We know it may seem counter intuitive, but here are some secrets on how to save on maintenance costs – by spending!
We understand the bottom line – as investors you’re concerned about CASH FLOW! To be a savvy investor consider putting aside up to 10% of rent – annually – to reinvest in your rental. We know that you want to spend as little as possible on repairs, however the wise investor knows that spending a little on preventive maintenance could save thousands in the long run!
Here is a small list of IMPORTANT (and cheap) ways to save in the long run – specifically for exterior maintenance issues…
Preventive exterior maintenance musts:
- Routine pressure washing. Pressure washing the exterior paint extends the life of the paint. Mildew growth left unchecked will lead to needing a full paint job in the future. Pressure Washing of sidewalks and driveways is also a must. If your tenants or their guest slip and fall, it could be disastrous. This both avoids potential problem areas with tenants and also keeps up standards enforced by HOA’s. Being proactive here eliminates the threat of potential fines and fees later on.
- Routine roof cleaning. Roof cleaning can extend the life of the roof up to 5 years here in Florida. By using a low pressure mildew resistant cleaner, you can help stave off some of the effects of our harsh environment.
- Tree Trimming. To ensure branches do not touch the roof or house, tree trimming is a must. Tree limbs laying on the roof damage shingles and limbs brushing up against the house damage the paint.
- Clean out debris. Leaving excess build up in the gutters can lead to roof damage and interior water damage. Additionally clean away dead plants from the house. Florida’s weather is brutal and plants need to be cleaned out of those beds regularly to prevent insect infestation.
- Annual pre-summer air conditioning inspection. Remember that brutal Florida weather? It is a nightmare when a tenant’s AC goes out in 90+ degree heat! A preventive check on the system really helps to address problems in advance, while providing you with important information on future costs. This helps you plan ahead for a larger expense in the future. Be prepared to replace those units a minimum of every 12-15 years.
These up front smaller costs really do reduce the burden of larger surprise expenses in the future. Additionally I find that tenants appreciate these small items being done. It makes them feel taken care of. I always say a happy tenant has a better chance of paying their rent on time! These preventive maintenance items are sure to make both your tenant happy and your wallet!
Until next time!
Denise Helbig, Broker, LCAM, CMCA, President
Westcoast Management and Realty, Inc.