301 Page: 9 Must-Read Tips for Maintaining Your Home

First Service Credit Union
8/1/2018 12:00:00 AM - 2 min. read

Your home is, most likely, the biggest purchase you’ll ever make. Just like your health, it must be maintained and can’t afford to be neglected. Protect your investment by following this home-maintenance checklist and tips on how to budget and save.

  1. Determine how much one-time and ongoing maintenance your home will need, and budget accordingly. Whether it’s a big-ticket expense, such as new flooring, or a small-maintenance item, such as lawn care, paying for it is a lot easier when you take the cost into account. Some experts say you should budget 1 to 2 percent of your home’s purchase price for yearly maintenance costs.

  2. Don’t buy on impulse and pay for non-critical, home-maintenance needs with high-interest credit cards or loans. Be patient. Set aside extra money in a savings account for those big-ticket expenses.

  3. Save money with do-it-yourself projects. There are several home improvements that you can tackle on your own, including painting, minor appliance repairs, and lawn care. Look online for how-to tips.

  4. If there’s a project you just can’t wait, or afford, to save up enough cash for, consider tapping into your home’s equity for a loan to cover the costs. Typically, home equity loans offer lower interest rates and better terms than credit cards or personal loans.

  5. Make smart investments in your home with improvements that pay off. Kitchen and bathroom renovations add value to your home; however, pool and home-office additions can offer little returns.

  6. Monthly maintenance checklist to keep your house in tip-top shape: check your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) filters; clean microwave and oven; check smoke alarms and fire extinguishers; clean range hood filters; and clean and unclog sink and drain holes.

  7. Quarterly maintenance checklist: apply touch-up paint to wall stains, shampoo your carpet, run water and flush toilets in unused spaces, and check water softener and add salt if needed.

  8. Biannual maintenance checklist: clean your gutters, deep clean your house, and vacuum your refrigerator coil.

  9. Annual maintenance checklist: have your HVAC checked by a professional, clean the garage, check and clean dryer vent, inspect your roof, clean fireplace and chimney, clean hot water heater, flush outdoor water faucets, and check and repair caulking and grout in bathrooms.