Buying a real estate property is one of the valuable purchases most people will ever make in their entire lives. Having spent most of one’s life savings on a property, the last thing one will allow is deterioration of the building to a point where its value depreciates drastically. If the purchase was made from your hard-earned money, then you will do all it takes to keep the property in good shape for your children’s children. This means having a comprehensive plan on how to maintain the building on a regular basis. Having a maintenance plan will help you know exactly how much it will cost, which areas will require the most attention and how often to carry out maintenance activities on your precious property.
Firstly, it is important to do an assessment on how much it will cost to maintain your property. Every property is different in terms of the size, design and the quality of material used. As a result, the cost of maintenance for property A will not be the same as the cost of maintenance for property B. I usually recommend that owners to set aside 5-10% of the value of their property for maintenance purposes. For example, if the value of the property is R500,000, set aside R50,000 for maintenance every year for the next 5 years. This is just a guide. It is important to take inflationary factors into consideration when doing such calculations to arrive at a more realistic figure.
Once you have come to a conclusion on how much you will need for maintenance, the next task is to identify which areas of the building that is more likely to depreciate easily. Due to the level of exposure to weather conditions, some areas are more easily deteriorated. For example, the roof’s constant exposure to the sun and wintery conditions make it a probable candidate. The bathroom and the kitchen’s exposure to water on a daily basis will eventually lead to dampness which in turn will give rise to mold and mildew (decay).
The issue of frequency of maintenance can vary from area to area and will to a large extent depend on the quality of the materials used for the building. The roof, for instance, will need yearly checks to be sure they are not developing leakages. The decay resulting from mildew in the bathroom and kitchen areas can be prevented by using waterproofing mechanisms. The floor and other areas will need regular cleaning on a daily or weekly basis to ensure they remain in good condition.
Taking these simple, yet effective steps, will save you from the cost of maintaining the whole building than if left unattended to for years. So from today, take proactive measures to protect your lifetime investment.