After a challenging year, consumers are really starting to feel the pinch and many homeowners are tempted to extend home maintenance timeframes and overlook small repairs to stretch their budgets.
This could prove very costly and problematic if you’re planning to sell down the line because if your home needs a lot of work, it’s likely to remain on the market for longer than similar homes that need less additional spend. Buyers generally prefer homes that are immediately habitable or at least ones that don’t need extensive renovations and repairs.
There are, of course, a few issues that can be postponed, like replacing a chipped tile or a fixing a wonky bath tap, but there are several that absolutely should not be ignored:
Roofs and gutters – ‘Out of sight, out of mind’ can be a dangerous thing, especially when it comes to critical features like roofing and gutters. They should be regularly checked for wind and storm damage, loose tiles, gaps in the flashing and damage around chimneys. And clearing the gutters should be a regular task as overflows can damage paint, plaster and brickwork and blockages could cause gutters to collapse. Plumbing and electrical systems – Visible water pipes, particularly flexible hoses, should be examined for cracks, leaks or rust and dripping taps and leaking cisterns must be repaired. The electrical distribution box and fuses should be checked for signs of blackening and visible cables must be examined for worn insulation or exposed wires and signs of shorting.
Cracks in the plasterwork – Small, hairline cracks aren’t an issue and can (and should) be easily fixed with epoxy sealant but anything larger could signal problems. While you’re looking for cracks, also take note of any bulging or buckling. If you notice any of these signs, have them professionally inspected and repaired right away. Protect your foundation – If anything goes wrong with your foundation walls — serious cracks, uneven settling — you could be in for one of the most expensive home repair jobs possible. Every year, check to make sure the soil around your house slopes sufficiently away from your foundation to stave off serious structural problems.
Water leaks – Never ignore a water leak because, if left unattended, small leakages will compound over time, resulting in significant leakage that can be difficult – and costly – to fix at once. Never underestimate any leakage in your house and seek the assistance of professionals to immediately repair any sort of damage in your pipes. Mould and mildew – Contrary to popular belief, these aren’t simply a sign of poor housekeeping and they can – and do – appear in a clean home. Any time water invades your home in unexpected places, these toxic substances can grow. Signs to be aware of are musty, stale-smelling air, bubbled areas in paint or wallpaper, or chronic sinus symptoms with no other cause.
If an owner sells ‘Voetstoots” then the buyer must agree to undertake and remedy any items noted on the certificate at their cost and before the transfer is put through, which would deter many buyers, especially if there is a similar property for sale on the estate in a better condition. Another benefit of keeping to a regular maintenance schedule will help ensure you can handle many of the necessary repairs yourself.