I take phone calls all the time from clients who say, "We turned on the furnace for the first time this winter, and it doesn't sound right."
This is advice that I give to almost all of my clients:
BEFORE YOU MAKE ANY CHANGES, LIVE IN YOUR HOUSE FOR A YEAR. EXPERIENCE IT ALL FOUR SEASONS. LISTEN TO HOW IT SOUNDS. PAY ATTENTION TO HOW IT FEELS. UNDERTAKE EACH SEASON'S MAINTENANCE. REPLACE THE FILTER REGULARLY, CLEAN THE DISPOSAL, TRIM THE HEDGES, VACUUM THE FRIDGE COILS, TURN A KNOB, WINTERIZE THE HOSE BIBS, OR WHATEVER! LEARN WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A HOMEOWNER.
That way, when you turn on the furnace, or shower, or built-in microwave, or step on a floor tile, plug in an appliance, or whatever, you have an understanding of what it was like the last time you did it. If it doesn't feel or sound right, it might not be!
Then you can consult a professional, or learn how to fix it yourself. Become an informed consumer!
It might take you a while! If you are a slow learner as I am, it might take you quite a while!
But you will get it!
You will learn.
You will become a conscientious homeowner.
And you will be able to take care of things as they happen.
My kids sometimes call me with car questions. I know very little about cars. All I really know is from what I have experienced.
Often when they call I have the answer and can give advice. And the same phrase comes back over the phone, "How do you always know what to do?" Well, primarily because I am old. But usually because I have experienced it!
And although you have not lived in your house a long time, or you may have lived there for decades, get to know it! Listen up!
My recommendation: Take in the sounds of home ownership and become a maintenance expert! And maintain what you got! In the long run, proper maintenance of a house comes to about 1% of the value of the house PER YEAR! Not performing that maintenance results in "deferred maintenance." And it is more expensive to have deferred it than to have taken care of it from the start... Listen up!!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560