Deferred Maintenance: What Saving Money Will Really Cost You

Old Door

In today’s financial climate, homeowners are looking for any way possible to save money. There are plenty of ways to trim down a budget, and most are good ideas. Some, however, will cost you far more than you will ever save; deferred maintenance is one of the most costly choices a homeowner can make.

What is Deferred Maintenance?

Deferred Maintenance is a real estate term that essentially means to put off repairs and upkeep in a home or business as a way to save money. Many people will decide to leave the cracking driveway or foundation for a few more years, ignore noisy appliances or leaky faucets until after the next family vacation or holiday, and so on.  Some homeowners will leave common annoyances in their homes for the next homeowner to deal with. And while this may seem like a smart idea for your wallet in the sort term, putting off repair work and maintenance in your home is not a good option for down the road.

Is Deferring Maintenance the Right Choice for My Home?

Many homeowners choose to wait until they are ready to sell their home to fix long-term problems or perform routine upkeep. Unfortunately, putting off a project or update can have many negative effects on your home and your budget. For starters, when you try to sell your home, it will need to be appraised. And appraisers really look to see not only the condition your home is in, but if it has been maintained and taken care of during the years you owned it. The appraisal will increase on an average home that has been well- maintained and repaired as problems arose. And a home’s value (and potential profit) will go down with each and every facelift and repair that was neglected in the life of your home. From drafty or broken windows  to chips in the bedroom wall paint, weeds in the flower beds and cracked floor tiles, all of these little issues will bring down the price you can get for your home.

When you find a buyer for your home, you will then be subject to a home inspection. An inspector will come by and look at all of the different areas of your home- windows, plumbing, electrical, walls, foundation, roof, attic, HVAC, etc. They will write up a report for the homebuyer with all the problems they found that need to be taken care of so that the homebuyer isn’t stuck with surprise costs down the road. Not to mention that homebuyers want the place they are moving into to be ready for them- if you don’t fix the problem at the time it occurs, you will surely pay for it in thousands of dollars-off the asking price when you go to sell, or with immediate repairs/ replacements out of your pocket to complete the sale.

Even if you don’t plan on selling your home anytime soon, deferring the maintenance and repairs around your house is costly. There is a great price difference between fixing a leaky pipe under the sink immediately and delaying the fix only to find that the entire drain system now needs to be removed and replaced, as well as the floor of the cabinet and even the wall behind the vanity due to wet, rotten wood or mold. Replacing a floor, appliance, wall, or system can be multiple times more costly as repairing it quickly before more damage is done. And replacement jobs take more time than repair jobs do, which adds to the cost of labor for what should have been a small fix.

Don’t forget…all these increased costs will multiply when the repair is involving an entire system rather than one part of the home, especially electrical and mechanical systems. In these areas, a minor repair can become a major problem if the issues are not dealt with quickly.

When you have a bunch of small fixes, annoying drips from your faucet or chipping paint, don’t put off until tomorrow what can be fixed today. You will put some money into your home in the present but will save yourself huge headaches and costs in the future.

Make home maintenance easy with the help of your local General Contractor. Professional contractors like Lossing Construction in Olympia are great for budget friendly solutions for all the fixes your home needs today!