Buying a home is a significant financial and life goal for many of us. So, when new homeowners sign that last contract and unpack that last box, it can seem like “happily ever after” has finally arrived. However, being a homeowner is just the beginning of a long-term relationship with the home of your dreams, and like all relationships, it will require work. The first few years of homeownership may come as a shock, particularly when it comes to costs for upkeep and maintenance.
If you’ve never owned a home before, it can be easy to miscalculate what you need to budget for in the first year. A recent Bankrate survey found that, on average, a homeowner pays $2,000 annually just on maintenance. Experts advise saving 1-3% of your home’s purchase price annually to remain proactive against both planned and unexpected expenses that will pop up during your homeowner journey.
Luckily, there are ways to lessen or discount what a homeowner may pay for repairs by thinking preventatively and acting proactively regarding home maintenance. Routine maintenance helps protect the investment you made when you bought your home. Not only will preventative maintenance help sustain the wellbeing of your home in the long run but it allows you the opportunity to acquire the skills you’ll need to continue caring for your home, saving you money from potentially costly repairs down the road while instilling the pride of homeownership.
Monthly Home Maintenance
While you may spend a few hours on the weekend doing some general chores, there are also some tasks you may not have considered. By taking the time for preventative care by installing life-saving equipment such as fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide detectors, you can help prevent major accidents before they happen. And luckily, the time investment isn’t as taxing as you may think.
Add these quick and preventative projects to your monthly cleaning checklist:
But remember, every home is different. You may need to remove or add tasks to your monthly maintenance checklist based on the needs of your home. If you are a member of the Hippo family, remember that we offer our Hippo Home Care service as a complementary perk to keep your preventative maintenance in check. Just give us a call so one of our Hippo Home Care experts can assist you in nailing down a customized monthly maintenance checklist.
Seasonal Home Maintenance
Homeowners today are having to think differently about seasonal home maintenance than perhaps ever before. Not only has climate change caused an increase in natural disasters in areas already prone to risk, but due to overdevelopment in certain areas that were previously untouched based on risk assessment. This makes seasonal maintenance more important than ever. Zillow and Climate Central produced an analysis (downloadable PDF & interactive map) to provide projections of where homes are the most vulnerable now and where to expect increases of risk far into the future. Take a peek below at some examples of seasonal home maintenance checklists.
You probably noticed a few items are necessary more than once a year. Some tasks should be completed every season because the damage these could cause if left undone can be expensive and these are the most frequent home insurance claims.
These chores are, of course, examples and are great jumping-off points to creating your own seasonal maintenance checklists. The more you get to know your home, community and local weather patterns, it is a good idea to audit and edit your checklists every couple of months based on the needs of your home specifically. For example, your fall home maintenance checklist will have a few tasks that differ from your winter maintenance checklist.
Annual Home Maintenance Checklist
If you complete a monthly and seasonal home maintenance checklist, you will take some pressure off your annual home checklist. Whether you’re cleaning the gutters, mowing the lawn, or cleaning the oven — taking care of these issues before they have a chance to become a problem will save you time and money. According to Cash Value of Home Maintenance, every dollar spent on maintenance prevents up to $100 of repair costs.
In a post-pandemic survey we conducted this year, we found that 2 out of 3 homeowners don’t currently have a proactive home maintenance checklist that they perform routinely. However, after our homes became our whole world during that time, people began to see why home maintenance is so vital. Anything that you didn’t get to during your monthly or seasonal home maintenance checklist, be sure to add to your annual checklist. Once you have done that, make sure to check off the below to-do’s.
Hippo Home Care
At Hippo, we know that getting a professional opinion or even having a professional take care of the tasks for you is worth its weight in gold. That is why we offer our own Hippo Home Care experts as a complimentary service to our Hippo customers. Having helped customers take tens of thousands of preventative actions to maintain their homes, our team has been able to ensure our customers see the benefits of thinking proactively about their home maintenance. If you aren’t yet a Hippo customer, you still have resources to ensure you turn to a reputable professional in your time of need. These include sites like Angie’s List and Home Advisor, or you can always make the switch to Hippo to make it easy.
We asked a few of our Hippo Home Care experts a few of our most frequently asked questions that they get from our customers.
Q: What information should homeowners have ready when they make their call to HHC?
A: Please be prepared to explain the specific issue you are trying to get fixed or solved, even if it is seasonal maintenance. Any details about why you are calling that you can share is always helpful.
Q: What is something that people commonly wait too long to call about and when should they be calling?
A: Changing HVAC filters, cleaning bathroom drains are top of mind but we want customers to call us for any of their maintenance or repair needs. We may be able to fix a plumbing leak or reset a breaker over the phone but be can also advise whether the repair or replacement needed will require either a professional or a trip to the store for the home owner and some guidance from us.
Q: Plumbing issues are infamously the most common called about, but is there a certain type of plumbing issue that gets the most calls?
A: We see A LOT of leaks that happen on 2nd floors from either the shower pan or the toilet wax ring. Also we get a fair amount of water heater failures and leaks which most of the time require a professional.
When new questions come up, have peace of mind that as a Hippo customer, Hippo Home Care is here to help.
How home maintenance & improvements impact your homeowners insurance
Besides saving you money by possibly preventing you from having to pay crisis prices for emergency repairs, sticking to routine home maintenance will also help keep your home insurance prices low and claim-free.
With 34% of customers saying they would switch to a home insurance provider that offers preventative and modern protection services, we at Hippo wanted to provide that as a service and make it custom-tailored to your needs and the needs of your home.
Next to maintenance, knowing how to organize and keep proper records of your home repairs and maintenance is critical. Luckily, there are easy ways to keep your checklists and records up to date with technology. HERE are a few of our favorite organizational applications to get you started finding one that fits your specific needs.
And even though you may prefer a more analog approach of record-keeping and checklists, using technology to help organize your maintenance checklists can also keep you on track by notifying you with reminders and alerts.
As a new homeowner, no one needs to tell you that owning your dream home comes with a lot of responsibility. It isn’t just a financial investment but also a time investment.
Preventative, routine home maintenance is vital to ensuring your home continues to be an asset to you and not a liability. Let Hippo be a partner in helping you keep your home your favorite place. Hippo not only sets you up with a free smart home kit, but also provides you the complimentary service of Hippo Home Care experts to assist you in navigating the maintenance of your new home.