When buying or building a home it’s more than just buying it and making the payments, it’s an investment that has to be nurtured and cared for like your 401k or IRA. Aside from the obvious growth had by equity from market conditions your potential for future profit in your home also is derived from how well you take care of it, how much you saved throughout the ownership of the home in monthly and yearly expenses. Well maintained and cared for real estate is key to making sure that when you sell you get the most “bang for your buck”. What many people don’t consider is that by being neglectful of easy to do regular maintenance you cost yourself more money in the long run. Home inspectors will catch problems in the home when you go to sell it, so if you just keep up with it while you live there you reduce your liability and expense.1.) For example, the roof is a huge part of your home and it’s “health”, and yet many do not consider these things when buying a home. As example shingle roofs only last 15 years or so here in my local area, Charleston SC, and subsequently Charleston SC roofing companies are pretty busy year around. The harsh heat of the summers on the coast of SC, coupled with how short the winter is makes for a perfect environment for roofs to get dry and cracked so roofers in Charleston SC have to stay vigilant with their work. Getting a new roof on your home also decreases your property insurance since roofs are one of the 4 major components to a houses overall structure. Many roofing contractors in Charleston that I know will set their customers up on a yearly service agreement where for only a couple hundred dollars a year, they’ll come inspect the roof twice a year for leaks, and potential problems. 2.) The other thing that is very important in your home’s upkeep is painting and caulking. I know it seems obvious, but as a Mount Pleasant real estate agent who does a lot of business with home builders in Mount Pleasant SC I hear all the time about their past customers that they have to help out later because they don’t keep up with the simple regular maintenance issues like caulking and painting after 5-7 years since it was built. When a house begins to settle and age the materials used become dry, cracked, stretched, and stressed naturally, and by no fault of the builder or contractor. It’s just normal wear and tear. When you live in an ever changing climate area like Charleston SC where it’s extremely hot in the summers and then get’s cold in the winter, then really warm the next day in the winter expansion and contraction is to be expected. A good Charleston SC area contractor will explain these things to their clients so that you as a consumer know what to be prepared for after construction and move in. 3.) Wood in your decks, and deck railing if not protected will get dry and begin to not only fade but also splinter. So within a year or less it is good to at least stain your deck with a good protectant to seal it from water and protect the wood from the sun. There are many good products on the market for older wood decks that are thicker and stronger than paint. These products like: Rustoleum Restore, Olympic Renewit, and Behr Deckover are awesome in filling in already splitting wood cracks and coating well without having to replace the entire deck. Homes also shift a lot with heavy winds that contribute to things like nail pops and caulk pulls. As far as exterior concerns, keeping seems in your siding caulked well to not allow water in behind is key to making sure that you don’t have problems down the road. In closing, watch closely to your home and take a detailed look at things like the decks, rails, siding and roof to make sure they don’t need proper maintenance care. Without paying attention to these could cost you more money in the long run.