Keep your house in order

Recent research from a property portal has highlighted how many homeowners do not factor in the cost of annual repairs and household maintenance when they move into a new home.

Costs can range from under £100 to thousands when a roof needs replacing. Of the homeowners surveyed, 63% revealed they resort to credit cards, raid savings or have to borrow money from family, when faced with an unexpected repair bill. While 21% had no savings or plan in place to address home maintenance issues.

Only 17% of householders have a savings account set up only to cover any maintenance costs.

Keep Your House in Order

This is what we say at Homes…“This is where the importance of having a survey can really guide buyers about the potential maintenance and repair costs involved when buying their home and help them understand the repair costs and budget they may need to factor in.

We know that in the stampede to take advantage of the Stamp Duty holiday, some buyers may have decided not to get a surveyor to visit the property. Due to the pandemic, surveyors have been exceptionally busy and buyers have had to wait far longer in some cases to get a survey booked in. This may seem like a risk worth taking to benefit from a saving on the property tax, but for some it could prove a costly mistake, should there be problems with the building later down the line.

Many of us simply don’t consider the sizable cost of maintaining a home when we look to purchase. However, it’s inevitable that regardless of the age of your property, over time some things will go wrong, require attention, repair or replacing and property maintenance should be ongoing to protect your biggest investment.

As a general rule of thumb, budgeting one per cent of your property’s value on an annual basis should keep you covered in all but the most extreme of cases.

Home maintenance can be particularly costly when looking to sell, as not only does it dent profit margins, but it can also cause delays to your preferred selling timeline. In some instances, the work carried out may not hold the same value in the eyes of a buyer and so it can be better to go to market with a ‘doer-upper’ or a property with a ‘project’.

Right now, given the demand for properties in this area and the shortage of supply, it is worth asking your local agent about your property’s market value with and without undertaking the work. From experience, we are able to advise you on what is a red flag for a buyer and what is actually acceptable when it comes to maintenance and repair. This insight could help you save time and money for your onward purchase. Depending on the potential costs, it is certainly possible that you should be able to sell for a fair price once any additional work has been accounted for.”

The research findings showed UK homeowners are failing to prepare for maintenance issues such as general DIY (38%), gas or boiler issues (20%), electrical problems (15%) and roof maintenance (15%), problems such as Japanese knotweed or woodworm were less prominent (8%).

Some 36% of the homeowners said they spent between £501 and £1,000 on home maintenance per annum. A further 30% spent £500 or less, with 18% spending between £1,001 and £1,500. When asked how they would fund an unforeseen repair costing over £5,000, over half (62%) of the homebuyers said they would have to use credit cards or a loan.