Primary Care Physician – for Your House
We are told to get yearly exams and physicals from our primary care physician. We are told to get our teeth cleaned twice a year by our dental professional. Some of us see a chiropractor on a regular basis to make sure we stay aligned and in balance. Some may get regular acupuncture or acupressure treatments as well. All to make sure our bodies are performing the way they are supposed to. We all know that when it comes to our health, if we find things out early, we have a better chance of combating illness or disease. If we take care of our bodies by eating right, exercising, and getting enough rest, we have a better chance of preventing the illness altogether. If we don’t take care of ourselves and we don’t go to the doctor until symptoms are severe, we may put ourselves through more pain and suffering than necessary. And at the very worst, we may not be able to correct the problem.
So it is with your house. In my years as a REALTOR, I have seen too many houses to count. Most home owners have done a fairly decent job taking care of their home. Comparing to the human body, they have missed a couple of physicals here or there and maybe only get their teeth cleaned once a year. They’ve had to fix a few things they may not have had to deal with, but for the most part, it’s in good shape. There are those rare homeowners that stay on top of every maintenance item possible. They have a handyman on call and they spend the money to maintain instead of having minor things turn into major. These are the people that do exactly what their doctors tell them to and are pictures of health. On the other hand, there are many more that wait to go to the dentist until their tooth hurts so bad they can’t sleep and end up having to get the tooth pulled when if they had been getting regular cleanings, the problem could have been solved with a small filling. These are the homeowners that don’t even change the air filter in their HVAC unit – ever.
Just like some will argue that you will spend more money to eat healthy and get regular checkups, some will also say that you will spend the same amount of money fixing a problem once it presents itself in your home rather than having regular maintenance checkups. I beg to differ. Here is an example: I have a roofing contractor who offers roof inspections. He will let you know if there is nothing wrong. He will also let you know if there are any small items that can be fixed in order to prevent a leak or some other issue. In this case, if there was something that could be fixed in order to prevent a leak, you may spend a couple of hundred dollars to fix it. If you waited until you had a leak, it could cost thousands of dollars, depending on how extensive the water damage was. And worse, you could have a leak for a long time and it not show up until there was water and mold all through the walls or attic of your home. Then you’ve got an even bigger headache.
Obviously, this sounds great but it can seem difficult to actually put a maintenance plan in place. There are many companies that offer maintenance plans and if you have a handyman or contractor you like to work with, talk to them about it. I bet they’d be more than happy to come out several times a year for a small fee. Bottom line is, just like our health, your house will deteriorate if we don’t maintain it and both are too valuable to lose!
Michelle Froedge is a residential Realtor and Principal Broker in the Greater Nashville and Williamson County areas of Tennessee. “Mom” to four-legged fur babies, Tyler and Livvie, Auntie to Zelamie, she is a vegetarian and sings in her spare time. Michelle has lived in Nashville and Franklin since 1997 and has been selling homes since 2004.