Congratulations! You are officially a homeowner! Becoming a homeowner in the current ultra-competitive market is no easy task either. For most Americans, a home purchase is likely the biggest purchase of their lifetime. In addition, the data shows that Americans that own homes build significantly more wealth than those that never own a home. Of course, home ownership can be expensive particularly if you don’t maintain various aspects of the home. Below we discuss a few areas that should be monitored and serviced periodically to ensure optimal functioning while hopefully preventing costly repairs down the road.
Basic maintenance tips
- Plumbing: For older homes (built in the 1970’s and before), we typically recommend a more thorough inspection to be conducted before purchasing the home. Ideally, you should hire a plumber in addition to your general home inspector, to send a camera down the sewer lines to ensure everything looks good. Once you own the home though, it is recommended that you monitor your toilets, faucets, & shower heads to ensure there are no active leaks. A slow drip can result in added expense on your water bill. In addition, your water heater may need to be serviced or maintained each year as well. In fact, tankless water heaters may require annual servicing.
- Gutter maintenance: Many homeowners do not realize how destructive water can be. A properly operating gutter system on the home will collect the rainwater from the roof and redistribute it away from the home. This is important as accumulated water can saturate the home’s foundation. In addition, water may even find its way into your home through a window or any compromised area in the home. Clearing the gutters may even need to be done on a monthly basis depending on the amount of trees you have around your home. Typically, this can be a simple “do-it-yourself” (DIY) project. A ladder, long sleeved shirt, and gloves should be all you need. In addition, a wet/dry vacuum may also come in handy.
- Lawn care: Throughout Florida we tend to get plenty of rain during the spring and summer months to help keep our lawns happy. With this said, your lawn may need some fertilizer during various times of the year. As a best practice, you should wait until your grass grows a little before adding fertilizer. Applying fertilizer immediately after cutting it short may not produce the desired results and can even damage your lawn.
- HVAC care: The air conditioning system may perhaps be the most important of all for many Floridians. For starters, we recommend replacing your air filters on a monthly basis. While there are various types of filters to choose from, a basic air filter replaced on a monthly basis should result in optimal performance for your HVAC system. In fact, some filters that are marketed to last longer may actually be too constrictive for your HVAC system. In addition, it is also a best practice to pour a few ounces of bleach into your condensation line each month as well. If you have a wet/dry vacuum, you may also consider clearing out this line at this time as well. Lastly, we recommend having a professional technician service your HVAC unit at least once per year. In South Florida, you may want to consider having this service performed in the late spring prior to the start of summer. Needless to say, many HVAC units tend to fail during the peak summer months and these service/repair companies tend to get backed up with work.
Needless to say, owning a home requires many more responsibilities than highlighted above. With this said, preventive maintenance can go a long way in avoiding downstream frustration and costly repairs. Maintaining a list of qualified and dependable contractors is highly recommended. At Live South Florida Realty, Inc., we maintain a list of local contractors that is provided to our clients. At the very least, it is a starting point when obtaining quotes for maintenance and repairs. Of course, it is always encouraged to seek recommendations from family, friends, and neighbors. As with most things, a little preventative maintenance can save you a lot of money and headaches in the future.
At Live South Florida Realty, Inc. we have assisted many clients with their real estate needs. Are you looking to buy or sell a property in South Florida? Now more than ever, it is critical to have a qualified real estate team and the proper search tools behind you. Live South Florida Realty, Inc., has been a leader in the South Florida market for many years. Let our team of professionals assist you with buying or selling your piece of paradise today! In addition, our recently launched “Florida Home Search” app is now available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. With real-time MLS feeds, this app lets you set your own alerts to notify you as soon as a property meeting your needs hits the market. Furthermore, it will also let you know of recent closed sales in your area so that you may be even more educated on the market. Be sure to download this app for your smartphone or tablet today!