How much home maintenance?

Donna WillanLatest, Money cents

How much home maintenance?

Our house is the biggest investment we will ever own, so shouldn’t we look after it really well? I think so, but then you get the naysayers telling you not to over invest in your home. So how much home maintenance is the right amount?

I want to get the right balance between caring for my biggest asset, living in a relaxing, happy space and not over investing through excessive home maintenance. Over the past few months I’ve been looking at my house and making a list of home maintenance that we need – it’s a long list. My house was built in the 1930’s, so it’s beautiful, but, well… it’s old. It needs a lot of TLC just to keep going! In addition, there are a few things we would like to do to make if more special and fun – a tree house, pretty garden lights (also sensible though), a new paint job. In fact, as I look at my home maintenance list I realize that most of it feels like ‘sensible maintenance’, there’s not much indulgence there!

So, what do people mean when they “warn you not to over-invest”? What is too much home maintenance? I re-did my kitchen 3 years ago, cost me R30,000 I think it looks beautiful, but perhaps when we sell one day, the new owner will not see the kitchen as worth an extra R30,000. Or maybe its added R60,000 on to any new price?

I don’t know, my motto has always been: instead of scrimping and saving obsessively for posh holidays, we try to make our house relaxing and lovely, so every day is a holiday – but that means keeping it lovely.

In my experience its not actually that expensive to do regular home maintenance, the kitchen was big – but we have no similarly big plans (and it does feel like a holiday as you grind your coffee and watch the birds in the tree and the kids splashing in the pool). So, I leave this Blog none the wiser – I still don’t know what the right amount of home maintenance is. Help, send us you thoughts here.

In my next column I am going to discuss the other Big C – Christmas is around the corner, how can we do it without breaking the bank.


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