Being a homeowner has its perks including freedom to enjoy personal space, no rental agreements or contracts, and no first-come-first-serve parking or mandatory evaluations.
The decision to own a home is respectable and responsible; it is a decision that you will invest time and money and in order to retain the value (and add value) to your home, you will need to continue your investment until the day you sign it away to new owners. Everyone wonders, “what is my home worth?” There are many ways to keep your home value rising by investing in your home. The best thing about improving your home is that you will have a better space to live in, while also making it more valuable at the same time. Additionally, most improvements are not very costly considering how much they will make the worth of the home appreciate.
Though this doesn’t mean you must constantly be improving your home, it does mean that if you want to increase the worth of your home, you must invest further.
By following the simple acronym UPI (Upkeep, Polish, and Improve) you can add value, charm and comfort to your home. So what is your home worth? Here are some great tips to add value by investing in your home.
Keeping Your Home in Good Condition
Proper maintenance is imperative when it comes to keeping your home in good condition. This means keeping up on seasonal maintenance work, regular cleaning and ordinary repairs. Below is a list of seasonal tips to keeping your home in mint shape:
Fall: With the coming of winter, prep your house properly to save money, add comfort and harness heat:
- Prepare the pathways: No one wants to access your beautiful home through a muddy front yard. Set aside a weekend to lay a brick or concrete pathway to your house. If you already have this feature, check the paths and driveways for cracks. Filling them before the winter months come will prevent water from seeping in, freezing and making the cracks even larger.
- Grass seeds: Though fall may seem like an unlikely time for gardening, the cooler weather is actually ideal for spreading grass seed. Planting high-phosphorous seed mix will encourage roots to grow earlier in the spring after a winter of moisture. Also, take this time to start a compost pile and trim shrubs and bushes.
- Light the night: Fall and winter bring significantly less daylight. Make sure pathways and important outdoor lighting (garage, porch, etc.) have working bulbs. This is a tricky task to do when the ground is covered in ice and snow.
- Fix faucets and fireplaces: Freezing pipes seem to be one of the biggest concerns when winter temps drop. Replace outside drains with freeze-proof faucets.
The National Fire Protection Association also recommends sweeping your chimney at the end of fall or early winter to remove any soot and debris.
Winter: Cold temperatures and sitting, melting snow can take a toll on your home. Stay ahead of the damage with this:
- Deter ice dams: The build-up and overflow of ice dams on your roof can create leaks, destroy gutters and loosen shingles. Install heated cables or purchase a long-handled aluminum roof rake to remove harmful snow buildup.
Spring: Prepare for the warmer days and liven up your house after a long winter with these few tips:
- Fend off fading floors: Rearrange area rugs and furniture to prevent wooden floors and carpet from fading or getting tracked out from foot traffic. Wooden floors should also be polished after a long winter of ice/salt abuse. Carpets or rugs can be professionally cleaned (or self-cleaned with professional tools.)
- Touch up trim: Use the mild heat and balmy temperatures to touch up the trim around doorframes and other noticeable areas around the exterior of your home.
Summer: Summer heat and long days of sunshine can be enjoyable, but your house can take a beating.
- Duct duty: Seasons of laundry loads can build up an immense amount lint, which poses a great fire threat during high temps. Clean ducts and vents with a wet/dry vac.
- Prevent pests: Remove items touching the side of your home to prevent insects, rodents and mildew from setting up camp.
By spending slightly more money on fine focus points of your home, you can greatly increase both its value and its comfort. This is a great tip when investing in your home. Consider polishing up on the following:
Fireplace: Great fireplaces serve many different purposes in a home: a focus point, a heat source, a display wall, and more. However, with chipped bricks, and stained hearths, your centerpiece can become an eyesore, so look into fixing them. For homes without a fireplace, consider contracting out to build your own or insert a gas fireplace instead. Regardless, a fireplace is a winning investment that will keep you warm, cut your heating bills in half and add attractive value to your home.
Kitchen: Considering the kitchen is “the heart of the home,” spending money here is a great way to increase your home’s worth. Though it is easy to pour a lot of money into updating a kitchen, cheaper options are also available. Invest in new appliances, give kitchen cabinets a facelift with fresh paint and new knobs. If possible, refresh the counters and sinks.
Flooring: Shag carpet and laminate flooring have seen their days. Upgrade to wood (or mock-wood) floors for heavily trafficked areas, add tile to bathrooms, kitchens and entry ways, and lay bright, clean carpet in bedrooms and other “comfort” rooms.
Improving is very important when investing in your home. Improve on the current features of your home with these few upgrades:
Keep the heat: Even in newer homes, drafts from windows and doors can jack up a heating bill. Consider investing in high-quality window treatments to keep the elements out and the heat in.
Homes with sub-par blinds waste a lot of heat, resulting in a higher bill. Furthermore, consider replacing the windows all together.
Liven up your lighting: Bad lighting can be very uncomfortable and could put a major damper into a beautiful room. Use energy-efficient bulbs and make good use of lamps. Install simple plug-in lights under kitchen cabinets. Replace overhead lights with recessed lighting features and replace or rejuvenate that dusty old chandelier. Use lighting as an opportunity to add warmth, ambiance and a personal touch to your home.
Your house is possibly one of the most valuable investments that you will have if you own one. So guarding and taking care of it is very much in your best interest.