Don’t let your most valuable asset lose its potential. Maintaining your home more than pays for itself by increasing your property value. Plus, you’ll reduce the chances of headaches from unplanned and expensive repairs. Having sold and rented my share of homes as a real estate investor, I wanted to offer some of my favorite home maintenance tips. While these are valuable for all homeowners, they’re vital to consider when you’re looking to sell.
Keep at Least Basic Tools On-Hand
Personally, I hire contractors for big stuff like remodeling bathrooms, installing granite-top counters, and major electrical work. Still, whether you’re especially handy or not, you’ll want to at least have a hammer, pliers, measuring tape, caulking, a standard wrench, Phillips and flat-head screw drivers and duct tape. You can fix many little things and prevent bigger problems with just the basic tools.
Inspect and Maintain Your Electrical Systems
Hire a professional electrician to inspect your wiring, home alarms, and fixtures to ensure everything is safe and working. And for any repair more difficult than changing a light bulb or replacing a wall plate, leave it to the pros. Even some of the handiest people I know won’t touch some electrical jobs, due to the dangers of electrocution.
Know Your Fuse Box
I’m surprised at how many people can’t locate their home’s fuse box (circuit breaker). While you should let a contractor make any repairs to it, you still need to know where it is and how to use it. Remember that the fuse box may be doing precisely its job when your home’s power goes out; it could have just prevented a fire. Maintain it and learn how to reset it.
Look out for Wall Damage
Take a hard look every once in a while at your walls for any signs of cracking. Minor blemishes can be very easy fixes or the sign of greater problems. Take care of them before they get out of hand. Also, check inside walls for dampness or dry rot, especially in areas near bathrooms and basements. A good inspector will find this and alert potential home-buyers, potentially killing any deal.
Keep Up With Your Windows
Windows provide more than just a physical barrier to the outside world. They can tamp outside noise levels and provide energy efficiency for your home. Examine them for leaks. It’s easy to caulk openings between the window and frame. But for long-term value, consider replacing your problematic windows altogether.
Maintain Your HVAC Systems
The last thing you want is a furnace that breaks down in the middle of the winter (or, for that matter, an AC unit that goes out during the summer). You’ll achieve best results though annual inspections of your HVAC systems. A new system may save you money by using less power and decreasing the chances of expensive and time-consuming “emergency” repairs.
Be Your Own Plumber
A toilet that’s not working properly may simply need a new stopper, which is cheap and very easy to install. Learn at least the very basics so you can repair little things right away without needing to call the professionals. And periodically check your pipes for deteriorating rubber washers or other small problems.
Make the Right First Impression with Your Doorways
More Home Maintenance
A broken doorway presents an immediate safety and security concern. Repairing one is extremely expensive, so make sure all doors are in good working condition and be ahead of the curve. And if a door works well but has cosmetic damage, repair it before you try to sell your house. You don’t want a blemish being the first thing potential buyers notice.
Heather is a staff writer for Lifestyles Unlimited. She enjoys analyzing real estate investment trends, laws, and practices while debunking myths. As the owner of multiple rental properties and “flipped” houses, Heather believes that Real Estate Investors help put money back into the North American economy.