Regular maintenance protects home’s value, makes for an easier sale

Melonee Hurt, Special to Nashville Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK – TENNESSEE Published 2:17 p.m. CT July 26, 2018


Not only are home maintenance projects important to stay on top of as a homeowner to keep things in working condition, but there are certain things you can do around your home that can not only save but improve your property’s value.

Realtor Lisa Culp Taylor, who works in Nashville, Brentwood and Franklin, said she has listed properties that went under contract quickly, but fell through during inspections due to lack of proper maintenance. Those are things a new coat of paint can’t cover.

“Home maintenance is critical,” Taylor said. “This should be a priority for home owners and it needs to be done regularly. Most homeowners, for example, will service their HVAC twice a year, but I recommend a regular maintenance package for this. When you schedule your spring check-up, I would use this as a reminder to check your home for wood rot, chipping paint and the condition of your roof so those areas don’t get neglected. You’ll spend less on home repair and maintenance if you do it semi-annually.”

She added that buyers equate cleanliness to quality, so if your home appears neat, orderly, clean and updated, they see this as a quality investment.

Porter Langfitt, vice president of Franklin-based custom home builder Langfitt and Associates Inc., added that areas that aren’t as visible, such as a crawl space, are important to take care of as well.

“A home’s crawl space can be a hotbed for trouble if it isn’t maintained,” Langfitt said. “You have to check your crawl space every now and then to make sure you have no water intrusion and that ductwork and insulation are properly sealed.”

He said it’s also important to keep animals, such as skunks, raccoons or squirrels, out of your crawl space.

“Some animals can be very destructive under houses and it can be very costly to have the critters removed and repair the damage they have caused,” he said. “The best way to keep them out is to make sure your crawl space vents can open and close properly and to check around your HVAC unit’s connection to your house. Many have sheet-metal shrouds that animals can pry open.”

Other issues that can cause concern for the unseen in your home are rotting windows or crown molding that needs caulking. Those can be warning signs that there could be other issues throughout the home.

“We had one home listed which looked perfect,” Taylor said. “It had white painted brick, gray accents, updated countertops and it had multiple offers. Due to an inspection, an offer fell through. We got in there and made changes immediately, managing repairs throughout the process. We also work to make sure the buyer understands the maintenance that was done.”

Taylor added that the biggest mistake people make when it comes to home maintenance is not looking at their home with a critical eye. She recommends walking around your house today and looking at it as if you were going to list it tomorrow. It would make you look at things more closely.

Here are a few things Taylor and Langfitt recommend you stay on top of to keep your house ready to sell at a moment’s notice:

1. Windows: Something as simple as caulking your windows can make a huge difference in your heating and air bills as well as protect the glass and frames.

2. Air filters: Air filters throughout your house should be changed quarterly, monthly if you have pets. This will reduce the amount of dust in your home.

3. HVAC: This is an easy one to overlook because if it seems to be working properly, why bother, right? Wrong. Keeping your heating and cooling unit in proper working condition by checking it regularly can avoid costly replacements down the road.

4. Plumber: Schedule a plumber twice a year to be sure you don’t have any leaks around faucets or under your house, which can cause massive damage to a home if left untouched.

5. Chimney: If your home has a chimney, it’s important to keep an eye out for cracks or flaking that can occur from excessive heat. It’s another part of your home that needs to be checked regularly.

6. Roof: Your roof is another part of your home that might look fine to the homeowner’s eye, but a professional can see and assess damage and wear that could shorten the lifespan of your roof. Have it checked by a professional every couple of years.

7. Gutters/downspouts: Keeping gutters cleaned out and making sure downspouts are piped away from the house will prevent them from becoming clogged with debris, which can lead to water backing up and running into the crawl space.


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