When we moved back to Michigan 2.5 years ago we thought we would be here for a while (as opposed to packing up and leaving again). We bought a nice size house in a nice neighborhood. The house had recently been updated, but some of the utility equipment was getting on in age, the roof wasn’t getting any younger, and the yard needed a lot of work. David took to yard work immediately and I spent the better part of our first year trying to remember what plants and flowers would survive in Michigan. We ended up replacing the water heater, the roof inspector said we still had a few years, so the rest of our resources went into the yard.
Fast forward to today: we will be leaving the country in a few months. We are hoping to rent our house. We do not want to make maintenance calls in the wrong time zone from halfway across the world. We need a plan. Enter the rental company. They did a walk through, asked what we knew needed fixing, and made recommendations from there. We’ve gotten many consultations/estimates and figure we should proactively take care of anything that might cause issues while we are gone for the next few years. Here’s the current list:
- New roof: the “old” water damage spot is actively leaking (awesome).
- New drywall around water damage spot. Duh.
- Two new furnaces: they reached the end of their useful life. Yay dual zone heating on the addition?
- Blinds: apparently renters might want those?
- An extra steel beam in the basement to support the first floor…oh yeah, did I mention we’ve had a noticeable slope to the floor in the kitchen since we moved in? Not sure how an entire section of engineered joists comes loose but that’s what we’re working with.
- A new pump for our pond. I imagine the Michigan winters finally got to this one because it’s leaking even more noticeably. Now we’re getting a submersible one so we won’t be able to tell if/when it leaks.
Not to mention making all those little improvements you’ve been meaning to do all along. “Oh, I’ll paint behind the thermostats where the color is different than the rest of the wall later, it’s not bothering me” or “I’ll change that light bulb when they both go out and I can’t see anymore.” I promised myself when I moved out of my last house I wouldn’t wait so long to do these things because those three weeks I was trying to sell my house was the nicest it had ever been!…but ultimately life happens and playing with your new puppy is way more entertaining than fixing the towel bar that’s falling down. (Let’s be honest, that puppy is going to make way more messes too, so let’s just wait and clean them all up later.)
Then there’s the monster task of getting the interior nicely staged and cleaned up so the rental company can come take pictures. I’ve put off purging my collection of “things” since high school, so there’s a lot to work with here too…did I mention we just started learning Chinese? More on that later.
Moral of this story: live like you plan on selling/renting your house any minute, it will invariably be much cleaner and better maintained.