Everyone looks forward to their retirement, but experiencing an income adjustment isn’t easy. This becomes especially true as homeowners and their houses age together. Retirees may find that at a certain point their homes need minor repairs or upgrades they aren’t able or willing to fix themselves. For those living on a fixed income, a reverse mortgage can help jumpstart DIY projects on the to-do list.

Below, a spring cleaning checklist to make sure your house is ready to go this season.

Pressure washing bricks and siding

You can hire a professional to tackle this task or rent a pressure washer from a local home improvement store. If you plan to rent, expect to spend about $25 for a four hour rental, though costs may vary from store to store. If you plan on making this a regular DIY task, you can buy an inexpensive pressure washer for under $100.

Chimney and fireplace

If climbing on the roof makes you nervous, hire a chimney sweep to inspect, clean and repair your chimney and fireplace after a season of use. They will remove the creosote, a flammable and corrosive material that is left behind from a winter of warm, inviting fires. If you want to tackle this yourself, a chimney brush and pole costs about $65.


Many professional chimney sweeps also offer HVAC duct and dryer vent cleanings. You should have this done regularly to prevent the build of flammable materials that could cause a fire. Buying a dryer vent brush online will cost around $20.


If you are sick of digging leaves out of your gutters every year, hire a pro to clean it, or better yet, add gutter guards so you won’t have to worry about it next year. These guards cost about $100 for 100 feet, plus installation if you have a pro do it. Opt to clean them yourself and buy a gutter cleaning tool for $15-$100, depending on style and durability.


Is your carpet dingy after tracking in two seasons of leaves, snow and dirt? A professional can tackle two rooms and a hallway for about $150 in under an hour. Many places can handle your furniture, curtains, tile, and hardwood flooring as well. If you want to do it yourself, rent a machine for about $30 a day. Those with pets or grandchildren might want to buy their own model for $100-$200 for cleaning frequent messes.

If you’re looking for a way to meet the cost of maintaining a home without dipping into retirement income, a specialist at Open Mortgage can help you find out if a reverse mortgage is right for you. Contact me today.


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