Repairs and replacements add value to your home.
When you’re busy living each day to the fullest, sometimes it’s hard to muster up the energy to plan for what’s down the road. But as every homeowner from the beginning of time has had cause to find out, what you do or don’t do today is going to reverberate well into the future.
That little crack/squeak/leak you’re living with now, those planned upgrades you keep postponing, that blah front yard– these may not seem urgent at the moment. Keep ignoring them, however, and they’ll cause plenty of headaches later on once you decide to sell your home.
Here are the things homeowners are not doing to prepare their homes for sale in the future.
#1: They don’t have a home maintenance schedule.
You know that saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? Many homeowners don’t seem to remember it – or at least they don’t apply it to their homes. And then they get shocked when they have to deal with serious water damage or find their attics overrun with squirrels.
You don’t want to be that guy – and you definitely don’t want his repair bills. You want to be the smart, sensible person who takes time to come up with a home maintenance checklist (or, heck, downloads one online), puts those to-dos on a calendar, and actually gets them done.
Some tasks, like cleaning out your garbage disposal, need to be done at least once a month. Others, like testing your smoke detectors, can be done every quarter. You’ll want to give your house a thorough deep clean every 6 months or so, and there are some tasks that are best done in the spring and some in the fall.
#2: They don’t get a home inspection done.
If you know you’re probably going to be putting your home on the market sometime in the future (like in a year or so), then you don’t want to be blindsided by repairs. Even if you’ve been thoroughly conscientious about home maintenance, it still pays to have a home inspector examine your property – and better have them do it now so you’ll know what repairs need to be made and so that you have enough time to make them.
Although it’s an additional expense, not phoning a home inspector can cost you more in the future. There may be serious issues waiting in the dark to spring out at you. A home inspection can bring them to light and catching these early will save you money in the long run.
#3: They ignore minor repairs.
Small repairs are easy to get out of the way, but some folks tend to put them off. As a result, what was once a minor issue often balloons into a bigger one that willcost more to fix. Be kind to your future self (and wallet) – pay attention to anything that needs repair, however small or minor it is.
You don’t even need to wait until an issue that requires fixinghas manifested itself. Watch out for any symptoms of disrepair or house foundation problems, such as cracks in walls or floors, jammed doors, and windows that won’t close completely. By identifying such potential problems, you can save thousands of dollars and make sure the structural integrity of your home won’t compromise a future sale.
You can read more about home foundation problems here.
#4: They don’t make updates.
Just because everything in your home seems to be working fine doesn’t mean you should leave it as is. You don’t want your home looking old and dated, this can hurt your chances of attracting home buyers once you decide to sell your home.
Keep your home up-to-date with upgrades that will increase its comfort, functionality, and value. You can start with minor, do-it-yourself projects such as repainting the interior and exterior walls or changing outdoor lamps and doorknobs. You can also go big and renovate key areas in your home, such as the kitchen and the master bathroom. Convert unfinished basements into a guest room or an entertainment hub. Add another room!
According to the folks at Consumer Reports, the improvements that have a significant impact on a home’s sale price are:
- Kitchen updates
- Energy-efficient upgrades
- Updated home systems
- High-quality, neutral paint
- Additional outdoor space
- Smart devices, like a programmable thermostat