Many homeowners budget for buying a place but they don’t budget nearly as well for maintaining that place.

If you own a home, it’s probably your most expensive and prized asset. Yet, many seem content with watching that value chip away every day due to a lack of care.

A flat in a well-maintained building can sell for 15% more than the same one next door. A poorly looked-after home is one of the best ways to see the value of your investment depreciate.

And it’s not just to do with resale price. A poorly maintained home costs more to live in, in the long run. The later problems are tackled, the worse they get, and the more expensive they are to fix. A simple gutter cleanout costs hundreds of pounds, sometimes even less. Left unaddressed, these can lead to water inflows, causing timber to rot, or leaks, stone to stain and carry through humidity. That can cost you thousands of pounds to fix.

Get a house survey carried out

When it comes to buildings, the ostrich technique (i.e. burying one’s head in the sand and pretending there is no problem) is tempting but very expensive indeed. Better face the facts, and face them early – get a house survey done.


Chartered surveyors, for as little as two hundred pounds per property, can advise you of any issues with your building and create a neat report, leaving you to prioritise dealing with them as you see fit. That’s not a ‘nice to have’ – it’s a necessity – and if you’re selling, it’s a huge asset.

It is advisable to have a house survey from a qualified surveyor carried out when buying a property, and not solely relying on the legally mandated “Home Report”. No one expects a building to be in perfect condition, but producing a proper survey dramatically reduces the buyer’s perceived risk, and increases your chances of selling at a good price.

Once the survey is done, you can put together a little maintenance plan to share with everyone else, so that the cost of any upcoming repair or maintenance can be budgeted well in advance. This supports the value of your home and gives you peace of mind. You’re reducing to a minimum the chances for a substantial bill to come for fixing an invisible problem you knew nothing about, and that’s priceless.

Here’s a trick: it might be worthwhile asking people in the block next to yours if they’re interested in getting a house survey done as well. When a surveyor goes up on your roof, it’s easy to check everyone else’s gutters and chimney too, and you could end up splitting the cost with a lot more people than just your stair!