Why Putting Off Repairs In The Home Is Always A Mistake

Owning a home is a wonderful thing for a lot of people, and it’s something that many work hard to be able to do. However, the hard work doesn’t – or shouldn’t – end when you’re given the keys, and you’ve paid all the fees. In fact, that’s just the start of the journey. There’s always going to be something that has to be done. And in many cases, there’s always going to be something that has to be fixed. 

That’s the thing about property; even if you buy a brand-new home, things will break or get damaged as time goes on. Either through wear and tear or because of an accident, for example. And if you buy an older home, those things might happen sooner rather than later. No matter what, they’re sure to happen. 

When you’re a homeowner, the job of getting these repairs fixed is your responsibility (as opposed to if you’re a tenant and you can ask your landlord to deal with the issues for you). Although it can be tempting to put off handling the problems for as long as possible, that is generally always a mistake. Read on to find out why it’s so much better to make repairs immediately (or as close to immediately as possible) rather than leaving the issues for a later date. 

Increased Costs

One of the reasons why you might feel as though not making repairs once you spot there’s an issue right away is the cost. If you’re on a tight budget or you’re trying to save money, it’s certainly going to be tempting to wait until you really have to do something. Giving you the chance to save up some more money or find a cheaper way to do things. After all, that little issue like a minor leak or a noisy HVAC unit really isn’t all that much of a problem, is it? 

The problem is that when things like this – and plenty more – are left to their own devices, they can get a lot worse. The longer you leave them, the worse they’ll get. A minor leak can turn into a major one after a heavy downpour of rain, for example.

Then you’ve got a bigger hole to fix, plus water damage to deal with. Not to miss mentioning the fact that you might get mold now as well. You might even get structural issues. And your HVAC unit that really only needed a service or perhaps a heat pump repair to begin with could, if you leave it, have to be replaced instead. 

So as you can see, a small problem will often get bigger if nothing’s done. Tat’s an issue for a few reasons, but cost is definitely one of them. It’s clearly going to cost you more to fix a bigger problem than a smaller one. So, if your aim is to save money, then putting off repairs is possibly the worst thing you can do. You’ll usually end up spending more. 

Decreased Property Value 

When you buy a house, you usually (although not always) buy it to live in it. Selling it again isn’t going to be at the top of your to-do list. However, it might be that at some point you do decide to sell the property, perhaps because you want to live in a bigger house or a smaller one, or you need to move areas for work (or just because you want to), or any number of other reasons. It’s your choice because it’s your house. 

No matter why you want to sell up, you’ll want to get as much money as you can for the property. Definitely more than you paid for it which is particularly important if you still have a mortgage. If the property is worth less than the amount you still owe, you’ll find it hard to move. You’ll have to pay off the mortgage and still find the money to buy somewhere new. That’s not easy and for most people, it’s not possible.

With the property market as it is, you’ll probably be able to make some kind of profit as long as you stay in the house for long enough. But, that profit is going to be seriously affected – and possibly even disappear altogether – if you don’t make repairs right away when something goes wrong. 

As we mentioned above, leaving things for too long can mean they become a lot more expensive to fix. If you don’t have the funds available, you might have to remortgage to use some of your equity to pay the costs. That means you’ll make less money on your home when you come to sell it. On top of that, outstanding repairs are going to put any potential buyer off. They’ll wonder what else is wrong with the property and not want to have to deal with it themselves. Or they’ll be willing to make the repairs, but they’ll offer a much lower price than you might have wanted in order to free up the funds to do it. 

Regular maintenance and quick repairs can boost your sale price because the property will be ready to move into. It shows you’ve taken care of it, making potential buyers a lot more confident. 

Safety Hazards

It’s not just about money when it comes to good reasons to make repairs sooner rather than later, even if that can play a major role in persuading people to fix things quickly. Another excellent reason to stop procrastinating and get on with the job at hand (or hire people to do it for you, depending on what the job is and your skill level in that area) is safety. If the damage or breakdown is making your home unsafe, then it doesn’t make sense not to fix the problem. Make your home a happier, healthier, safer place to live once more. 

What are the safety issues that you might find in your home? Well, the list is a long one, and we’ll only be able to mention a few of the problems here. However, these few will still give you a good idea of the problems you might come up against. Faulty electrical wiring, for example, can make a fire much more likely. Plus, if anyone comes into contact with that wiring, they could be seriously hurt.

A gas appliance that isn’t working as it should could be leaking carbon monoxide into the air in your home. If you’re worried about this, getting an alarm is a great idea. Even seemingly minor issues like a loose handrail or unstable flooring can become hazards. These lead to nasty accidents and injuries, especially if there are children or older people in the home who might not have the best balance anyway. 

Making your home a safe place to live, no matter who is living there (whether it’s just you or a big family, for example) should always be a big consideration for any homeowner. Perhaps even the top priority of all. By making repairs as soon as you notice even these small issues (and definitely when you spot big ones) means you’re looking after everyone – and yourself – in the best way. 

Compromised Comfort 

What’s the one thing you want from your home above everything else? Well, there might be a few different answers. Something everyone can generally agree on is that they want their home to be safe (which we’ve already talked about). Also comfortable, which is what we’ll talk about now. 

Your home needs to be a place where you can feel comfortable and really relax. Especially if you have a stressful work life or there’s a lot going on. Having a place you can go to and shut everything else out so you can focus on yourself. Feeling better, de-stressing as much as possible, and getting refreshed is vital. Without a place like that, you’ll never really have much of a chance to reduce your stress levels. That can lead to all kinds of problems, such as depression, anxiety, heart disease, high blood pressure, and more. 

If there’s something wrong in your home, even if you think you’re relaxing, you might not be. That thing, whatever it is, will be on your mind because you know it’s something that has to be dealt with. It might not be the first thing you think of at all times. But every now and then, you’ll be reminded that you’ve got a job to do. And your stress levels will rise. Or it might be a subconscious thing that’s always there. Never giving you real peace because your body is so tense. 

When you make the repairs quickly, they’ll cost less and take less time. They’ll be out of the way and off your mind. Ensuring that you no longer have to worry about them. Giving you a wonderfully relaxing home to enjoy as a result. Nothing can be better than that! 

Barb Webb. Founder and Editor of Rural Mom, is an the author of "Getting Laid" and "Getting Baked". A sustainable living expert nesting in Appalachian Kentucky, when she’s not chasing chickens around the farm or engaging in mock Jedi battles, she’s making tea and writing about country living and artisan culture.
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