In 2010 we sold our three-bedroom condo and upgraded to a house. Though the condo was beautiful with amazing views of Mt. Hood, forests and the resident turkey vultures, we had simply outgrown it. It had been purchased in 2004 before the market took a dive, so despite the downturn we were able to sell it for a good price.
Choosing a new location was easy, driven by a desire to remain in my son’s school district. Where we ended up was just a mile up the street in the Southwest Hills/Portland Heights. Our new residence was built in 1886, one of the first homesteads in the neighborhood back then. In fact, the realtor left us a framed picture if the original house that had been hanging on the wall when we did an initial walk-through. It’s a cool piece of history. Thankfully, the house has been well maintained and upgraded, but as with any house there are still things to be done.
A number of upgrades were completed during the home buying process – new sewer line, safety upgrades, etc. – with the home inspector uncovering other repairs that should be resolved in the years ahead, e.g. roofing replacement. Using the inspector’s report, I decided to create a home repair/upgrade list in Google Docs.
I created a simple spreadsheet that included:
- Date – estimated date of repair to easily sort by
- Area – the area of the home that needs the repair, e.g. living room
- Type – whether it’s a repair, replacement or upgrade
- Repair – explanation of the repair
- Cost – estimated cost
- Notes – any additional notes
The list now includes several high priority projects that require attention in the next few years. It helped me see that the roof upgrade will be the most costly and most needed, and I’ve started a modest savings account for that, so it’s not a big hit (and so that we don’t have to use credit).
If you want to use something similar, here’s a blank sample home repair spreadsheet.
- I did my best to assign costs and timing to each repair/upgrade to help me sort by priority. This also helps me understand what kind of funds will be needed and when, so the saving can begin now.
- Also included are other projects intended to help boost resale value, as well as some cosmetic upgrades.
- When a project is completed, I move it to the “completed” section and indicate the year it was done plus key details that may prove useful. For example, we just had a new furnace installed so I added the make/model and info about its efficiency. That way, when we go to resell several years from now (to trade up for a place with land for horses) we’ll be able to share with our realtor a list of upgrades that should add to the house’s value.
Something to note: this spreadsheet does not include regular home maintenance tasks like cleaning gutters or re-caulking the bathroom. In a later post, I’ll explain how I track those.
Thoughts? Feedback? Suggestions? Leave a comment and let me know!