Just like it does for people, the age of a home tends to creep up on homeowners and before they know it their new home is now middle-aged. If you've been neglecting your exercise and nutrition routines, your body and health will reflect it. So, too, for your home. If you've skipped doing routine repairs and let necessary maintenance projects pile up, then your home will be aging faster than it should.
Real estate experts say a home that looks older than its years can cause sellers to lose 10 percent of its appraised value; on the average home that translates to a $15,000 to $20,000 adjustment.
However, keeping your home in good order over the years by regularly tending to maintenance issues can actually increase the value of a home by approximately 1 percent each year, according to a study by the University of Connecticut and Syracuse University.
At the top of the list for maintaining your home and keeping it "youthful" is to make sure you keep moisture out of your home. Give your home a complete review. Look for water damage, leaky pipes, mold in the bathroom, and plumbing problems.
Look for dark spots on the walls, floors, and ceilings. Discoloration could be an indication of leaky pipes. Remove items under the sink to get a better view; simply eyeballing underneath the sink with tons of stuff in there won't necessarily reveal if there are any issues.
If you spot issues, fix them immediately. Don't put them off, thinking they can wait a few months. Eventually, these repairs give way to other, often bigger issues. Simple tasks such as caulking around a window or resealing your shower tile can be fairly easy and inexpensive. .
Finding any issues with moisture in your home can prevent it from ruining the sheathing and creating mold in the walls. Another place that often is overlooked is behind the refrigerator and underneath it. Sometimes, homeowners discover a pool of water from an overflowing drip pan. Cleaning this area will help prevent mold and bacteria from growing. If liquid other than water gets into the drip pan, it can create a very terrible odor. Try using vinegar to naturally clean the drip pan and the inside of your refrigerator.
Of course, there are many other areas to check up on and do routine repairs such as your chimney, furnace, water heater, and rain gutters. If you perform routine checks and keep up on all the repairs, you'll find your home will not only look younger but it also will last longer, and sell for more than those that homes that have been neglected.
If you're like many homeowners, there isn't necessarily a fund that's set up specifically for maintenance. So, when repairs are needed they can cause a blow to the monthly household income. Some experts say you should have anywhere from 1 percent to 3 percent of the initial house price per year available to use on repairs. However, many of these routine repairs will cost much less. So, routine maintenance can mean that you won't end up needing to use that entire repair reserve fund.