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Home Maintenance vs. No Maintenance

August 21st, 2008 at 08:45 pm

Keeping up a home is expensive, but not as expensive as not keeping up a home!

I bought a condo three years ago and it was in pretty darn good shape. It was built in 1980 and the previous owner had put in new floors, new appliances, and a new furnace. The kitchen and bathrooms are still 1980, but in good working order.

I had the interior painted ($2,000) and thatís all so far. My homeowners association pays for everything on the outside of the condo, so need to do anything there. I figured I should be doing something, but what? You see, this is my first home, so Iím still learning about home ownership responsibilities.

So, I thought maybe I should get the ducts cleaned. I called Coit (a company that cleans stuff in the SF Bay Area) and they quoted me $300 to clean all the ducts, including my dryer vent.

I thought that sounded a bit steep, but when I pulled up one of the floor duct coverings and peered inside, I knew I had to get them cleaned. Good lord, have you ever looked inside one of your ducts? Itís GROSS! And, when winter comes and you turn on your heater, all that crap (dust, dirt, hair, crumbs, etc.) blows up into the room, all over your furniture, food, dishes, etc. Itís really awful! So, Iíll have them come out and do that soon.

I also decided I should get new blinds in the living room (the ones there are pretty cheap and are starting to break). I picked out really nice stuff Ė not stuff that will break anytime soon and it will cost me $730. They are being installed tomorrow. Yay! I also bought new drapes for $100. This will make a big difference and really freshen up things.

So, itís expensive to keep up with things, right? But, let me tell you about a friend of mine who has a house in San Francisco and hasnít kept up with the maintenance. His fence is falling down ($2000), his house is in desperate need to exterior paint (no idea what that will cost him, but a bundle, Iím sure!), interior paint (big house, so probably $3000-$4000), carpets (they have holes in them!), and new appliances (his refrigerator is held together with bungee cords).

He is trying to rent out the extra room right now, and everyone who comes through to look at the place isnít interested because itís so shabby. He cannot afford to do all the maintenance, but he canít attract a renter without it. He has just let this go for way too long and now heís in a pickle.

So, Iíll choose to keep things up, step by step. That way, Iíll never be hit with a huge bill to bring everything up to snuff.


Learning The Ropes

3 Responses to “Home Maintenance vs. No Maintenance”

  1. Paul Says:

    Great article that anyone can applyt to any aspect of there life. Keeping up your house is as important as keeping up your Health or your Finances.

    The little things we do each day can lead us to success or failure. If we brush our teeth on a daily basis we will have healthy teeth. If we don't they will rot. If we save x amount every week and invest it will grow. If we don't we will still have 0 in the future. If we Paint a room a month in six or 7 months our House will be painted.

    Start NOW and turn your LIFE around. Put the Slight Edge to use in your Favor because if you don't take control it will control you!

  2. fern Says:

    Yep, keeping up a house is VERY expensive. That's why the more simple things you can learn to do on your own, like painting or fixing a toilet, the better. It's an automatic $100+ just to get someone out to the house around here. They now tack on a $10 surcharge for fuel.

  3. greengirl Says:

    its funny, BF and I were talking the other day about 'when we own a house...' (a common coversation topic!) and agreed BRICK houses are the way to go: no painting! hardly have to clean them! Big Grin

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