The largest investment in most lives is that of a home. Depending on owner behavior and habits, the costs associated with a home can be kept to a minimum. The care and maintenance of a home is an expensive undertaking, but is less expensive then the cost of neglect.
Keeping up with the preventative maintenance of a home will save much more money than is spent. Those who are not prepared to maintain a house should continue to rent living space. Buying a house that will not be maintained is the equivalent of throwing money away.
Heating and cooling systems, and major appliances require annual or seasonal maintenance. A contract to have the furnace cleaned every year will help it operate efficiently. An inspection of the air conditioning system will prevent major repairs and avoid a shutdown in ninety degree heat. Having the washing machine repaired at the first sign of a problem instead of waiting two weeks will save money. A minor repair is cheaper and takes less time than a major one.
Maintaining the building is vital to save money. While Roof Repair, for example, can be an unexpected expense, ignoring the roof will cost a small fortune. Preventative maintenance in this case requires regular inspections of the roof. The cost is minimal and only needs to be incurred annually under normal circumstances. If any roof damage is suspected, be proactive and call an experienced company to avoid a higher roof repair cost in a month.
Weather stripping for windows and doors every winter is another way to keep repair costs under control. This simple process does much more that lower utility costs by blocking drafts and moisture. A component of excessive roof leak repair bills is often damage to window sills and door jams. Sealing the windows with plastic, using draft dodgers, and caulking any seams will prevent damage related to a roof leak.
Maintenance in the yard has more to do with spending time rather money. A well-manicured yard that has been professionally landscape is a definite asset, but is not essential. Trimming bushes and trees will keep branches from interfering with electricity wires or depositing leaves onto the roof. Clearing up debris will eliminate habitat for pests and wildlife. Spending the weekend cleaning up the yard will save the costs of pest and animal control professionals. If the budget allows, a professional maintenance crew for the yard can be hired for all that maintenance.