As you know, homeownership is one of the single biggest investments we will make in our lifetime. That is why proper home maintenance is so important. Regular home maintenance enhances the properties economic age (the number of years a house is expected to survive), ensures safety, prevents simple upkeep from turning into costly repairs and may even reduce energy consumption. Having a well maintained home provides piece of mind and increases resale value. To support our fellow homeowners in achieving this objective, Greenwood Real Properties has put together a monthly checklist, home improvement and inspection routine for you to follow. ENJOY!!
- Energy Efficiency TIP: Clean and/or replace HVAC filters monthly or as recommended by the manufacturer. Dirty filters block air-flow through these systems, increasing your energy bill and shortening the equipment’s life. To change the air filter in your home view these easy to follow instructions. CLICK HERE. Wondering what type of filter is best for your system? The Home Depot's website has this handy air filter buying guide to help you choose the right size and type of air filter for your HVAC system.
- Energy Efficiency TIP: Did you know that the average household spends more than $2,200 a year on energy bills - nearly half of which goes to heating and cooling? Homeowners can save about $180 a year by properly setting their programmable thermostats and maintaining those settings. To learn how CLICK HERE.
- Audit your homes heating and cooling system. Here’s how…CLICK HERE.
- Do bi-annual check of batteries in all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Inspect your air conditioner to make sure there is a free flow of air. Clear surrounding plants and bushes so they do not block air intake vents all around the unit. Hose off the air intake vents twice a year, spring and fall. Make sure the unit has not settled and is sitting level. Be sure to replace the air conditioner filter.
- A simple and economical way to improve your home’s appearance is to just paint the shutters, trim and front door with a new accent color. To see how different colors look on your house…CLICK HERE. For a finishing touch add new house numbers and a doormat.
- If you have a septic system, be sure to examine the drainage/leaching field for soil firmness on a fairly consistent basis. Catching a problem in its infancy can save you time, aggravation and lots of money!
- A motion-sensing security light in your backyard or driveway to greet you is a small improvement that makes a big difference. Not only will it add an increased level of security, it's also a nice convenience when returning home in the dark.
- A well-landscaped yard can add anywhere from 5 to 15 percent to a house's selling value. Working with a local landscape designer or finding a local nursery with free planning advice and/or classes to learn the most suitable plants and shrubbery for a particular location can be a solid investment.
- First impressions are lasting, so keep the lawn cut and manicured. Fertilize and mow the lawn regularly and remove debris from the yard. Invest in a $20 edging tool and use it to trim the lawn from invading garden beds. Use a pruning tool to routinely trim bushes and tree branches when needed.
How important is preventative maintenance? Without it, your home could easily lose 10% to 12% of its appraised value. Researchers suggest that regular maintenance increases the value of a house by about 1% a year. However, professional appraisers are quick to point out any gain is typically offset by the ongoing cost of maintenance. According to the U.S. Census, over time annual maintenance can cost upwards to $3,300 or 1% to 3% of a home’s initial cost dependant on its geographic location. To put this in perspective; owners of a $200,000 house should plan to budget $2,000 to $6,000 per year for ongoing maintenance and upkeep depending on the age of the home.
Brian Greenwood is an Owner/Partner at Greenwood Real Properties/Keller Williams Realty w/Offices in Canton, Easton, Needham and Westwood.