Fall Is the Time for Home Maintenance

Here is the letter I sent to my clients last week. It’s not necessarily a favorite topic for us at this holiday time of year, but it’s good advice for those who regard their home as an investment.


Fall in Florida is the time to start thinking about home maintenance, for a number of good reasons. One reason is that the weather is becoming more manageable now, and it’s more reasonable for doing homeowner chores.

But beyond the normal desire to clean up after the summer and spruce up the house for the winter holidays, this is also a good time to make a list of any deferred maintenance and start making plans to deal with it.

My long-standing suggestion is always to plan to have your home in good shape for the spring market, even if you have no intention of selling it. We have to take care of our investments with routine upkeep, and the best way to do this is to have a sense of timetable, or season.

The spring market is a good blip to have on your radar for a goal each year. This makes sure that any deferred maintenance doesn’t get deferred any longer. And in reality, when we deal with long-deferred maintenance, we spend a chunk of money and effort that would have cost less and been more satisfying if we had allocated it yearly over that same time.

This time of year and the coming winter season are not only nicer weather to take care of outdoor work – things like painting and caulking, yard work, trimming, etc. – it’s also a better time to find a handyman service or a contractor with time available to help you.

And as we know, the home repair market is such a busy one nowadays that finding a contractor who can even find time to show up is becoming like finding a great auto mechanic anymore!

Regardless of any plans to sell or stay put, my recommendation is always that your home should be ready to go on the market within 30-60 days. If you want to review all the reasons that make this a sound idea, revisit my article explaining why you should Always Be Ready to Go On the Market in 30 Days.

As I explain in that article, creating a punch list of items to repair or upgrade the home gives every homeowner a sense of what’s needed to keep the house in sound shape structurally, as well as what it might cost to make it pristine.

And if you do plan to sell, today’s market is tending to produce buyers who want completely move-in ready homes. Investors will still buy fixer-uppers, but regular buyers are not comfortable with homes that need some attention. In recent times, this has turned into a deal-killer.

Our home is typically our biggest life investment, and it makes good financial sense to preserve that investment. Hopefully something in the above advice will help you do just that.

Have a great winter!

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