When you are a landlord of a single-family home, you usually don’t live nearby and so the phrase, “Out of sight, out of mind” often comes into play. BUT, ensuring that your rental home is properly taken care of as if you were living there yourself is as just important, if not more so, than where you do reside.
Here are some tips on things you should plan and budget for your investment properties:
- Check for Appliance Recalls at Recalls.gov. Many home fires or avoidable damages are caused because the company issued a recall and nothing was ever done about it.
- Fix Any Water Leaks Immediately! Water does more damage to houses than anything else, since persistent leaks lead to mold and mildew, rot, and even termites and carpenter ants. Yet if you fix a leak soon after it starts, there may be no long-term damage at all. A small leak might only cost a couple hundred to fix now, but if ignored could cause many thousands in damage.
- Refresh The Finish On Your Hardwoods. Almost all hardwood floors need to be refinished periodically, but the trick is to do it before the finish wears through. A quick refinisher is a minimal cost versus paying to sand, buff and refinish your floors.
- Inspect Your Foundation Walls. If you have an undiscovered problem with your foundation walls you could be facing one of the most expensive repairs possible. Check for erosion; proper grading to keep water away from the foundation; and properly installed gutters.
- Maintain The Exterior. Clean your gutters regularly; pressure wash to remove mildew build-up; seal any unpainted wood; re-paint the exterior (3-7 years depending on materials); replace any rotten wood, and caulk around windows and doors.
- It’s The Little Things... Inspect weather-stripping around doors & windows; vacuum interior HVAC vents; change air filter regularly; trim trees & shrubs away from sides; change batteries in smoke detectors; re-caulk countertops and tubs/showers; clean out dryer vent; test GFI outlets in the home.