We are hearing quite a few conflicting messages on the future of the housing market. Will home values decrease with higher mortgage rates? Will the low inventory artificially keep prices higher? Are we going to see a housing crash in the next few years?
Our crystal ball is on the fritz, but there are some things you can do to maintain or even increase the value of your home. And in doing so, you will also avoid mold, fire or water disasters too. (Though if you do have one, or are concerned you might, you know who to call!)
- Create Curb Appeal: If the outside of your home looks unkempt, chances are no one will make it inside to see what the interior looks like. Clean up your landscaping and trim back any overgrown shrubs. Consider painting your front door and make sure the handle looks secure and clean. Also make sure your outdoor lighting is in working order, replacing bulbs where needed. Remove leaves and other debris from your roof and gutters, and trim any limbs perched precariously over your home. Power wash your sidewalks, driveway, decks and the exterior of your home to remove any mold or mildew. Check your foundation too to make sure you don’t have any water leaks that can lead to mold in your crawlspace or basement.
- Spruce Up Your Kitchen and Bathrooms: Real estate agents will tell you that it is kitchens and bathroom that sell houses. It makes sense since most other rooms are simply spaces for your furniture; kitchens and bathrooms are pre-equipped to serve a specific function. Clean these rooms thoroughly, including under the sinks, which is often when water issues are uncovered. If you have tile floors, back splashes or showers, examine the grout and fix or redo it if needed. Look at your windows for any signs of leaks or mold and add additional chalk where needed.
- Maintain Your HVAC System: Too many people don’t think about their heating and cooling system until something goes wrong. Routine (typically twice a year) maintenance can prolong the life of your furnace and air conditioner. Regular inspections will also uncover issues early so they can be addressed quickly and not lead to larger, and more expensive, problems.
Whether you have plans to sell your home any time soon or not, at some point it will need to go on the market. Conducting routine inspections and maintenance will increase the value you will get when it sells, and also help you uncover areas that need to be addressed before they turn into huge and expensive – or even devastating – problems. It will also make your home a safer and more comfortable place to live, which is what we all want in the end.