When you are short on cash, it can be tempting to put home repairs and maintenance on the back burner. In fact, I've seen more than my fair share of sellers and cash strapped clients make this mistake. However, the $100 to $300 you spend today can actually prevent bigger financial losses as small problems of today morph into the big problems of tomorrow. And when it comes to five areas where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, here are a few home repairs you should never wait to do:
Annual HVAC Inspection
In areas like Texas, where summer is nothing short of brutal, skimping on HVAC inspections isn't a smart move. A broken AC will blow a home sale quicker than you can bat an eye. And this is one repair I guarantee will cost you more if you put it off for another day. I've seen air conditioning repairs run from $300 to $3,500, depending on how badly you've neglected your unit.
Cost: $65 to $150 - if you opt for a cleaning also.
A lot of things fall into your chimney: rain, water, debris, animals…you name it. Since a home inspector will look in the chimney when you are trying to sell you home, the small price you pay to have your chimney inspected today can save you as much as $2,000 to $4,000 on replacing the liner due to damaged caused by water or debris.
Cost: $75 to $200
I have not only seen termites jeopardize home sales, I have also seen termite damage eat away at homes so severely that those homes no longer qualify for standard loans. This is not a position that any sellers wants to be in. In these cases, I have seen homeowner losses anywhere from $3,000 to $30,000, and sometimes, even more.
Power washing and sealing decks and patios.
All kinds of things grow on decks. In my years of showing homes to buyers, I have seen things like stains, algae, mold and mildew -- among other things -- that buyers would wince about. For buyers, these unsightly items equate to money they don't want to spend after market. Neglected decks are expensive to fix. I have seen poorly maintained decks be the cause of losses and repair bills ranging from $4,000 to $20,000.
Dryer Vent Cleaning
Cost: $120 - $200
Getting rid of lint buildup around your dryer isn't just a smart financial move when you are selling, it's a smart safety move as well. I have seen some sellers who neglected this simple chore wind up having a fire that ultimately caused thousands of dollars of damage to their properties.
Never Put Off Until Tomorrow, What You Can Do Today
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, not just with your health, but when it comes to your home as well. Spend now to save tomorrow, and never put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Well, at least not when it comes to these five crucial home repairs, that is.
*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.
- Home & Garden