What you don't know can hurt.
I am talking about Preventative Maintenance on your home. You can save bundles in the future with a little bit twice a year starting now (with a house that is in good shape already). Money that could be put toward remodeling or upgrading later instead of repairing. Preventative maintenance will keep a home in good condition by stopping problems before they start and it is so easy and affordable, compared to repairs on damages if neglected, that I don't understand why it isn't common knowledge.
The duplex I am working on right now is the one that inspired this article. In the picture I show a wall in pretty bad shape. If left unattended it could destroy that entire wall. A little preventative maintenance would have stopped all that.
I want to add here, that preventative maintenance does NOT replace a paint job, it is only for between paint jobs. Now, it can prolong the time between paint jobs but not replace one.
To start, walk around the perimeter of the house and take notice of any cracked caulk, any joints and corners, around windows, a/c units, trim, nails, screws, etc. This will give you an idea of how much caulk to buy. When you get the caulking make sure to get the right kind, there is countless types and grades of caulk. For this I use painter's grade latex white caulk, also for about $5 you can get a drip-less caulking gun. Do not use 100% silicone, paint will not stick to it. An average house in good shape shouldn't take over a tube of caulk. While your at it go ahead and get a can of exterior primer, I suggest oil based because it blocks out water better and stains as well. Most houses use latex for the actual paint however. I will go around the house and caulk any cracks, small holes and ipenings that will allow water or insects like ants in. Wiping down smooth with a wet finger and even use the wet rag to wipe off excess caulk, I have a 5 gallon bucket with water and a rag with me. I also look for loose, peeling or cracked paint and will scrape it and prime any bare spots. When I am done it will like similar to the picture above, the next day I will spot paint with paint leftover from the previous paint job, if there is none I have it matched (Very important to hang on to leftover paint for this reason)
The reason this is so important is because water can get into those cracks and holes and start to rot it out of course but, during the cold season water can get in there and freeze, water expands when it freezes therefor spreading the crack open to let in even more water the next time. The next thing you know the water is getting the sheathing under the siding wet, and so on and so on.
This is just one of the things I do, please check out the rest of the list on Preventative Maintenance.