Here’s a look at the typical timeline of the average American resident: Phase 1. Graduate college. Get first REAL job. Buy first house. Adopt a dog. Get married. Have first child. Realize that the first ‘home sweet home’ is just too small. End of phase 1. Now, phase 2 may not be as typical as phase 1, but it’s a great route to follow: Buy new home. Decide to build retirement portfolio. Keep first home as a rental property.
If you were able to follow phase 2 as listed above or are deciding at a later phase in your life to acquire rental properties, make sure you have your asset covered. I sat down with my Property Manager and our long-time Maintenance Professional to devise a check-list of opportunities to maintain your/our long-term investments. Some people may have an obsession with recreating the 1986 blockbuster Money Pit, but that is not in our list of recommendations.
So what should you look out for to make sure your home is tip top? First and foremost, if you are purchasing a home as an investment, listen to the home inspector carefully and follow his/her list of recommendations. Moving forward, here are our top 22 items to keep in mind:
- Keep water out – make sure caulk is not failing anywhere water exists (interior and exterior)
- Have HVAC system serviced yearly
- Have the sewer cleaned out yearly on older homes (especially with clay piping)
- Have tankless water heaters serviced annually
- Running toilets should have all rubber parts replaced
- Ensure sump pump is working properly
- Ensure all doors and windows seal properly to keep the weather out
- Change air filter frequently (consider providing this service to tenants if it is hard to access)
- Ensure spring hinges are working properly on door between the garage and the house
- Replace weather stripping that is wearing
- Seal granite countertops
- Refinish hardwood floors when the finish is visibly wearing
- Replace washer hoses (especially rubber) when needed
- Ensure CO detectors, fire extinguishers and smoke detectors are working and not expired
- Re-seal grout in showers
- Trim trees and bushes away from the home
- Don’t forget about the outside
- Touch-up/paint your home
- Replace rotted wood
- Make sure everything is caulked and sealed
- Ensure drainage/grading is pushing water away from your home
- Stain fence/real wood deck when it no longer repels water (typically every other year)
- Have roof inspected after wind/hail storms
- Have gutters cleaned yearly (where mature landscaping exists)
- Lubricate all moving parts on garage doors yearly
- Ensure garage door seals to keep water out
“We spend thousands of dollars on a depreciating asset (car) and take it for regular oil chang-es, check-ups, and take it to the car wash every time it gets dirty, but we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a home and don’t do anything to it.” – Bob, handyman
It is a best practice to make sure everything in your home is functioning properly. Don’t forget higher quality products typically last longer!
Brought to you by Sondra Lockett-Cameron, Marketing Manager for TJC Real Estate and Management Services.
Your Neighborhood Realtors® Since 2005