carpet.
Create a budget for maintaining your home annually, Put aside money in a separate Home Maintenance account, and only use it, for those purposes. Anything you don’t use in one year, add to the next year’s contribution. Do this weekly, but do it always!