Annual Maintenance Plans: Why You Need It!

Annual maintenance inspections are probably one of our most valuable products and one of the hardest sells. As a general rule people don’t like to spend money maintaining their largest asset, they want to upgrade the kitchen. Now any appraiser will tell you that the most valuable thing you can do to your home, is keep up on the maintenance.

So what does the annual plan actually do? Well that depends on which service you actually get. We have two products that we provide to the Birmingham market: 1st, is our standard annual maintenance plan. This is identical to a traditional home inspection or commercial property inspection. These are slightly more expensive than our other version, and in truth more detailed than what most home owners need. Where these are beneficial is if Timberline Inspections did not perform your initial home inspection, or if you have had a new home built and are using it as your warranty inspection.

The reason we suggest this is because the cost benefit ratio is not there; once you’ve lived in the home you typically know the little things that are wrong with it and don’t need to pay us to tell you. Our 2nd version is a 4 point inspection where we will review the roof (& attic), HVAC system, Electrical system, and plumbing (to include hot water heater).

This is a truly useful service and is very cheap on an annualized basis. We will come out once per year and review correct operation and maintenance of all these systems. General price for this is $225 but can vary slightly based off the size of the house. (Call us for an exact price! 205-545-2050)

The argument we hear a lot (mostly from guys ladies tend to be smarter here), is that “I know what’s wrong with my house.” This couldn’t be further from the truth, most people have no idea what’s wrong with their house provided it isn’t affecting functionality. Ask yourself a few questions:

  • When was the last time you were in your attic and checked for leaks?
  • How long has it been since you pulled the electrical panel?
  • When was the last time you opened the cover on your air handler?
  • Walked the roof recently?
  • Did you do any of these from the eyes of an independent licensed building inspector?

The bottom line is there are things we look for that most home owners simply don’t know to see. Our full blown annual maintenance plan is beneficial for people that lack construction skills or are physically unable to review their property.

Every 3,000 miles you get your oil changed, the fluids topped off and a general overlook of your vehicle. This typically costs about $50 and is done 4 times a year, while the average new car price is $33,500 (Kelley Blue Book), you are fully willing to pay this for an item that depreciates in value. Conversely, the average home price in Birmingham is around $157,000 and we are unwilling pay $225 annually (or $200 if you get on a 3 year plan) for our largest and most expensive asset. Not to mention the value goes up!

That last sentence is important, your houses value goes up. Every year and a home is an investment as well as the place to hang your hat. What’s most notable about this is that your homes value is most directly correlated with the amount of maintenance performed on it. What that means, is that from an appraisal standpoint your house goes up in value if it’s well maintained and kept current.

For example, you want new kitchen cabinets, the ones you have are outdated and you’re going to update the counter top and some appliances too. This really just added a significant amount of sales appeal when you spent the $10,000 to do that. The fact that you need a new roof is paramount to you staying dry but it is also going to knock $10,000 off the sale price if not more. It also scares potential buyers away and they can walk away regardless of you having the roof repaired.

The same holds true with your HVAC system, the electrical system, the plumbing system and hot water heater, etc. Maintenance is the single biggest action you can do to maintain a homes rising value. Updating is next, remodeling is the last thing on that list.