You finally did it! You bought your first home, and you couldn’t be more excited. No more dealing with landlords or paying rent. If you want to paint your walls lavender, there is no one that can stop you. However, with the freedom of being a homeowner comes a huge amount of responsibility. While no longer having a landlord to tell you when you can and can’t do your laundry is nice, you’re also totally on your own if anything breaks down or needs replacing. Regular home maintenance is your ticket to avoiding costly repairs down the line and keeping your new home as good, if not better, than the day you bought it.
Home Maintenance Increase Value
While it can be easy to chalk up the need for home maintenance to not wanting to deal with burst pipes or a leaky roof, the truth of the matter is that properly maintaining your home helps to increase its value over time. Even if you plan on living there for decades to come, regular maintenance will significantly boost your profits if you do ever decide to upgrade or downsize depending on your needs.
Home maintenance is about so much more than simply keeping the original carpeting fresh for as long as possible to avoid replacing it (though that is an excellent idea). Maintenance encompasses your entire home, from upgrading power outlets for increased safety to testing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors every month. It can seem like a lot, but if you make home maintenance a habit in your daily routine it can become second nature to you and you’ll be able to reap the rewards in full down the line.
Any home inspector worth their salt will tell you that regular home maintenance is well worth the hassle. Sure, it can be a pain to make sure clogged drains are regularly flushed out, drain your hot water heater to prevent mineral build-up, clean out your gutters to avoid leaks, or call the exterminator before things escalate beyond control, but these are just the things you sign up for when you become a new homeowner.
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Ignoring HVAC Maintenance Can Be Expensive (And Dangerous)
There are plenty of benefits to make sure your heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems are well maintained. Keeping your HVAC system in tip-top shape can keep power bills down, help heated or cooled air distribute evenly throughout your home, and avoid the funky odor that can emanate from an improperly maintained HVAC system. However, keeping your HVAC system properly maintained is about more than you and your family’s comfort.
Getting your HVAC system checked the recommended twice a year can cost under $500, but if left unattended it can cause serious damage to the system. If things get too bad, problems can quickly escalate to the point where you need to get the entire system replaced. If this happens, you’ve gone from a yearly maintenance cost of less than $500 to the astronomical costs of replacing a central air conditioning unit which runs between $3,500 and $7,600 to the cost of replacing a gas furnace which can be anywhere from $4,000 and $5,000.
Even something as simple as regularly changing your HVAC system’s air filters can have serious long-term benefits. Not only does keeping your air filters fresh put less strain on your HVAC system, prolonging its life significantly and saving on power bills, but it can also have major impacts on your health. Improperly maintained HVAC systems can become a breeding ground for nasty bacteria like the legionella bacteria which can cause Legionnaire’s Disease, which can be potentially deadly.
If you find that after purchasing your first home that it is in serious need of a total maintenance overhaul or even if you simply want to spruce things up and make it your own, you should consider looking into energy-efficient and sustainable options. Not only will you save money in the long run by implementing energy-efficient appliances and fixtures, but you can also reap some serious tax benefits by going green.
If you’re looking to just redesign your home, going with sustainable and ethical design choices not only feels good, but the materials and fixtures can often be found at inexpensive prices. Everything from the paint you use to finally paint that room lavender to the furniture in your home can be sourced ethically. Don’t fret about how long sustainable and ethical options last, as they are generally of high quality and can last for decades if properly cared for.
Giving your home an eco-friendly makeover can also boost its resale value down the line as eco-conscious design, appliances, and construction become more desirable. Installing attractive bamboo flooring and energy-efficient appliances are great methods to greenify your living space, but if you want to go big, xeriscaping your lawn is the way to go. Not only does this reduce the amount of maintenance you’ll have to perform, it can also significantly boost your home’s value on the market.
Homeownership can seem scary. After all, you’re now responsible for your own space and anything that might happen there.
Regularly maintaining your home, both inside and out, can reduce the stress that comes with owning a home. The more you do it, the easier it will become, and next thing you know you’ll be living in a beautiful, functional, valuable home.