Selling your house can be super exciting. The promise of new opportunities await, and it can feel like you’re getting a fresh start by selling your old house and moving somewhere new. Unfortunately, before you can dive right into the next chapter of your life, you’ll need to close out the old one, and this comes with some responsibilities. One of these is to make major and minor repairs so that your house can pass an inspection and appraise for more money. Depending on what all needs to be repaired, it could end up becoming quite the costly endeavor. We’ve put together a list of some of the most common yet most expensive repairs so you can get a good idea of what kind of budget you’ll need to set aside.
1. Major foundation issues.
One of the main causes of foundation decay is water damage. Water could have seeped into your house’s foundation for a number of reasons, but each time it might cause a little more damage which creates a lot of wear and tear on your home. This could occur for any number of reasons, most likely due to rain storms or water leaking from pipes within the walls of your house. Once the water reaches your basement where the foundation is, it seeps through the concrete and weakens it after a while. A weak foundation usually has cracks and if water sticks around in those spaces, it can continue to further damage your house. A major foundation repair can run you anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000, depending on how bad the situation is. This is not a cheap or easy fix. So if you’re reading this well in advance of selling a house, it’s a smart idea to have regular inspections and shell out the cash for minor repairs of things like leaky pipes and cracks because it’ll be much less expensive in the long run by preventing further damage to the home that will be a huge pain to repair.
2. Roof damage.
The house’s roof is also considered to be one of the most expensive things you can repair in a house. Keep in mind that the roof of a house is usually the one that experiences plenty of wear and tear due to changing seasons. It could break, leak, rot or lose a shingle which could cause you thousands of dollars when not repaired properly. An average roof repair can cost about $4,000 to $15,000 not to mention the removing of old materials. This also means you should fix the interior parts of the house in case it becomes damaged while the roof is under construction. According to Nationwide, in 2016 the average cost of roof repairs was over $690, and roof replacements averaged out at around $7,000. While you’re checking your house for water damage, make sure to inspect the attic as well, because this is where water damage is likely to occur on your roof. If you come across any water stains on your ceiling or walls, it’s a pretty good sign that you’ll need to make repairs or even consider a full roof replacement.
3. HVAC replacements and repairs.
Proper heating or cooling systems are important, not only to keep you and your family comfortable in the changing seasons, but it’s also crucial for the health of your home’s foundation and structure. That is why it’s essential to ensure that your Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system is in good working condition at all times. Keep up to date on maintenance to avoid a complete breakdown and more costly repairs in the long run. According to Lennox: Heating & Cooling HVAC Systems, air conditioners and heat pumps last an average of 10 to 12 years, while furnaces have a lifespan of around 15 to 20 years.” It’s important to know how old your equipment is so you can be aware of when a replacement will be necessary. A heater or gas furnace alone can cost you around $2,000 and you will have to pay a professional about $5,000 to $10,000 to have it properly installed.
4. Damage from weather and natural disasters.
Inclement weather can really do a number on a house’s exterior (and even interior) structure. Rain, sleet, hail, slow, sunlight… all of these things and more can wear down your property over time. Or, if something drastic like a natural disaster occurs, even more extensive damage can occur instantaneously, leaving you to foot a gigantic bill if your insurance won’t cover the necessary repairs. If your house is in close proximity to one or more trees, there is also the chance that it could collapse during a heavy storm or other forms of natural disasters and completely destroy a decent chunk of your roof and walls. This kind of repair cannot be ignored, as it affects the livability of your house. It could damage not only the roof, but the house’s interiors as well. You’re lucky if your house is insured, but if not then covering the cost of repairs for the extensive damage that a huge natural disaster can cause is going to be very, very hard on your wallet. Replacing the roof alone could run you up to $7,000 or even more.
5. Water or sewer lines
Cracked or damaged water and sewer lines can result in extensive (and EXPENSIVE) property damage. Not only that, but this kind of damage can expose you and your family to some pretty serious health risks. Your water and sewer lines go hand in hand since they are connected to the public water and sewage systems of the city (if you don’t have your own septic tank right in the backyard). These lines are buried underneath your property so when it gets a leak or damaged, it may be necessary to dig into the ground on your property to assess what could be wrong. Replacing an average sewer line from the house to where it connects to the public sewer system typically costs anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000, so keeping up to date with your sewer line repairs is essential.
So… how can you avoid spending tons of money on repairs?
Minor repairs around the house ever so often are just part of what it means to be a homeowner. Subtle wear and tear on a home is natural, especially if the home was built many years ago. Age can weaken a home, so you’re likely to experience more damage if you own an older property. However, most major repairs can be avoided by simply keeping up with routine maintenance, and not putting those pesky minor repairs off longer than we should.
- Avoid flooding in your basement area where the foundation of the house is located by making sure that it’s water and flood proof. Seal all areas where water can easily get in when it rains, and make sure that you use heavy duty materials that will last a long time. If you are building a house from the ground up, make sure to keep the foundation high off the ground from where water will be sitting. It should be designed to be slightly sloped around the perimeter so that water will run off and won’t stick around the area of your foundation. An effective drainage system should be added/maintained in your basement as well. Make sure to unclog your drains and regularly check them to ensure that the water is draining properly.
- Your roof should be checked fairly consistently. Always probe for leaks and keep an eye out for shingles that needs to be replaced. Make sure to waterproof your roof if you can so you don’t have to deal with the bigger damages in the end. If there is metal flashing or plastic sheeting around your chimney, as well as the surface of the roof that’s damaged, replace it as soon as possible. Check also for signs of mold, algae or moisture growing on your roofing, as this can cause major problems with the structural integrity of the roof. An unfinished attic is vulnerable to water seeping through the walls of your house or ceiling.
- Your HVAC needs to have a checkup every 6 months at least. Always have a professional check and maintain your ventilation and AC so you know if there are damaged parts that need to be replaced or simply just cleaned.
- If you have trees on your property, make sure to trim or cut branches that could come loose and fall onto your roof.
- Water lines and sewer lines must be inspected regularly. This way you can avoid bigger repairs and bigger expenses. If you plan on putting up a landscape in front of your house, make sure to ask the landscaping company to watch out for the water line. This way they can avoid damaging it while working.
In conclusion you cannot avoid repairs because houses do age naturally over time, thus requiring routine maintenance to keep them in good, livable condition. Minor and major repairs are responsibilities you assume in exchange for having a house to call your own, but if you keep up with the necessary maintenance, hopefully you can avoid these major expensive repairs in the long run!
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