Post Content

Ask McEnearney: When do I have to fix this?

This week’s Q&A column is sponsored and written by Hope Peele of The Peele Group and McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article and relevant Alexandria market news, contact The Peele Group at 703-244-6115 or email [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: When do I have to fix this?

Answer: Many new homeowners are making the transition from having landlords in charge of repairs, to being responsible for them all by themselves. It is important that you know not only what to fix, but when. Not everyone can afford to fix everything all at once. If there are a number of repairs needed on a home when you move in — or after five years of living there — it is important to know what to prioritize.

First, and potentially most obvious, is gas. This is — I hope — something that most people know should not be taken lightly. Whether you smell it or hear your carbon monoxide alarm go off, you need to act immediately. In my experience, it is usually a gas burner that was accidentally pushed. However, if the cause is not immediately obvious and easily fixable, leave your home and then call the gas company. No one — including pets — should be inside until it is checked out by a professional.

Most other repairs that should be quickly addressed are not quite as “in your face”. As a homeowner, it is important to look for little signs that maintenance could be required around your home. Preventing a problem is always cheaper than fixing a problem.

Like gas, water seems is another important one. Aside from structural damage to your home, water will cause mold to grow which can lead to serious health consequences. Most people know that water is NOT something you want to be surprised by.

What’s not so obvious is the ways in which water might sneak its way into your home. If you have any concerns about plumbing, get them checked out ASAP. Dallas McVicker, of Top Down Home Inspections, advises that “small leaks can very quickly become large ones, which get expensive fast. Be sure to check that your water shut off valve functions properly in case of emergency — and be absolutely sure that you know where your water shut off valve is!”


Photos courtesy of Top Down Home Inspections

An item that comes up fairly frequently in home inspections, for example, is an unsecured toilet. While a wobbly toilet may seem like a minor inconvenience, it could lead to much larger issues just down the road. Moisture can more easily collect under the flooring, and seriously weaken the stability of the subfloor. Besides, almost anything that is wobbly, and is continually used, will get more wobbly! Why wait?

Water doesn’t just come from pipes and plumbing though. It can also come from the ground, the sky – even the walls if your windows aren’t properly sealed! It cannot be overstated that small leaks will become large leaks quickly.

Another sign of potential, future water damage is missing shingles, or a damaged roof. It’s always a good idea to check your roof after a big storm, especially if there are large tree branches above your home. I once woke up to a few of my roof shingles on my front lawn. Luckily, I had a great contractor who could come the very next day, so I didn’t have to worry about damage while I waited. Damage to your roof could easily lead to water damage — the longer you wait, the more costly it could become.

Finding a great contractor who you can trust is crucial, so ask around and form a relationship with someone you can work with. And your inspector is likely to be able to answer pressing questions for you as well. If you don’t have an inspector, follow Dallas McVicker from Top Down Home Inspections on Instagram! Dallas is always happy to answer questions, and his Instagram has tons of info that can really help out a new (or experienced!) homeowner.

Of course, I’m really only addressing a couple of things here and when it comes to owning a home the possibilities are endless. While it may seem daunting, keep in mind that the majority of homeowners have many of the same questions you do — regardless of how long they’ve owned. It’s important to remember that you are not alone — ask all of the questions! Our real estate team has a great group of people we refer all the time to our past clients and friends.

And finally, one last tip from Dallas — “Rubber laundry hoses have a five-year lifespan. Probably time to change them.”

Hope Peele is a licensed real estate agent with McEnearney Associates, Inc. in Alexandria, Virginia. She grew up in Old Town and currently lives in Del Ray. As a partner with The Peele Group, Hope is dedicated to guiding her clients successfully through the many faceted process of buying or selling a home. Contact Hope at 703-244-6115.

If you would like a question answered in our weekly column or to set up an appointment with one of our Associates, please email: [email protected] or call 703-549-9292.

McEnearney Associates Realtors®, 109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Equal Housing Opportunity. #WeAreAlexandria

Recent Stories

This past week saw 30 homes sold in Alexandria. The least expensive condo, single-family home or townhouse sale over the past seven days was $190,000 while the most expensive was…

One year after a plan to open at 128 N. Pitt Street seemingly fell through, hyper-popular D.C. bagel shop Call Your Mother Deli says an Alexandria location in Old Town…

No one was injured or arrested after a report of gunfire in Old Town on Tuesday. The incident occurred at around 5:25 p.m. in the 600 block of S. Fayette…

(Updated 12:35 p.m.) Virginia Railway Express (VRE) trains were stopped last night after a vehicle struck the bridge over King Street — again. The delay is the latest in a…

Monarch Montessori School located in the heart of Del Ray is enrolling children 6 weeks to 6 years of age for our half day and full day program.

Our hours of operation are 8:00 AM  to 5:30 PM, Monday-Friday. Monarch Montessori School is open year round, with intermittent breaks.  

Children engage in self-directed, self-initiated activities under the guidance of a trained Montessori teacher. Classroom sizes range from 8-12 students. Our robust curriculum includes botany, sensorial activities, the social graces, culture, math, science, practical life, geography, music appreciation and language arts. 

You’ll get half off of the registration fee when you register and begin care with us before April 30, 2023.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

Press Release:

EDBS Dental Billing Solutions is pleased to announce that it has achieved compliance with the federally mandated standards of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) through the use of Compliancy Group’s proprietary HIPAA methodology, The Guard® compliance tracking software, and HIPAA Seal of Compliance®.

The HIPAA Seal of Compliance is issued to organizations that have implemented an effective HIPAA compliance program through the use of The Guard, Compliancy Group’s proprietary compliance tracking solution.

Clients and patients are becoming more aware of the requirements of HIPAA compliance and how the regulation protects their personal information. Forward-thinking providers like EDBS Dental Billing Solutions choose the HIPAA Seal of Compliance to differentiate their services.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

Del Ray Dog Fest & Yappy Hour

The 1st Annual Del Ray Dog Fest is a fun outdoor event that will include dog-centered activities, dog menu items, live music, vendors and food on Sunday, April 2 from 11am- 3pm at the George Washington Middle School parking lot.


Subscribe to our mailing list