Keeping your home well maintained not only increases the quality of your home, but also that of the homes around you. It’s part of being a good neighbor.
Bad siding, storm damaged roofs, broken windows, unkempt yards, illegal building extensions, peeling paint, rickety decks—no matter what the source of the problem is, when people let their homes go, it can have a twofold negative affect, says Roger McCabe, community standards inspector for Golden Valley.
First, poorly maintained homes are an eyesore, which annoys neighbors and can keep potential homebuyers looking in other areas, dropping housing values. Second, a poorly maintained home can set off a chain reaction.
“Sometimes a neighbor will look at a poorly maintained home and think, ‘why should we go through the trouble of maintaining our home if they’re not doing it?’” McCabe says. “It’s a domino effect.” The effect works the other way, too, he says. The better you maintain your home, the more likely those around you will do the same.
With so many metro area homes built before 1970, property maintenance standards are a growing priority for cities, with many adopting a maintenance code and getting more proactive in spotting problems before they become complaints.
“When we find violations, we try to take care of them. Residents appreciate that,” says Ann Boettcher, inspector services manager at St. Louis Park. “For those looking to sell, a well-maintained housing stock helps bring potential homebuyers to the neighborhood.”
Boettcher encourages residents to work with their City’s inspections department. “We’re here to help them,” she says.
City inspectors can help answer questions about property repair and maintenance and can also provide valuable information you might not otherwise have about your home, such as its permit history.
If you are overwhelmed with maintenance issues on your home, or just don’t know where to start, call your local inspections department, McCabe says.
Also, think about attending some home remodeling classes. The annual West Metro Home Remodeling Fair offers free seminars along with dozens of exhibitors, all with the end goal of helping residents maintain and improve their homes. Don’t forget to visit your City’s booth in the cafeteria. City inspectors and staff will be available to answer questions and provide information about your remodeling project.
- Golden Valley Inspections, 763-593-8090
- Minnetonka Inspections, 952-939-8200
- St. Louis Park Inspections, 952-924-2588
- Hopkins Inspections, 952-548-6320