Every contractor encounters client’s who begin the conversation with “but I recently bought this house” dilemma. Generally this opening line occurs once the homeowner discloses an ongoing problem such as: leaking roof, damaged drywall near windows, and etc. Personally, I’ve already encountered this scenario 4 times and year is not over. So why is it prevalent that many homeowners seem confused about product lifespan or is homeownership not projected properly?
Understanding US Housing statistics:
The average individual in the United States purchases between 3-5 homes in their lifetime (starter home, family home, downsizing home, retirement, etc.). Generally this much exposure to properties (under the expectation – not all homes were newly built) mean’s you’ve already had an issue or will experience such an issue in your lifetime. So we provided key insight’s (common knowledge) and a few “nuggets” to prevent calling a contractor a year after the closing. So how do you protect yourself from being like one of my clients?
First thing: Understand what homeownership means:
Review the true demands of homeownership and begin reviewing the expected costs of lawn maintenance, seasonal maintenance, change your books of choice from the Dark Tower to DIY stuff. A great insight is to compare renting vs owning materials. Keep in mind, a home is similar to car minus the rapid deprecation, but the components that make your house very much depreciate and deteriorate. These items include: AC units, Water heaters, siding, windows, carpet, light fixtures, and roofs!
Second thing: Before buying a LEMON do these items:
- Understand your true price and what you can afford (Yes, you can afford the listing price, but what about the soon to be updates). It’s better to avoid being “home broke” and have the ability to save reserves for those future expenses. This doesn’t mean because the bank approved us for the larger loan we should over reach on sq. footage or the home with a pool.
- Complete Professional home inspection – eliminate minor headaches or possibly discover huge unknown issues.
- Ask the “how old” questions: (Roof, siding, windows, door, heater, ac unit, flooring, & more). Common questions such as these will allow you to compare to the chart provided below and see where you stand.
- Read our cheat sheet:
- Asphalt Roofs – 13 to 17 years in the Midwest (due to harsh elements)
- Aluminum siding – 50 years
- Vinyl siding – 25 to 30 years
- Aluminum windows – 15 to 20 years
- Vinyl windows – 20 to 40 years
- Carpet – 3 to 5 years (once fibers are worn & frayed)
- Exterior doors – 20 years
- Wood flooring – up 75 years
- Linoleum flooring – 25 years
- Garage doors – 15 to 20 years
- Furnaces – could be 15 to 25 years
- Water heaters – 10 to 20 years
- In-ground pool liner – 7 years
- Skylights – 15- 20 years
- Contact your local neighborhood contractor for insight. If your curious about the current pricing for a specific product contact the local guy or Total Roofing & Construction ;). A lot of contractor’s provide Free estimates and more times than known will give you advice that maybe worth more. We advise doing this long before you actually need the work completed (6 to 18 months ahead of schedule). This allows you to budget for such a project and not be burden with burning your emergency fund or adding more debt.
- Homeowner Insurance Policy knowledge
- We always recommend reviewing your newly acquired homeowner policy after you make your purchase. This policy is what will protect you from serious issues and your solution to those out-of-blue emergency situations. Important items to understand is your deductible, covered perils (hail, wind, etc.), and claims process.
Third Thing: If you did your research, don’t panic.
If you have completed the recommended tips mentioned above or currently purchasing your fifth home, then don’t panic when disaster strikes. Generally whenever you have sudden damage it’s commonly storm or weather related (covered by your homeowner insurance policy) – contact a company seasoned in restoration work (TRC).
When speaking of interior damage that didn’t arise from exterior damage – water heater, sump pump, furnace, and etc. these are preventable with seasonal maintenance and a planned schedule on replacing such items. If you over spend and don’t budget for yearly renovation then yes, you may be in pickle.
I can attest that all contractor’s will offer you assistance regardless if your a homeowner of 5 months to 50 years. However, we believe these steps can save you ENORMOUSLY before you’re closing on a property or when that disaster strikes. For instances, the Hurricane Harvey is a sad and frightening situation for many reasons (safety, families affected, shelter, & etc.). However, a question we ask is did all those homeowners have flood insurance or covered peril to protect their damaged homes? A lot of us never consider scenarios such as the Hurricane Harvey, but its better to be safe than sorry.
If you have any questions please message me at firstname.lastname@example.org