Posted by JanL on April 15, 2017

The warm glow from this luxury mountain home in Breckenridge creates a nostalgic feel.

Buying and finally owning your own home is one of life’s many milestones. If you are a proud owner of Summit County real estate, you know what it’s like to own your own slice of paradise. But, don’t let the mindset of “this is mine to do with which I please” hinder you from taking proper care of your property. While purchasing a home is without a doubt a wise real estate investment, neglecting said home, is not. Owning a home comes with the added responsibility of maintenance, repairs and renovations, but we’re here to put your mind at ease. These essentials of maintenance for the marketplace are a breeze when followed accordingly, and they will guarantee a bigger return on investment when it comes time to sell.


From the moment you start down the home-buying road you should have a preliminary plan for how to tackle repairs, renovations and basic maintenance. Experts believe a good rule of thumb is to calculate one percent of the total cost of your property and set that amount aside each year as a maintenance budget. If you purchased a Breckenridge luxury home for $1,000,000, you should set aside an annual fund of roughly $10,000. This amount also varies depending upon how old your home is and how well it was kept up by the previous owners. If you are purchasing a brand new property you can probably budget less that 1% of its total cost for the first couple of years. You might, however, consider saving closer to 3% of the home’s total cost if it was built several decades ago with little maintenance since.

If setting aside one to three percent of your home’s cost is not a reasonable financial goal, another good rule of thumb is to set aside $1 per square foot of your property. Say your $1,000,000 Summit County home is roughly 5,000 square feet – you would set aside $5,000 a year for renovations.


Think in terms of projects that will conserve your funds on a long-term basis. Renovations on your property shouldn’t be conducted simply for aesthetical reasons – they should save you money down the road as well. Whether that means a surface repair or rejuvenation that increases the value of your home, or a fixture/replacement that cuts down on utility costs – any money you invest now on maintenance or renovations should yield a greater return down the road. Some great examples of project investments that your wallet will thank you for include:

Windows and doors - while it’s important to choose window and door installments that are up-to-date with popular interior designs, it’s even more important to choose construction and materials that will create a perfect seal – keeping your home warm during winter months and therefore cutting down on heating costs.

Insulation & Wiring – It’s easier to fix the things you can see need fixing, but it’s exceptionally important to ensure your home’s insulation and wiring are up to standard and checked periodically. Good insulation ensures your home remains warm throughout the colder seasons, and in doing so saving on utility costs. Poor wiring can lead to severe problems down the road such as electrical fires, and will most certainly be inspected when you go to sell your home.


Think of your home like a fine wristwatch – after you ensure all its internal components are working properly you’ll want to give the outside a good polish. Make sure no paint on the outside is chipping, the front and back yards are manicured and all fencing is in order. Check to make sure gutters are kept clear and that there is proper irrigation to avoid any basement flooding. Double check to make sure no underground pipes are exposed or damaged.

It’s also a good idea to consider the type of market you’re selling in. Is your home a starter home or a family dwelling? Think of what you can do to appeal to your potential buyers, such as certain types of pet fencing or amenities for children. Certain types of landscapingcan drastically increase the resale value of your home.

Maintaining the exterior of your home and staying on top of needed repairs not only sustains the resale value of your home, it sustains the resale value of your neighbor’s property as well. A brand new beautiful piece of real estate is severely lowered in value when standing adjacent to a dilapidated home. Be a good neighbor, and remember that the people living next door to you might be thinking about putting their house on the market sooner than you think.


Ultimately, there will always be something in your home that could benefit from an upgrade, refurbishment or even a simple inspection. Neglecting home maintence will hit you hardest in your wallet, and you'll feel the consquences when the day comes to sell your home. Home maintenance doesn't need to be a burden on your budget or on your life. Our Breckenridge real estate experts are here to consult with you on the best ways to leverage home upgrades for ROI. 

For more suggestions on home updates that pay off, email me today:

Breckenridge Real Estate Agent Jan LeopoldBy

Slifer, Smith & Frampton

Real Estate Agent

Breckenridge, Colorado