What I'm Seeing Now

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The Battle Of The Bulge - Due To Deferred Maintenance

It started small, but with a little crack here, separation there, or small hole, it ended up with the battle of the bulge - due to deferred maintenance.

HOME MAINTENANCE PROBABLY COSTS ABOUT 1% OF THE VALUE OF THE HOME EVERY YEAR.

I have heard that, but don't know if it's accurate.  Home maintenance includes everything - a new rose bush or tree, painting the bedroom, replacing the carpet in the basement, or fixing the garage door spring.

One year a homeowner might decide to do things, or need to do things, that add up to more than 1%.  And the next two years maybe nothing is done.  But in the long run, that 1% maintenance expenditure is probably close to accurate.

This house is only 13 years old.

The slightly-inclined, but considered flat, front porch roof is covered with a synthetic rubber called EPDM.

EPDM stands for Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (M Class).  It is a product produced by Firestone.

There are two thicknesses - 60mil and 90mil.  The 90mil is what you would see on top of commercial buildings.  It is rarely used on residential homes.

The 60mil product only has about a 10 year life span when it gets direct sun for a lot of the day.

This porch roof gets sun from noon until the end of the day, the hottest sun exposure.

It was installed improperly, glued directly onto the Oriented Strand Board roof underlayment.  That is a HUGE NO NO.

When it is not so dramatically exposed to sun and when installed correctly the 60mil product can last about 20 years.

Gluing is critical.  Gluing is critical on the underlayment; gluing is critical at the edges; gluing is critical under things like those guardrail posts, which CANNOT be toe nailed as an "attachment;" incline is critical so that water does not pond.

This roof was not installed correctly.  It was ignored by the homeowner(s).  It was left to fend for itself.

IT WAS DOOMED TO FAIL.

And it has.  Many photos could be shown to demonstrate how damaged this roof is.  Some of the damage can be seen underneath, and on the edge.  Certainly the roofing surface has warped dramatically.

Now my client has a lot to do.  This front porch roof is a start-at-the-beginning-and-build-a-new-roof roof.

AND THAT IS ONLY ONE OF THE MANY ASPECTS OF DEFERRED MAINTENANCE ON THIS HOUSE.

My recommendation:  home maintenance is an annual affair.  A checklist for each season is good, and I have posted many of those.  BUT WHEN IT COMES TO BRINGING A HOUSE BACK TO A PROPER CONDITION AFTER SERIOUS DAMAGE HAS OCCURRED, DEFERRED MAINTENANCE COSTS MORE THAN THE 1% REGULAR MAINTENANCE IT WOULD HAVE COST TO PREVENT THAT SERIOUS DAMAGE.

So look around, keep lists and stay current.  And your house will love you for it.

 

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 56 commentsJay Markanich • February 27 2013 03:57AM

Comments

Many times, buyers put their home inspection on the shelf, and overlook the recommended maintaince contained in it....
Posted by Carol Zingone, Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty) about 6 years ago

Wow well said.  The point here is to keep up on your home.  It is your second... strike that.. your first child.  That will pay for itself and more if you take care of it

Posted by Stanley Stepak, Realtor - Avon Lake, Avon, Bay Village, Westlake, (Howard Hanna - Avon Lake, OH) about 6 years ago

Such a needed post.  There is so much deferred maintenance going on - its hard to cap it all in one post.  Money is the driver and right after that is time in which to do the maintenance and work.  Great post and reminder.

Posted by Rosemary Brooks, The Mother & Daughter Realty Team (BMC Real Estate - 209-910-3706) about 6 years ago

Good morning Jay,

I will use your 1% rule for deferred maintenance a year..excellent rule of thumb to quote. Home maintenance is an annual affair..I have preached this to sellers and buyers for years! Just because you move in doesn't mean the care of a home is left on it's own..it needs TLC and to be cared for...remember it's a huge asset and investment..it can't be neglected!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) about 6 years ago

so well put. the most important way to  that value in your home is maitenance and upkeep. 

