DOORSTEPS January 27, 2020


Home Maintenance Survival Guide


We admit it . . . home ownership isn’t always about pretty paint and home decor.  As we pump the water out of our basement for the third time this week, we are reminded that surprises happen (especially in the Seattle rain) that can throw even us for a loop.  But with with the right tools, resources, black book of vendors, and patience, any home emergency can be resolved.

Here are a few tips to help any home owner maintain their property:

1) Tackle maintenance on a monthly basis

Trying to accomplish all of your tasks in one weekend is simply impossible, even for a professional.  We recommend a monthly maintenance calendar that divides up the list into 12 months based on the season.  Download our Monthly Maintenance Guide to track your progress.

2) You may delay but time will not

Yes, the to do list is long but procrastination can lead to expensive damage.  Neglecting to disconnect your exterior hoses prior to a freeze could cause your pipes to burst.  Forgetting to service your furnace annually could lead to failed burners and a full replacement.  Taking small steps to make sure your list is completed on a monthly basis will not only help your systems last longer, it will ultimately save you money in the long run.

3) Keep a black book of vendors

Even with our extensive remodeling and property management experience, we rely on professional vendors to help us maintain our home.  If you are just starting out with home ownership, your black book may be sparse.  Don’t fret, we have a vendor guide that we consistently update to ensure you have a reliable list of professionals to help, even in an emergency.  Better yet, download our app for quick and easy access to Seattle area professionals.

4) Don’t panic

Every time it rains, we can’t help but wonder who’s basement is flooding, who’s roof is leaking, or who’s yard is flooding.  It’s natural to panic when our homes are affected by external forces.  But we can assure you, basements will dry, roofs can be repaired, and insurance can help cover the cost.

5) Review your home owner’s insurance policy

On that note, now is a good time to review your insurance policy, coverage, premiums and exclusions to ensure you have the right coverage.  Will they reimburse you if your basement floods?  Are there opportunities for a discount, for example, if you have an alarm system?  Will they pay for a hotel if your home is deemed uninhabitable?  Take the time to read your policy to ensure you understand the coverage.

Taking small steps to accomplish a bigger list will lead to successful home ownership as well as a much happier, and more efficient, home.


Cassie & Jeremey


Cassie Walker Johnson and Jeremey Johnson are real estate consultants who serve buyers and sellers in the greater Seattle area.  Their home is with Windermere Real Estate where they have been based for over 15 years.