You may think that once you’ve moved into your brand new home in a new retirement community that your work is done. This is only partly true. There are several things you should do after you move in to keep your home looking and operating like new.
These include monthly maintenance like changing your air filter, cleaning your disposal blades by running ice cubes through it, and checking for leaks around toilets and under sinks. Periodically check all grout and caulking for any cracks, as this can occur due to shrinkage. Of course, you’ll want to maintain your appliances and have them repaired at the first sign of trouble.
Twice a year you should have your roof (please don’t try to do this yourself) and the exterior of your home inspected. Check the operation of all windows and shutters if you have them. You should have your heating and air conditioning system inspected and serviced twice a year as well, once at the start of summer, and again before the winter heating season.
Your home warranty information provided by your builder may have additional hints and tips for keeping your home in tip-top shape year round.
In some states like Florida, having a pest control service company come to your home regularly is essential in keeping your home both comfortable and free of insects and other pests. Without it you may have some unwanted roommates. Most non-natives, especially Northerners are surprised at the amount of pests in the south, but unfortunately the climate helps them thrive. The great weather might be what brought you here, and the bugs like it just as well.
The pest control company will usually start you off with an initial “kill everything in sight” type of service and maintain regular visits every 60 to 90 days. If you are still seeing bugs in your home, most companies will come out in between scheduled visits to try and get rid of the problem. Look in the phone book under “pest control” for companies providing service in your area.
If you are having a new home built, another pest control option is to have pest tubes installed in your walls. This is done after the framing stage, and before the insulation and drywall are put in. In the future, when the pest control company comes to your home, they service the tubes inside your walls from a base station outside, eliminating the need for you to be home when they come and eliminating the need for them to come inside. These tubes aren’t something normally offered by most builders, so you might have to ask. They should not be very expensive, because pest control companies that work with them will install them for next to nothing in the hopes of making up for the expense when they sign you to a service contract. Not all pest control companies service these pest tubes, but more and more are doing so as they gain popularity.
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Retirement Community Home Inspections and Warranties – homeq servcing
Home inspections and home warranties are two tools available to you that will help to ensure that the present and future condition of your new home is satisfactory. Before finalizing the purchase of a home in a retirement community, you should always have a home inspection done. This point cannot be stressed enough. A home inspection could be the best money you ever spend. Home inspectors conduct a thorough evaluation of the home that can help you understand the condition that the house is actually in before you take ownership. Remember, that sometimes looks can be deceiving, and nobody likes unexpected surprises or costly repairs once they move in. Even if the house is fairly new and appears to be in good condition, you never know what could be hiding out of plain sight.
Most home inspections don’t reveal much of anything, maybe faucets that need tightening, or caulking that needs to be done. The point of an inspection is not to convince you that so much is wrong with the house that you are discouraged to buy it. It is rather to give you an accurate depiction of the current condition of the house, as well as an idea of how certain things will hold up in the future.
When major items are found, such as a failing air conditioning unit, or bad wiring, the parties must look to the real estate contract to see who will be required to make the repairs. Home inspections typically cost anywhere from $200 and up, depending on the size of the home. After the inspection is complete you will be given a detailed report of all the inspector’s findings, whether good or bad, usually accompanied by digital photos.
A typical home inspector will inspect the structural elements of the home consisting of the roof, outside and inside walls of the home, patios and driveways, as well as parts of the foundation if visible. They will go into the attic to inspect the trusses, the underside of the roof decking for water intrusion, and insulation. The systems of the home will be inspected including the electrical, HVAC, and plumbing systems. All appliances that are staying with the home are inspected and tested for proper operation, and usually a random spot check of electrical outlets, windows, and doors will be done.
Other items that a home inspection company might perform for additional fees include radon gas and mold testing, water analysis, and pool and spa inspections. Most home inspectors subcontract for a termite inspection that may be at an additional cost to you, but it is a very important part of any home inspection.
Some national home inspection companies for you to look into are:
Pillar to Post
Many local home inspection companies perform just as well and may have specialized knowledge of the homes in the area. Ask your real estate agent, or friends and family for referrals.
If you are buying a new home from a builder, one of the advantages you have is that your home will usually come with a warranty provided and paid for by the builder. But this doesn’t mean that you’re out of luck if you decide to buy a resale home. There are several home warranty options available to you, no matter the age or condition of the home you are buying.
Home warranties for average homes under approximately 5000 square feet will cost you between $300 and $400 dollars per year. You can renew these on a yearly basis. Most plans do not require an inspection of the property before they take effect. Depending on the company you choose and the specific plan you go with, an additional amount may be needed to warrant some items like the A/C, refrigerator, washer/dryer, and a pool or spa.
Typically covered items include the plumbing, electrical, and heating systems, water heater, most appliances, disposal, smoke detectors, and exhaust fans. You need to read the warranty contracts carefully to see exactly what is and what is not covered. For example, a warranty might cover your refrigerator motor, but not the shelving inside the refrigerator.
Should something that is covered by the warranty break down, there is usually a service call fee, anywhere between $40 and $80. Other than paying that, you will not be required to pay out any money for the repair or replacement of a covered item. Most home warranties are pretty simple to acquire, fairly inexpensive, and are usually worthwhile.
Some national home warranty companies to consider are:
American Home Shield
Old Republic Home Protection
Photo credit: kirkier on flickr