PROPERTY NEWS - As a homeowner, one of the New Year's resolutions you should really try to stick to is to keep the maintenance of your property up to date.
That's the word from Gerhard Kotzé, MD of the RealNet estate agency group, who says that this will help you to spot and fix many minor problems before they become major repairs requiring budget-breaking expenditure.
"It is also no secret that well-maintained homes sell quickest, whatever the state of the residential property market, so sticking to a 'preventative maintenance' plan will ensure that your home is always sale-ready," he says.
"This can also be a big money-saver if an unexpected chance for a great home upgrade comes along or a new and better job opportunity appears and makes fast relocation essential.
"You won't have to come up with a large amount of cash to catch up on deferred maintenance to get your home in shape before you can list it."
If you have a pool, keep it clean to avoid an expensive draining, re-surfacing and re-filling exercise.
Do the following to ensure minimum-pain, ongoing maintenance:
- Plan major jobs such as re-painting in advance so that you can break them up and keep your annual maintenance expenditure within limits. For example, you may want to paint the interior of your home one year, the exterior the following year, the roof the next and the windows, doors and frames as a separate project.
- Check regularly for roof leaks. If you fix a leak quickly you will probably avoid having to repair a ceiling, repaint a wall or replace a cupboard or carpet.
- Check plumbing and irrigation systems often for blockages and leaks. Small faults can often be repaired by the homeowner, but leaving them until a major overhaul is required will probably require the services of an expensive expert.
- Attend to small repairs as soon as you can, whether it's a hinge on a kitchen cupboard door, a dripping tap or a cracked windowpane. Don't let them mount up until you have a massive to-do list.
- Keep your garden tidy. Even if you don't have a "green thumb", you can mow the lawn, sweep the paving and trim shrubs and trees to give your place a well-kept look.
- Remove any rubble and garden refuse regularly in small loads and avoid having to call in a waste removal service to take away a mountain of junk. It may be worth paying for a weekly garden drum service if there is one in your area.
- Clean any fitted carpets regularly to ensure that they always look their best, and reseal or varnish wooden floors and decks before they start looking shabby.
- If you have a pool, keep it clean to avoid an expensive draining, re-surfacing and re-filling exercise.
In addition, says Kotzé, it's a good idea to keep a maintenance log or journal from the time you move into your home.
"This will ensure that no essential tasks are missed, and reassure potential buyers, when the time comes to sell your property, that it has been well maintained and is in great condition."
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