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Evading the Inevitable


What’s one of the biggest reasons people sour on their home sweet home? They ignore the necessary repair and maintenance tasks that are an essential part of home ownership. These are those structural and mechanical issues that, like it or not, require an investment of time and/or money. The good news? Act proactively and you can save lots of time and money. The bad news? Well, you know.

SEPTIC SYSTEM: The last thing you want to think about is actually one of the first things you should think about. Solids in one form or another have the power to cause septic system lines to get blocked and back up into your home. Standard maintenance is to have the tank pumped every five years. The cost is around $300 to $500. Compare this to the thousands for digging up your yard to make repairs.


ELECTRICAL SYSTEM: Older homes with older electrical systems are not built to handle today’s modern appliances and electrical demands. Electrical breakers age. Sockets and switches wear out. The worst case scenario is fire. Homes built before 1980 are most vulnerable. An inspection by an electrician or an experienced home inspector is recommended every twenty years.

FOUNDATION: While all houses settle over time to one degree or another, ignoring cracks in the veneer can signal a larger problem with the foundation. Act now and the repair cost may be just a few thousand dollars. Wait until it’s too late and it could cost five or ten times as much. One troubling sign is if you can stick a #2 pencil inside a crack.

CRAWL SPACE: Despite what you’ve seen in horror films, consider yourself lucky if your home has a crawl space. This view of the inner workings of your house allows you to find small problems before they turn into big, scary problems including: bathroom leaks, termites, and insulation or duct issues. While you can do a cursory inspection yourself, a professional home inspector is trained to see what you may miss.

ROOF: If you don’t give your roof a second thought until water starts dripping from the ceiling, you’ve waited too long and missed an opportunity to save big money. Despite the roof’s warranty, it’s advised to have it inspected every five years. We’re talking a few hundred dollars for an inspection versus eight to ten thousand for a new roof.