Keeping up With Home Repairs

by Mark Johnston

As much as a home owner tries to keep things in their homes in working order, eventually something goes wrong and usually at the worst possible time.

Therefore just as daily exercise and a sensible diet keep the body healthy, regular home maintenance keeps normal wear and tear from developing in to emergency repairs.

When times are hard any expenditure can seem an indulgence. However simple, yet long lasting repairs can yield the highest returns if and when the property goes on sale.

Many property experts recommend that house holders should spend around 1% of the value of their home on improvements per year in order to maintain its worth in the market place.

According to land registry figures the average UK house price is approximately £162,109, this therefore then translates in to £1,621 to spend each year on maintenance.

General maintenance is key for all home owners and not just for when they are selling their property. Even with re-mortgaging a property, maintenance counts as borrowers still have to go through the evaluation process with a new lender.

In this case many people assume that valuers will look beyond the tired paintwork, semi-defunct shower room and the odd light dangling by a wire from its fitting. However many valuers say that if homes are kept in better condition they can sometimes be valued up to 15% higher.

Robert Barr, sales manager at Kerr and Co suggests that home owners should “be vigilant to the need to keep their home in good condition, not in terms of what’s in vogue, but good old fashioned internal and external maintenance”.

So where, and on what should be spent?

It is worth making a checklist and this should include all annual assessments such as boilers, plumbing and electrics.

Even small leaks can cause significant costly damage to plasterwork, joinery and furniture; also electrics are a huge fire risk.

Recent reports have shown that many Britons are investing heavily in to their homes. Steven Baillie of Sainsbury’s finance believes “the decision to invest more in their homes could be due to a number of reasons, perhaps some are aiming to increase the value of their home or maybe others have been unable to move up the property ladder so are improving their existing home until they can do so”.

Renovating areas of the home can undeniably increase its value, although it can be very easy to spend too much money and there is also no guarantee that a home owner will be able to recoup any money once the property is sold.

According to some financial reports one in five personal loans being taken out currently are solely to pay towards home improvements. An estimated £3.2 billion worth of personal loans were taken out last year to improve people’s homes.

According to recent figures the inclination towards improving homes reflects the number of houses bought and sold failing.

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