 

Posted by Tonia Rahming, Relocation Specialist (RMS Realty, St Lucie, Martin and Palm Beach Counties) about 6 years ago

IMHO * EVERY REAL ESTATE AGENT who does rent v buy needs to make sure that your mention of HOME MAINTENANCE is included in the COST OF OWNING (buying)

HOME MAINTENANCE PROBABLY COSTS ABOUT 1% OF THE VALUE OF THE HOME EVERY YEAR.

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) about 6 years ago

Good morning Jay,

If they owned a condo they would be paying each month for exterior maintanence in the HOA; I put aside a minimum $100 each month for exterior mostly saving for the roof when it need it;s replacement.

Make yourself a great day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) about 6 years ago

the 1% should only pertain to the home value minus the land cost I assume.

Posted by Edward Gilmartin (CRE) about 6 years ago

Carol - this house was a disaster all over the place.  Deferred maintenance might be a kind term.

Stan - I take care of my house because I want it to take care of me.

Thanks Rosemary.  I inspect deferred maintenance every day!

Dorie - the second law of thermodynamics is that everything atrophies.  So do houses.

Tonia - shake it up!  Your house will love you for it.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Wallace - I have read that somewhere!

Raymond - how does the HOA figure out that monthly price for the dues?

Edward - landscaping and its maintenance are a huge value addition to a house.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Excellent advice!  I used to feel sorry for sellers when the inspection revealed a lot of expensive repairs.  Over time I realized, as you are saying, that homewoners can pay along the way or else pay it all at once at the end. I haven't heard the 1% rule before, but it sounds about right.

 

Posted by Dianne Goode, Realtor/Broker (Raleigh Cary Realty) about 6 years ago

I dislike  the flat porch roofs. So many are a mess because of improper installation of the roofing and being ignored by the homeowner. Wait didn't I hear that some  where.  

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) about 6 years ago

too many homeowners assume everything lasts forever...and the longer they own the house the less conscious they are of what needs repair/replacement.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 6 years ago

There are no sellers in this house anymore Dianne.  Unless you count the bank!

Jim - that is the biggest thing.  This roof was set up from day one to be a disaster.

S&D - when you take on something as expensive and integrated as a home, maintenance has to be understood.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Good morning Jay,

We have similar themes today, home maintenance (what a concept).  A shame that this one also includes an installation that should have been done right to begin with...another seemingly lost concept - doing a job right the first time.

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) about 6 years ago

I know Lisa.  My comment on your post was a tease because I knew that!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Jay...

Oh my, I need to get on that checklist right away. I just replaced a sink faucet last weekend that was leaking underneath ... a little problem that could become a HUGE problem down the road.

Most of the problems that I see are caused by "deferred" maintenance. Thanks for the great advice. It should be taken to heart by all homeowners.

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) about 6 years ago

Little leaks become big leaks.  And a little water over time spreads out big over time Richard!

Good for you.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Ha-ha-ha, yes - you beat me to comments this morning...I must be behind on my coffee.  Have a great day!

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) about 6 years ago

Jay, if the water from the roof wasn't leaking into the house, the owners probably didn't even notice it. It's always good to walk around the house at least once a year to look for things like this.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA about 6 years ago

Sometimes people don't understand how serious an issue home maintenance is until they try to sell.  Then they get aggravated when the Buyer asks for the repair after the home inspector has picked up on it. Sometimes the sellers say "It's been that way for so many years and it hasn't been a problem for me"......... and it's cost more than the maintenance would have! 

Posted by Kathleen "Kathy" Price, CRS, Broker Associate, Southern NJ (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, Fox & Roach, Realtors) about 6 years ago

Lisa - sorry.  I'm up earlier!

