Maintenance-free living is a real possibility

for sale sign outside houseI talk about home maintenance quite a bit. And there is a reason. Maintaining your home is important, not just to keep you comfortable but to also preserve your investment. But many people loath the idea of spending their weekend checking their home’s systems, replacing air filters, mowing the yard, washing the siding, cleaning appliances, ad nauseum. 

They are called chores for a reason. But maybe sometime in the near future we will eliminate the need of regular home maintenance.

Rapid technological advances are certainly making our lives easier. We can do many things in our homes, even when we’re not home! 

So how about increasing the quality of our lives by reducing the time spent maintaining our homes? 

Home design and materials tech are leading us to a home where maintenance is minimal or non-existent. Tech innovations have brought us new materials to enhance our homes’ appearance and decrease maintenance. Many of the new materials not only look good, but they are also green which makes our homes more efficient. Many material improvements have been primarily for your home’s exterior. For example, new no-maintenance or minimal maintenance materials for siding, decking and roofs are aesthetically pleasing and can last decades. However, low or no maintenance materials for your home’s interior are increasing in popularity too. Examples include quartz for counters, and prefinished wood for flooring. 

The desire for low or no maintenance is not a new phenomenon and can be directly observed by housing choices. New home buyers like the idea that there will be minimal maintenance for the first year. 

They like feeling confident that everything in the home will work as expected without spending money on service calls, or expensive emergency repairs. Condo buyers like the idea of not having to deal with exterior home maintenance, especially lawn care. Additionally, active adult communities are designed with low maintenance in mind to make living easy and increase quality of life. 

Unfortunately, because of their design, some mechanical systems still require maintenance. For example, experts recommend that HVAC systems be serviced twice a year. The service not only checks and tunes the system to operate efficiently; it can identify potential hazards as well. 

However, to help keep maintenance at a minimum, many homeowners decide to sign up for a service contract. The service contract may also schedule the maintenance for you, which can also help you with time management. 

Not all service contracts are the same, and due diligence is recommended before you sign any agreement. 

I am not dissing those homeowners who love to work on and around their homes. Don’t get me wrong, there is a satisfaction from doing chores and repairs. 

But there are many who don’t care for doing chores. And not to mention that there are many homeowners who cannot afford to maintain their homes. The benefits of a low or no maintenance home can reduce the value reducing effects of deferred maintenance. 

Tech advances in home design and building materials have eliminated a great deal of the maintenance requirements that was necessary in the past. And although some systems in the home require maintenance, their reliability increases. 

It’s fascinating that many homeowners today don’t know what it’s like to paint the exterior of the house every two to three years. 

Likewise, maybe sometime in the near future, we won’t remember what it’s like changing air filters. 

Dan Krell is a Realtor® with RE/MAX Success in Potomac, MD. You can access more information at

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