I woke up this morning thinking about how taking care of a home is like raising a child. We invest our time, our attention, and our resources in raising children who are responsible, who give to the world, and whose presence is beyond measure to our family as a whole. We feel the love returned that we invested in the relationship. We want them to be around for a long time and to create memories, bonds, and more. It’s impossible to name the ways that we invest in our children (or other family members) and what they give to the world and back to us.
Of course emotionally the material value of our homes cannot compete with the value, love, and pride of our children, yet our homes are something in which we also should invest our time and resources, for they contribute to our family, our memories, and ultimately, our financial well being. Think of it in this way: If we provide basic maintenance to our homes, we are rarely surprised with their actions. Systems, appliances, structures, finishes. They all work well when they are maintained. Put in the proper “parenting time”, and we will see when potential problems begin to arise, and we can take the necessary steps to avoid those minor issues developing into major issues and major financial outlay. Home emergencies are thwarted when routine, seasonal home maintenance is enacted. What should we remember to do? The following is a beginning list of suggested routine home maintenance tasks:
- Have your AC/Heating units serviced at least once a year. Many companies provide regular service contracts, and they can keep you informed when it is time to perform service again. They can let you know when the Arizona sun begins to take its toll on susceptible parts of the system, so you aren’t stuck without air conditioning when valley temperatures soar.
- Test your fire alarms (and carbon monoxide alarms) and replace batteries systematically. Many people time this with tax time, so that it is a date that they will remember. Alarms can reduce possible damage to your residence, but even more importantly, they can and do save lives.
- Do a visual check around your house periodically for evidence of termites. Always a threat in Arizona, you might see the tunnels termites use to travel back and forth from the earth–where Arizona’s subterranean termites lives–to the wood elements of your home. If you see any evidence, locate a licensed termite inspection and treatment company to take care of the problem quickly and efficiently before the problem spreads.
- If you have a pool, your filter will love you if it gets periodic cleaning. Not only will it work more efficiently, humming along without gasping for water flow, but it will also positively impact your electric bill.
- Summer monsoons can potentially wreak havoc with a roof. Visual checks if you are handy or professional inspections can help you avoid larger damage once water has found its way into vulnerable spots.
- Also visually inspect your home’s finishes. Look for possible damage to the foundation, to garage flashings, window seals, and more.
While this is not a complete list, these items will start you on the process of becoming aware of your house and the way it ages. We all love it when someone shows us love. Imagine how your house will respond with a little love. It will reward you with no emergencies, no surprises, and a continuously comfortable, serene setting for your family’s lives and memories. And when the time comes to sell, buyers will feel confident because the love will be obvious, the property will show well on the market, its appearance will allay buyers’ fears of what problems buyers might inherit, and it will command the best possible price. It’s an investment in your family’s daily life and your financial future.