Owning a home isn’t just about reaping the benefits. Though there are quite a few benefits. It’s important to maintain your home. Here in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, we are faced with the highest property prices in Canada. So if you’re able to afford a home, you should be able to afford the maintenance and upkeep involved to keep your home at its best. Failing to do so can seriously devalue your home and you could end up losing money when you’re ready to sell, upgrade or downsize in the future.
Homeownership means taking care of your home regularly, that includes maintenance, repairs, upgrades, and fix-it jobs required every so often. While some projects can be done with a couple hundred dollars and a quick trip to the big box stores, other projects require professionals and a larger budget.
Think of things like changing your roof or your windows in older homes, replacing walls and joists that have mold build-up inside, compared to a quick coat of paint, reseeding your lawn, or even changing the hardware on your front door. The more ‘on top of’ home maintenance you are, the better off you’ll be in the long run.
Budgeting For Maintenance and Repairs
Owning a house is different then owning a condo. Condos require strata fees which take of most structural repairs to a building, however owning a house means you need to set aside some money to take care of those issues yourself.
The good news is most issues are foreseeable, so it’s relatively easy to budget for them. You know things like roofing, windows, heating/vent systems have a lifespan, so based on when they were installed, you can approximate when the next replacement will be needed. However you also need to prepare yourself for unforeseen issues, like leaks, mold, fire, and other problems and damages that might occur.
Some might recommend that you budget approximately 2- to 4-per cent of your home’s value annually for maintenance and repairs. For instance, if you paid $500,000 that’s anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 per year. It might seem like a big number, but also consider the age of your home. If you’re living in a 1920s refurbished home, you’re likely to need more repair then someone living in a brand new build.
Though living in a new build doesn’t come without its own set of issues as well. The moral of the story is, plan ahead and budget for a rainy day.
Things to budget for:
– Home exterior (vinyl siding, brickwork, gutters, etc.)
– Roofing and shingles
– Electrical and plumbing
– Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (if applicable) Plumbing
– Drainage, sump pumps, landscaping
– Foundation and basements
Living in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, we see a lot of rain and moisture throughout the year. Homeowners need to be mindful of the effects of moisture on their home, especially if they have a basement. Because mold is actually a serious health risk, if you see the signs of moisture build up, or even mold growing it’s important to contact a professional to help you address these issues before they get worse. Not only will this affect your health and the long-term health of your home but it will affect the eventual sale price of your home.
Calling The Professionals
Pride is one thing, but safety is another. Sometimes it’s important to know when to call in a professional to do the work around your home. Some projects can be easily done with a friend or spouse over a day, but other projects require special licenses (think electricians and plumbers), while some projects require a lot of risk, like working on the roof of your home.