I’ve been receiving Chuck’s newsletter for awhile now and like his style. Here is a short article that he featured in the April edition that I wanted to share with you. It is a great article for you to share with your prospects. Thanks Chuck for sharing!

That catchy title is better than saying you should think about deferred maintenance, but that’s really the topic – the topic of maintaining your own home, and what it might cost you if you don’t. It’s a serious topic, but I’ll try not to preach 🙂

We all know about condominium homeowners dues that have to be paid every month. We often don’t think about the fact that their primary purpose is to pay for the ongoing maintenance of the property – depositing money regularly into a building maintenance fund. Typically those dues amount to about 1.5 % / year of the value of the property. On a $400,000 condo they would run about $6,000 a year, or $500/mo.

So on your own home you might want to think about that 1.5% in similar terms. Most of us don’t have a reserve fund set up that we pay into every month. We just wait until the roof needs redoing, or the house needs painting, and then we do it. But what if we don’t? That’s called deferred maintenance. And then what happens if you want to sell it?

An out-of-date kitchen might cost you in reduced price only what it would cost you to do it. Maybe that’s a wash, so to speak, but you could have been enjoying it if you had done it a little earlier. But roofs and exterior paint and the appearance of front doors and garage doors are a different matter. If those are in bad shape when you want to sell, our experience is that you will pay for them twice. First, because they have such a negative effect on the appearance of the house, the buyer will offer you a lower price to start with, and then second, on inspection the buyer will ask for them to be done anyway. Sure you can negotiate, but you don’t really have much wiggle room these days.

So think about doing the maintenance basics when they need doing. Otherwise the value of your home will be dropping about 1.5%/year, like 15% in 10 years, and your house might literally be crumbling around you.

Chuck Reiling has lived in the Seattle area since 1990, and has been a full-time professional realtor since 2003.  He and his partner wife Diane work as a dedicated husband and wife real estate team – Chuck as broker/owner of Veritus Realty Group and Diane as a broker with RE/MAX Eastside Brokers – helping friends and clients buy and sell their homes in greater Seattle’s eastside and near westside neighborhoods. You can learn more about him at www.GreaterSeattleHomeSearch.com