For many people, their real estate is their largest single investment. Just like any other financial investment, it needs attention and tending in order to maintain and grow its value. Protecting your real estate investment is a combination of both maintenance and insurance.
You were required to purchase home insurance when you closed on your house but a majority of homeowners neglect to review their insurance policy over time. It is important to make sure that your insurance policy fully covers the current replacement cost of your home. At a bare minimum, that means your policy should include an inflation guard. Remodeling, renovating, landscaping, hardscaping and significant interior decorating projects are all reasons to amend your policy to cover value of your home and its contents to protect against a fire, explosion, storm, flood or falling objects.
Regular inspection and maintenance of your home protects the value of your house, prevents damage that can cost you money and increases your general enjoyment of the property. Inexpensive fixes can quickly turn into costly repairs if not identified and addressed promptly.
On a seasonal, or at least annual, basis homeowners should check the structures, systems and envelope of their house:
- Roof: Examine for missing shingles, damage, cracks, soft spots and expanding seams.
- Gutters: Clean and inspect.
- Attic and Basement: Check for signs of pests, animals, leaks or water damage.
- Chimney: Clean and inspect.
- HVAC Systems: Clean vents and duct work. Replace filters. Inspect for cracks, leaks, efficiency, condensation and drainage problems.
- Dryer Ducts: Clean.
- Exterior Siding and Facia: Check for signs of wear, rot and pests.
- Foundation: Inspect for cracks and signs of pests.
- Doors and Windows: Inspect caulking and check for gaps.
- Trees: Trim branches away from your home. Remove dead trees.
You can make the inspections and repairs for many of these areas yourself. Items like chimneys and HVAC systems should be inspected by a specialist. HVAC and gad companies offer maintenance contracts which will ensure inspections and repairs happen on a regular basis. Alternatively, consider hiring a maintenance company or building contractor to conduct all of the inspections year-to-year.
Managing your real estate investment with the same attention you apply to all of your other financial investments will ensure that its value continues to work toward the benefit of you and your family. Rutledge Properties has dependable, timely referrals for all the trades. Contact us if you need a recommendation for any type of house specialist or a maintenance company.