5 Common Homeowner Mistakes

Owning a home is great, it can also be a hassle. When unexpected issues pop up—whether it’s a minor breakdown or a major catastrophe, it will require time and money to fix.

In many instances, the issues can be avoided with a little effort ahead of time.

Here are 5 common mistakes and tips from experts to avoid them.

  1. Ignore the small stuff. The faucet with a slow drip. The little crack in a board on your deck. They might not seem like big problems, but they can turn into bigger issues over time. A leaky faucet means a high water bill, a crack can lead to rot, which could lead to replacing the board—or the entire deck. When you see “small” things around the house, take steps to address them now because it’s a lot easier (and cheaper) today than a year from now.
  2. Not doing regular checks. How often do you look around the house? You’d be surprised how many people haven’t been in their attic or crawlspace for years. It’s a good idea to do a walk-through periodically to look for issues. Don’t forget to look outside too!
  3. Skipping maintenance on your appliances. Maintenance can prevent serious risks. When was the last time you cleaned out your dryer exhaust vent? Too much lint buildup can cause a fire—so clean it out at least once a year. You also should check the hoses connected to your washing machine and dishwasher. If they are worn, replace them. Other tips:
    • Clean your refrigerator coils once a year.
    • Clean your dishwasher’s food filter regularly.
    • Test your smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors twice a year, installing fresh batteries each time.
  4. Neglecting other systems. Your HVAC system needs attention so it won’t fail when you need it most. Having it serviced each year will alert you to potential problems. Change filters at the appropriate intervals, and if it’s been a while since you’ve had your ducts cleaned, consider that as well.
  5. No home warranty. Despite your best maintenance efforts, the air conditioner may break down, leaving you sweltering in the summer. The water heater could stop working, meaning cold showers every morning. Or the refrigerator may not get cold any more. These things happen and if your appliance is out of warranty, you’re on the hook.

Your home is one of your biggest investments, so be diligent about caring for it. Keep your eyes open around the house. Don’t hesitate to get out tools or call a professional if needed. Remember, prevention is the best medicine.