You’re a homeowner, now what? Whether you’re a new buyer or have been in your home for a year or two, you’ll want to make your home clean and comfortable for the many years ahead of you. As a homeowner, it’s important to stay on top of the maintenance your home now requires. Not only will this save you from a potentially larger problem down the line but it will also add value to your home when you decide to sell in the future. Buyers (and their agents) love seeing a well maintained home (keeping your maintenance records is a bonus!) and could save you thousands of dollars in future negotiations, just by keeping your “house in order”.
This spring maintenance checklist has eight tips to help you avoid headaches down the road:
1. New Homeowner? Change the locks.
You may not have considered putting new locks on the doors, however, almost 70% of burglaries happen in residential neighborhoods. It’s unknown who or how many people the previous owner gave keys to, so you may want to install new locks. This is also a good opportunity to replace locks that are worn out or rusted.
2. Deep Clean Dusting
If you’re new to your home, you have probably had movers come through your home, and they bring quite a bit of dirt and dust with them. And even if you’ve been there for a few years, spring is a great time to do a deep cleaning. If cleaning isn’t your thing, you can hire a maid service for less than $100. If you do it yourself, begin with a thorough cleaning of any hardwood, tile or carpet. Wash the baseboards, which are often overlooked. If you’re going to install a new dryer, be sure to clean out the vent and exhaust space of any leftover dryer lint to avoid fire hazards.
3. Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
Check every smoke and carbon monoxide alarm in your home at least once a year. If they aren’t working properly, you’ll need to change the batteries or have the alarms replaced. If your home is older, it may not have a carbon monoxide alarm, so be sure to get one installed.
4. Check air filters and ducts.
A proper heating and air conditioning unit means clean ducts and filters to circulate the cold or warm air throughout the home. If they’re filled with dust, dirt or grime from years of use, it could prevent rooms from getting warm or cool when turned on. Check the ducts and filters for any dirt and clean and replace as needed. This should be a top priority for anyone who has allergies.
5. Keep the insulation updated.
During your professional home inspection, your inspector checked for proper insulation. But it’s always good to understand how old that insulation is and whether additional layer could improve energy efficiency. Revisit the insulation question occasionally to make sure what you have is adequate. You should also insulate your water heater and its pipes due to the climate fluctuations, or if the water heater is outside. This way it doesn’t have to turn on often to keep the water hot for baths, dishes and washing machines, ultimately save you money down the line.
6. Clean out the gutters.
To avoid roof damage during the winter or major storms, you must keep the gutters free of leaves and sticks that will prevent proper drainage. If you’re nervous to do this yourself, the professional cost to clean gutters and downspouts average between $160 and $210.
7. Prune and trim the landscaping.
If you’ve just moved in or if your yard got out of hand during the winter, you may need to trim trees, prune shrubs and mow the lawn. To save money, you can prune trees yourself, but hiring an arborist will ensure proper techniques are used as well as free up your precious time.
8. Personalize rooms with paint.
When you bought your home, the seller may have depersonalized rooms by painting them neutral colors such as white or taupe. Now that you own the home, you can paint over those colors to make it yours.
The aforementioned are just some of the many project possibilities that will keep your home in top condition as a new homeowner. If you have any questions, or would like referrals to services such as the ones mentioned feel free to shoot me an email! Happy Spring Everyone!