Saturday, June 9, 2012

5 Ways to Maintain Your Home's Value

If you've considered selling your home over the past few years, it's likely you were met with discouragement and frustration--and reasonably so, the market hasn't been in your favor. But as we tentatively watch real estate conditions improving, many homeowners are filled with optimism and hope that soon their houses could sell. Well, don't too excited yet, we're still seeing fluctuations in home prices. In some areas, they're rising, while in other areas, prices continue to fall. If you're in an area experiencing a decrease in home prices, don't panic. Give it time, and do all you can within your control to help your home retain its value. If you're not sure where to start, here are five tips.

1. Make repairs as they arise.

It's easy to let a squeaky hinge, small crack or miniscule leak go unattended. When repairs begin to pile up, however, homeowners quickly become overwhelmed and small fixes turn into major corrections. Do yourself a favor while maintaining your home's value by performing repairs as they are noticed. It will be more affordable; less time consuming; and in the long run, help your home retain its worth.

2. Renovate wisely.

If you're planning to invest in home renovations and upgrades, do so thoughtfully. Take your time, research and talk to contractors and home builders. Ask yourself, what renovation would add the most resale value to my home?

There are rooms that definitely add more than others--the kitchen and bathroom, for example--so spend your remodeling dollars wisely, and upgrade areas that will help add value to your property.

3. Look up and down.

It's easy to overlook dusty light fixtures and flooring in need of care. We've lived in our houses for years, and we go about out daily business as such. Be sure your home is bright and that light fixtures are modern and clean. Also, remember that your floor takes a daily beating--especially if you have indoor pets. Refinishing hardwoods; installing new tile; removing and updating carpeted rooms--all of these flooring updates will help your home retain its value.

4. Move outside.

Remember, the first thing potential buyers see when they look at your home is the outside. If your vinyl siding is cracked or molding, consider replacing it. Be sure stained decks and porches are well maintained. Keep a pressure washed patio, driveway and sidewalk. And be sure to maintain your home's roof impeccably, both for aesthetic, as well as functional purposes.

5. Plant things.

While assessing your home's exterior, look at its landscaping. Is your yard filled with mature plants? Thoughtfully placed trees and shrubs? Are there splashes of seasonal color, and does the grass appear healthy and well maintained? If not, you'll need to do some landscape remodeling. Simple fixes such as lining walkways and installing mailbox flower beds can add curb appeal, but if you've never had a green thumb and practically ignore your home's landscape, consider calling a professional.

Yes, the real estate market has thrown many would-be sellers for a loop over the past few years, but we are seeing improvement. If you're considering putting your home on the market, make sure you've done as much as you can to maintain and even improve its value.

Want to learn more about maintaining the value of your home. Consult one of Lowder New Homes' professional home builders.

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