Spring is on the way, and that means it’s the perfect opportunity to get your home ready for the months to come. Here are our top tips to get you started:
- Winter can take a real toll on a home’s exterior. Wood, stucco and other types of siding should be checked for cracks, peeling or chipped paint, and general wear and tear. Have damaged areas repaired and repainted as needed for lasting protection.
- Clean gutters and downspouts of any debris that may have collected over the winter. Check for any loose connections and adjust if needed.
- Check patios and walkways for cracks and any loose bricks or pavers. These are a tripping hazard that needs to be corrected promptly.
- If window screens were removed for the winter, make sure they’re cleaned up and in good condition before reinstalling them.
- Walk around the property and check for damaged tree limbs and branches. If a large tree appears to be damaged, be safe and call a professional to address any issues.
- Inspect raised planter beds to make sure they’re in good shape. Before it’s time to plant, mix in some compost and fresh garden soil to help your flowers and vegetables thrive.
- Inspect the irrigation system for broken sprinkler heads and emitters. Also check for overspray and have the system adjusted to prevent water waste.
- Have a swimming pool? As soon as the weather allows, have it inspected and cleaned so you don’t have to wait for service later in the season.
Happy spring to everyone from Pillar To Post Home Inspectors!
Many home sellers often overlook easy and relatively inexpensive fixes that not only increase visual appeal, but may also add to a home’s selling price. While major remodeling is costly and may not address the needs and tastes of prospective buyers, these repair and maintenance suggestions have universal appeal and may help a home sell more quickly – and for a better price.
- Bathrooms and the kitchen must get a deep cleaning. Sellers should consider a cleaning company that offers “move in / move out” cleaning services to do the job.
- If kitchen cabinet exteriors are in bad shape, refacing may be an option. Far less expensive than new cabinetry, refacing can give old and worn cabinets new life and can visually renew a kitchen. Alternatively, many cabinet materials can also be painted, for an updated look without costing a lot.
- Consider replacing kitchen or bathroom counters with a neutral colored laminate surface if the current material is badly worn or stained. This gives the room a fresh appearance and, most importantly, prevents potential buyers from focusing on an eyesore.
- Fresh paint on the walls and ceilings will do wonders for all rooms in the house. Stick to neutral tones so that buyers aren’t distracted by colors that make a statement. They’ll be able to imagine themselves and their furniture in the space much more easily.
- If carpet now covers up hardwood floors, consider having it removed to expose the hardwood flooring. Hardwood floors are desirable, so they should be shown off. If carpet is to remain, it should be thoroughly cleaned.
- If the home’s exterior needs painting, get it done. Buyers notice if paint is faded and peeling. If the paint is in good shape overall, renew the doors and trim with a fresh coat.
- Clean the windows inside and out so they sparkle. It’s amazing what a difference this can make in a home’s appearance. Hiring a professional window cleaning company is the easiest and safest way to get the job done on a multi-story home.
- Clear clutter from the yard, keep the lawn mowed, and trim any overgrown shrubs that detract from the home’s appearance. The home should look well maintained even at first glance.
- Place pots of bright, colorful flowers along an entry path and near the doors to add a cheery, welcoming touch.
Homeowners should save major remodeling projects – and the budget required – for their new home, not the one they are about to sell. But implementing some of the steps above can increase the appeal to prospective buyers without a huge investment in time or money.
Why should your sellers consider a pre-listing home inspection? A pre-listing inspection can uncover previously unknown problems – major and minor – allowing sellers the opportunity to make repairs, updates or replacements as needed or as they wish.
Homes that are already on the market can be at a disadvantage if problems are revealed during a subsequent home inspection. Issues that you and the seller were previously unaware of could keep a property from selling at its highest potential price, when it’s too late to address them. A home in better condition will normally sell for more than one with problems that could have been corrected. Examples include a roof that needs replacing, heating that functions poorly and plumbing fixtures that leak.
By addressing these types of issues before the home goes on the market, you can list a home with greater knowledge of its condition. This can result in cleaner offers and a smoother transaction for both parties. Having well-informed sellers and buyers will work to everyone’s advantage, including yours.
Our Pillar To Post home inspections include a comprehensive report, complete with photos, printed on-site so there’s no waiting for results. This allows your sellers to get the information they need right away so they can decide on their next steps prior to listing. You can also share the report with potential buyers. This is especially important when it comes to issues that might not be addressed or repaired prior to sale. If repairs are made prior to listing, be sure the seller can present records of the work being done, including any necessary permits.
With a pre-listing inspection in hand, you can market your sellers’ homes with greater confidence and for a better price.
Many of us make optimistic resolutions for the New Year. Whether it’s deciding to take a class, stick to a budget, or to finally drop those 20 pounds, we’re full of ideas on how to make ourselves and our lives better. Because your home is such an important part of your life, why not make some worthwhile resolutions for it as well? Here are some ideas to get you started.
Keep Current On Routine Maintenance
One of the most important things you can do as a homeowner is to make sure routine maintenance is part of your plan. Catching problems early can often help you avoid larger issues down the road. What is now a minor plumbing or roof leak can cause major problems if not detected and fixed promptly. Check around your home for cracked or peeling paint, have the chimney and fireplace inspected and cleaned, and make sure the driveway and walkways are not cracked or lifting.
Update Your Home Inventory For Insurance Purposes
If you’re like many homeowners, it’s probably been a while since you’ve reviewed your home insurance policy and reassessed the value of your home’s contents. An updated home inventory of your possessions can help you determine if you have the proper type and amount of insurance. There are a number of mobile apps available to help you organize and record your inventory, and many insurance carriers offer their own apps. Should you have an insurance claim for property loss or damage, a current and accurate inventory can help make the process and correct valuation easier.
Audit Your Home For Energy Savings
There are simple things that every homeowner can do to improve energy efficiency and save on utility bills. Check around your home for any fixtures that still have incandescent bulbs and replace them with LED bulbs wherever possible. This saves money and makes things easier for you, too; for example, bulbs in awkward places will need replacement far less often. Make sure windows and doors are caulked and in good repair, which will save energy in both winter and summer. If you’re planning to replace any appliances this year, shop for and compare efficient, energy-saving models.
Create An Emergency Safety Plan For Your Family
Everyone knows the importance of having a plan in place for emergencies including fire, flooding, blizzards and more. But each year, tragedy strikes homes and families who didn’t think about it or who promised to make a plan “one of these days.” The basics include emergency kits, an escape plan for every room, and prearranging a meeting place for your family. GetPrepared.ca has tips and resources that you can use to keep your loved ones safe. Give yourself some peace of mind by making 2019 the year to put a plan in place.
For more information about home inspections and for additional resources, please contact your local Pillar To Post office.