You are not a renter anymore!

To all of our former apartment dwelling friends…

The real estate market conditions over the past few years have many people feeling that they overpaid for their home. They are strapped for cash. Our anecdotal evidence of this is the calls from past clients who have discussed problems after they move in to their new home. In some cases, the problem had not been disclosed by the seller (see our previous blog titled, Disclose, Disclose, Disclose! – Dunsing Inspections). In other instances the problem was not evident during the home inspection or could not be discovered without some destructive inspecting taking place. However, in the most instances the problem simply cropped up after the client moved into the home.

house repairs

Maintenance sometimes uncovers other problems… or is an opportunity for someone to upsell a service…

During normal maintenance, some contractors find other issues with the home. Sometimes the problem is discovered during the maintenance process, but sometimes, the contractor is looking to pad their wallet. See a previous blog that we wrote in 2020 That lying, cheating home inspector! (Part 2) – Dunsing Inspections In some cases, a call to your home inspector may be of assistance in evaluating the problem or helping to decide whether work is really necessary.

Homeowners may not be equipped to detect problems

The overriding takeaway is that first time home buyers often did not realize what it takes to maintain a home. Recognizing that homeownership requires maintenance and that unforeseen repairs will be required is a good starting point.

“We are wondering if we should sue the installer to recoup the cost?”

– A real client

A case in point: We had an inquiry from a client who discovered a problem with their water heater. It seems that the water heater had some venting issues that were intermittently causing it to stop working. After digging deeper, the client found that the water heater vent system had not been installed properly – but only after cutting open walls and ceilings to track the problem down. In this case, our client asked, “We are wondering if we should sue the installer to recoup the cost?” This was after living in the home for 3 years. Our response was that this was not a good use of their time, emotions and funds.

house maintenance money
Homeownership costs money!

How much should you budget for maintenance?

1% to 4% of home’s value per year is a starting point.

All homeowners should budget a certain amount of money for maintenance on a yearly basis. 1% to 4% of home’s value per year is a starting point. This will vary depending on the value, size, age, and past maintenance history. If you are particularly handy or don’t know which end of the screwdriver to hold, you may want to deviate from these percentages accordingly.

If you would like to learn more about home maintenance, please contact us (Schedule – Dunsing Inspections) to get a copy of How to Operate Your Home, the homeowner’s manual.


No getting around it, home maintenance is an important part of the ownership process. Having the funds to make repairs is important to protect your investment.

Do you have a maintenance budget?

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