Page 13 - Fall 2011

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“A New Homeowner’s Guide to Maintenance”
By Marilyn Lewis of MSN Real Estate
Congratulations! You've made the leap from renter to homeowner. Now the fun
begins: The place is yours to decorate as you wish and you've left behind late-
night squabbles over the upstairs tenant's loud music.
But along with the fun, the new title comes with some important upkeep
responsibilities. When you move into your new place, run down the list of tasks
below as soon as you're able, then rotate through them on the suggested
schedule. (You can buy
home-maintenance software
for keeping track, but a
spreadsheet or a plain notebook will work fine, too.) Your most important jobs are
those that keep moisture out of the house, prevent fires and keep your high-
priced furnace running safely and efficiently.
Do you doubt these nagging little
chores really matter? Have a chat
with home inspector Kirk Juneau,
of Bellingham, Wash. He'll tell you
about the call he got in December
from a homeowner who wondered
if the cracks in a bedroom's
drywall were anything serious.
After discovering the wood
foundation was wet, dark and full
of mold just beneath the bedroom
window, Juneau opened up the
wall. Inside were 16 square feet of
rot and mold. "Because it wasn't a
large leak, water was allowed to
get in there and sit and nobody
noticed it," says Juneau. "It went
on for years."
What's your home worth?
A tube of caulk to maintain the seal around the window would have cost a couple
of dollars. Replacing the rotted framing and the wall, siding, window and paint, on
the other hand, ran about $10,000.