Just like you need a physical, so does your home

There have been many times I have toured a home before listing it and pointed out a blown light bulb or chip in the paint outside, and the homeowner said “I didn’t see that!” Realtors are very concerned about your home being ready for sale and ready to live in.

Every day we are told to check our credit, look at ourselves in the mirror, change the oil in our cars, or visit our doctor for an annual physical. What about your home? Most of us never think about our home like we think about other things … after all it is wood, steel, bricks and glass. It doesn’t run down the street, potholes won’t hurt it, and it isn’t going to get heart disease … or is it?

Realtors know there are many times homes are put up for sale on short notice because someone died or got transferred. When home sales are unexpected, and it isn’t in tip-top shape, you will get less than it could be worth. Realtors also know that unplanned expenses tend to be higher than if you have the time to shop for bids. Same thing goes for living in your home.

I suggest that if you have lived in your home more than 10 years, you consider “giving it a physical” by calling a home inspector. A home inspector will spot the missing shingle before it causes thousands in water damage, the furnace with a cracked heat exchanger before someone gets carbon monoxide poisoning, the defective smoke detector (even though the battery is good), or the corroded sump pump before you find a foot of water in your basement. In each of these instances the cost of repairs before failure is a fraction of the cost after failure.

It is no different than your yearly physical, the 50,000-mile checkup, or that credit monitoring service. Knowing that something is suspect and may fail soon is better than learning after it fails. Once you order that home inspection, remember to walk around with the inspector and learn about maintenance and prevention of problems. Save that home inspection with your home improvement receipts and lists of yearly “to dos.” It will give comfort to buyers in the future. Realtors and home inspectors care about you, your home, and your neighborhoods; so consider giving your home a physical.

And don’t forget, when you’re ready to buy or sell a home, contact a Realtor. If you’re in the market for a new home or thinking about selling your current home, contact a Realtor. Their value and expertise will ensure a professional home buying / selling experience.

Cunningham is the 2020 president of the Warren Area Board of Realtors.


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