Mike - the undersides around the edges were trashed as well as the ceiling over the porch.  I don't know how you could miss that!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Kathy - I don't know why people get so upset either.  And often it is directed at me.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

I have used the 1% many times and buyers often look at me like I am mad. Our median is $600k so I guess they think it's a lot. But here I am in a 9 year old house with a 225 foot driveway that needs a total redo. $20,000 all because the builder did not put enough ground work under the ashphalt. 

It proves that sometimes we don't know what we are going to need to spend money on, but as home-owners we will spend it. Great post, would love to re-blog this but not here, it's not my primary blog. 

Posted by Corinne Guest, Barrington Lifestyles (Corinne Guest, Realtor | Barrington Realty Company) about 6 years ago

Jay, I sold a house that had this very problem. The flat surface roof was installed incorrectly and was leaking into the house.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) about 6 years ago

Hi Jay,

I always pay extra attention to these flat decks. There always seem to be a problem of one kind or another. Some times there are too many to count. :-)

Have a good day in Bristow my friend.

Best, Clint McKie

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) about 6 years ago

Corinne - it's probably an accurate number, however perhaps low.  Driveways are a big deal - settlement or roots.

Debbie - the are installed incorrectly more often then not it seems.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

That't it in a nutshell Clint.  EPDM requires special training and knowledge.  Not just anyone can install it right.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Water. Our most precious resource, is probably your homes biggest enemy! Flat roofs are terrible, especially when they have protrusions going through them. That railing on there for "looks" will cost them some $$$!I feel the same way about the newer roof architctures. Keep it simple and the possibility of problems gets reduced. Simply put, roofs are supposed to protect the structure, right? Oh, and us too...

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) about 6 years ago

That's what I said above Fred.  As I take care of my home, I want it to take care of me.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Many homeowners think that buying their home is the end of the line. A home is so big and massive and has such broad shoulders…what could possible go wrong. Then, when neglect leads to problems that are inescapable the repairs and expense of same are larger than expected.

Posted by John Juarez, ePRO, SRES, GRI, PMN (The Medford Real Estate Team) about 6 years ago

All true John.  The house is a huge integration of various systems, all needing attention.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Jay, Details details. I just love decks in all forms. They always have something for us.

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

When I see something while in the car still pulling up to a house I get real excited Don!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Jay, you really know your stuff. .I learn so much from you. .

amazing how nature is so similar. .you ignore your bulge and your looks suffer plus your "resale"

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) about 6 years ago

Ugh, tak'em classes Forked Tongue Man.  That's perfect American Indian.  The bulge and maintenance thing can be applied in many ways!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Good stuff.  Homeownership requires a certain degree of responsibility, care and maintenance.

Thanks for sharing it.

Posted by Anthony Daniels, SF Bay Area REO Specialist (Coldwell Banker) about 6 years ago

Always figured 1.5 % and if you wait, lots more from neglect.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) about 6 years ago

So many want to buy a house and then never do anything to it. They think it will fend for itself I guess.

I also love the people who want to add every little expense to their sales price. "We painted twice since we owned it and that cost us $5000 and we want that back. We put new carpet in 5 years ago and that was $2500 and we want to add that to what we paid 15 years ago." etc, etc.........

Posted by Than Maynard, Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862 (Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma) about 6 years ago

This situation happens too often...improper installation..Thanks for sharing with us.

Posted by Ronald DiLalla, No. Orange Cty Real Estate (Century 21 Discovery DRE 01813824) about 6 years ago

Good information!  When I bought my first home, someone suggested to me to open up a separate repair bank account and add $100 to it each month when I made my mortgage payments.  THis has served me well over the years when it comes to maintenance!!!

Posted by Karen Dunn, Sr. Mortgage Consultant (Big Valley Mortgage) about 6 years ago

Jay-  Great information and like the 1% rule.  A house is a big investment and we need to property take care of it.  Thanks for sharing this great post.

