Most first-time homebuyers arm themselves with a lot of information about mortgage interest rates and closing costs. What they sometimes overlook are the repair costs prior to moving into previously owned homes and the long-term maintenance costs associated with homeownership.
The Value of a Home Inspection
"The best thing I can recommend for first-time homebuyers is to hire a high-integrity, unbiased inspection company to complete a home inspection," says Kyle Miller, marketing and sales director at AllAround, one of the leading home improvement companies in the greater Minneapolis area. "Doing so will provide clarity to any immediate repairs that are needed or things that can be ongoing maintenance issues."
Who is responsible for the repairs identified by a home inspection will vary. Sometimes, the buyer will do them after the sale. Other times, the seller will have to fix them before the close of the sale. Consult a realtor for the best option during negotiating and contracting.
Home Maintenance Costs
Many factors will affect your ongoing home maintenance costs, like the age of the home, the durability of the materials, where you live and the proactive repairs or maintenance you do to avoid bigger issues. As first-time buyers contemplate long-term maintenance costs, Miller says that a home with engineered wood siding is an excellent choice. “Other types of siding like masonite, cedar and stucco may require a lot more maintenance, such as frequent painting and caulking,” he says.
Miller adds, "All siding will require at least some maintenance. Cleaning dirt and debris off your siding is recommended annually - and will prevent more costly, time-consuming power washing later on."
Plan (and Save) Ahead
Whether it’s a first-time purchase or not, most experts advise homeowners to set aside at least one percent of the home’s purchase price each year to cover long-term maintenance costs. As that fund builds up, you’ll already have money saved for larger home improvement projects like replacing the original siding with lower maintenance engineered wood siding.
Limited on Space?
Some starter homes either lack a garage or have limited storage space – and first-time buyers may be surprised by the many styles of sheds available that can provide extra storage. “If you’re looking for larger storage options, such as a detached garage or outbuilding, I recommend getting the plans first from an architect or even a retailer like Menard’s,” says Miller. “Once you have the construction plans, you can use them to interview some qualified contractors and obtain a building permit from the city.”
Like your home, proactive care will keep your shed looking better for years to come. Read a few recommended shed maintenance tips in this blog article.
LP is Here to Help
Whether you’re planning on maintaining or replacing your siding or shed, LP is here to help. Learn more about how LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding is built to weather every season.