Deferred maintenance is the exercise of postponing repairs and regular maintenance on real property or personal property in order to save costs. More often than not, failing to perform necessary, preventative services or repairs will result in asset deterioration and will ultimately have a big impact on the value of a home and its ability to sell.
Some of the most common forms of deferred maintenance I see are exterior paint and siding issues, improper service records for furnaces and A/C units, roofing issues and lack of maintenance on wood decking and failed caulking. As an example, experts recommend furnaces be serviced annually to maintain efficiency. I’ve spoken with several HVAC companies over the years and all agree that without regular maintenance, homeowners cut the furnace life in half. Another example is one that I dealt with on behalf of a buyer. The roof was a year over its shelf life and also had significant damage not addressed from the major snowstorms of 2017, causing the roof to be in even worse disrepair. This, coupled with myriad other deferred maintenance issues that arose during the home inspection, ended up costing the seller $25,000 off the list price.