Posted by Stephanie Stringer, Mortgage Loan Originator (First Choice Loan Services NMLS#210764) about 6 years ago

Jay -- looks like not only do you have a bulge on the roof, you got some spam on #43.

In answer to a question raised in #10 -- if the HOA is any good, they take the cost of replacement divide it by the number of years of useful life, and then assign each owner their participation share of that amount, plus a bit for inflation (usually I have seen about 10% added to each billing to cover the expected inflation amount.)  When I was working on a commercial project, we were allocating 5%/year for repairs/renovation/keeping things maintained.

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) about 6 years ago

I'm sure that 1% is likely pure guesstimate, common sense. The expression I know for the is: "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

(Metric gram to kilogram just doesen't have the same 'cache') If you think that's good French, just Google 'Pastagate'.

Posted by Robert Butler, Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection (Aspect Inspection) about 6 years ago

Great post Jay, I often think that anything laid on top of OSB is designed to fail, perhaps by a contractor who is thinking about planned obsolescence and a future income opportunity.

Posted by Bob Crane, Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671 (Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities) about 6 years ago

1% Rule is a good rule of thumb to keep ... I share it with my buyers too ;)

Posted by Samantha Smith, Sam I Am Houses, Simply Texas Real Estate (214.422.0729 www.SamIAmHouses.com) about 6 years ago

Deferred maintenance is more has to be done and more money spent at one time. It would be good if home owners put aside 1%, or another calculation, is 10% of mortgage payment each month for those costs. Great post, enough can't be said about home maintenance.

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) about 6 years ago

Happy to share Anthony!  That's what we do here.

Andrew - anything works, likely, if you stick to it.  Deferred always costs more!

Than - buyers don't care if you put granite counter tops in 5 years ago!

Ronald - that was the basic problem here.

Karen - that's a great practice for anyone who can afford it.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Jay, I really learn a lot from your posts and love to re-blog them. Sometimes at inspections, the oddest things turn up - or at least things that we were not expecting and could not have anticipated. I live in a house that was built in 1915, and I know that much work throughout the years has been done without permits and/or by unqualified persons. I have considered hiring my home inspectors to do inspections on our home as if someone were buying our property - just so I would have a clue what needed attention - and be able to budget for it.  Maybe that would make a good anniversary gift for my husband who has lived here his entire 58 years.

I think 1% sounds low, by the way.

Posted by Lori Cain, Midtown Tulsa Real Estate Top Producer (eXp Realty) about 6 years ago

Stephanie - I don't know if it's totally accurate, but it is probably a good rule of thumb.

Steven - I think Kerrie took care of #43 before I saw it!  HOAs have to think in advance, whateve the formula.

Guesstimate for sure Robert.  And Poor Richard (Franklin) would never have thought to use metric!

Bob - EPDM requires a specific underlayment, and OSB isn't one of them!

Samantha - if you use it you will probably end up okay!

Whatever the formula Pamela, stick to it!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Lori - properties that old are projects and the 1% is probably low!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Jay, some day, when I put my house on the market, I will start to have nightmares about you showing up with the buyers nto do the home inspection!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) about 6 years ago

Settlement and it's my estimate so I have no doubt it's going to be more. Need a big commission check to help cover it this year.

Posted by Corinne Guest, Barrington Lifestyles (Corinne Guest, Realtor | Barrington Realty Company) about 6 years ago

Great example of the need for proper installation and regular home maintenance Jay.

1%?? I think I am over budget already this year.  :)

Posted by Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366, General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage (Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366) about 6 years ago

Well sir I can see you caught up to his handiwork again.  He is doing his best to stay one step ahead of you but it's difficult. 

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) about 6 years ago

I'll take that as a compliment Pat.  But it's unlikely that I would show up!

Corinne - and I hope you gets LOTS of those big commission checks!

Tom - some years we go way over the 1%.  And on older homes likely the annual total is USUALLY over 1%!

James - you can run but you can't hide...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

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