Home buyers have a lot of things to keep in mind when looking for a new Forest Heights home. Does it have enough bathrooms? What are the countertops made from? Does it have room for a growing family? While these are all valid questions, home buyers should also be asking themselves, “Does it have any deferred maintenance?” Deferred maintenance is extremely important to look for when buying a home because it can save the home buyer from being surprised later on. Here is everything home buyers should know about deferred maintenance and what they can do about it.
What is Deferred Maintenance?
Deferred maintenance refers to any necessary repairs that should be done on a home that the homeowner has postponed. Homeowners often defer their home’s maintenance for a variety of reasons such as not having the money to do the repair, trying to save money, or even because the problem doesn’t affect them, and they’ve felt no need to fix it. Deferred maintenance includes everything from small problems to large. Examples include:
- Mold growth in the home
- Peeling or chipping paint
- Rotting wood siding
- Cracked foundation
- Ripped window screens
Home buyers shouldn’t immediately be turned off by hearing the term “deferred maintenance,” because it can mean different things. One home with deferred maintenance may be unlivable whereas another may just have a cracked window that needs to be replaced.
Selling a Home With Deferred Maintenance
Some homeowners may be afraid to sell their home if it has a lot of deferred maintenance because of how it will be seen by buyers. However, selling this sort of home is possible. The homeowner just needs to know how to market it in order to appeal to buyers who are interested in that sort of home, or else they risk it getting ignored by buyers who only want move-in-ready homes.
If a home has a lot of deferred maintenance and the seller is unable to do repairs, one of the best ways to sell it is to market it as a fixer-upper home. Fixer-upper homes often require a lot of work and sometimes aren’t move-in ready at the time of the sale. If the homeowner chooses to go this route, they need to reduce the price of the home and clearly market it as a fixer-upper so they’re only attracting buyers who want this type of home. The reduced price will entice buyers because it allows them to put the money they saved on the home purchase into the renovations.
Buying a Home with Deferred Maintenance
On the buyer’s end of a deferred maintenance home sale, it can be a bit more tricky. Buyers have to take the loan they’re using into account because some loans don’t let a buyer purchase a home with extreme cases of deferred maintenance. If a loan won’t allow a buyer to purchase a home that is considered unsafe or unsanitary due to deferred maintenance, it doesn’t matter if the buyer plans on fixing it before anyone moves in—they need to find another route. Buyers need to thoroughly research all their loan options to find the one that works best for them if they want to purchase a fixer-upper home.
While deferred maintenance may seem like an intimidating term, it really isn’t. So long as a buyer or seller understands what they’re doing regarding a home, there is nothing to fear.
Justin Havre is the top producing REALTOR® with RE/MAX First, Canada's very first RE/MAX brokerage. Calgary real estate is his passion; Justin specializes in Southwest & Northwest Calgary homes for sale. He can be reached at 403.217.0003 or contacted through this site.