Your home is something that requires lifetime maintenance, or until you decide to sell it. You will live with it for years thinking that sooner or later, it will experience problems. Regardless if you will purchase a brand new property, it doesn’t mean that you will not encounter any structural, electrical, plumbing issues along the way.

The concept is similar to car maintenance. It requires regular washing, a routine check-up and maintenance, and some occasional waxing to keep it in good working condition to look at it’s best. The reason why you see car owners cleaning their cars out in their front yard or car clinics is to check their conditions.

The same thing applies to your house. It needs proper maintenance to look good and function well. Nobody wants to live in a dirty house which makes it hard to sell in the market in the future.

What is Property Preservation?

Before we dive into the basics of property preservation, it’s suitable that we determine first what it exactly means.

The purpose of property preservation is to fix and guard empty properties before purchasing. The responsibilities of a property preservation specialists include replacing or repairing boarding up doors and windows, yard care, fixing roofs, changing locks and general maintenance. Its primary source comes from the inflation of foreclosures.

According to RealtyTrac report, an online marketplace for foreclosures, 234,508 properties in the U.S are in foreclosure for the first quarter of 2017.

How Significant is it?

Property preparations can be tiresome and tedious as it requires necessary maintenance to preserve the condition of the property in it’s best sellable state. It’s the reason why preservation services don’t come cheap.

It has various types that require different scopes of work.

  • Secure the Property. The job of a property preservation specialist is to change locks on exterior doors, secure entrance gates to property, install lockbox, post notice of emergency contact, board doors or windows if necessary, secure pool if applicable, and yield photos of completed tasks.
  • It’s the process of draining water out of the plumbing system of the entire property to prevent damage due to heat loss and bursting water pipes. It usually takes place in the fall season, before extreme cold and snow will arrive.
  • Initial Lawn Maintenance. It includes lawn mowing, shrub trimming, weed eating, edging, removal of clippings, and weeding flower beds.
  • Debris Removal. It’s the process of removing debris in the entire property such as hazardous material, materials that detract from curb appeal and towing of vehicles.
  • Snow Removal. It’s the process of removing snow to provide safe access to properties. It’s usually done by maintenance crews, first responders, real estate agents, city inspectors and others under property preservation business.
  • Janitorial/Maid Service. It includes vacuum carpets, wet mopping vinyl and tile floors, cabinets, and countertops, cleaning all sinks, bathtubs, showers, and commodes. The service also includes cleaning and emptying all appliances and placing air fresheners on top of sinks.

What Should You Do?

what to do

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The value of your property may depreciate over time due to wear and tear. Thus, it’s best to get some work done for property preservation. It’s imperative especially if you’re planning to sell your house in the future.

It’s also a must to do a good property repair immediately as it will impede further damages in the property. Regular maintenance should be the mantra here as it helps maintain a significant value to your property and keep your property in top shape. 

First Phase of Property Preservation

In the first phase of property preservation, there are monthly, quarterly and yearly maintenance drills and check-ups that you must do for your house. These activities involve cleaning kitchen sinks, cleaning range hood filters, and changing HVAC filters. Big projects like general cleaning, repairing window screens and cleaning gutters are also part of the routine. One way you can get this handled as quickly as possible is to hire an industrial cleaning company such as Ideal Cleaning, who also provide regular maintenance checks.

Fixing the exteriors of your home is also an important task. It’s wise if you create a property preservation checklist or use property pres wizard to avoid missing out the details. It will keep your house well-maintained inside and looks good outside.

Last Phase of Property Preservation

First and foremost, upgrading is a major part of property preservation to extend your house’s life for five to ten years. It’s paramount to catch up with the design and technological upgrades that could make your residential life more comfortable and easier.

Second, replacing old house essentials and old appliances is very important as this can significantly eat the value of your house. Be sure to update and upgrade when it’s necessary.

Since the bathroom and kitchen take up the significant chunk of your property value, you need to focus in upgrading and do a property remodeling with these two spaces.

  • For the kitchen, a small-scale remodeling will do wonders for your property preservation. Purchase new appliances, install a stone countertop and change old fixtures.
  • For the bathroom, you need to update its look. Furnish new fixtures like a tiled or shower stall. You can also upgrade the lighting and add new vinyl flooring.

Reduction, Not Deduction

House buying

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The value of a real property increases over time which renders one tax benefit to many homeowners. Home improvements, as you should know, can scale down the amount of taxes that you owe from selling your home.

The expenses for home improvement increases your ‘basis’ for sale. It channels a significant impact on reducing your profit on paper and results in a smaller tax obligation for capital gains.

For instance, you bought your home for $500,000 in cash and sold it for $560,000 after a year; your taxable capital profit would be $160,000. However, if you could show that you made $60,000 worth of home improvements, your basis will be $320,000, and you will earn a taxable capital gain worth $100,000.

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Just be sure to keep a record of all your expenses for home improvement over the years. It will come handy when the time comes for you to sell your home. Home repairs do not affect your basis.


key takeaways

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If you leave your house uncared and unattended, its value will depreciate as it accrues aesthetic and functional problems. Just as how a plant will wither if you don’t water it and tend it, your house will deplete its value over time if you fail to take care of it. Take good care of your home, so you will have an excellent abode to live for years and a valuable asset to sell in the future.

How Property Preservation Affects Real Estate Value? was last modified: November 4th, 2018 by Patrick Panuncillon

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