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So You Bought a House. Now What?

by Madelyn McConnell

For most of us, buying a home is the biggest purchase we will ever make. And once you’ve made that major investment, you better bet you want to see that money back someday! 

Even if you aren’t thinking of selling any time soon, it is important to keep your home’s value in mind. Here are some things to consider whether you’re a new homeowner or an experienced house flipper. When you do decide to sell, your future self will thank you for it. 

Keep a Maintenance Schedule

If you’ve ever cleaned out six months of gas station receipts from your car’s console, you know how easy it can be to let simple cleaning tasks slide. The same is true with home maintenance. Making (and keeping) a home maintenance schedule can help with this. Better Homes and Gardens has a handy and comprehensive list that can get you started with tasks grouped by season. 

Whether you hire a professional or DIY, simple things like cleaning gutters, maintaining pest control measures, and keeping a clean and dry crawl space will pay off in the end. You will retain the value of your home and you’ll be less likely to get hit with a big repair cost when you decide to sell. 

Curb Appeal 

First impressions really count, and the same is true for your home. Ninety-nine percent of the National Association of Realtors members believe curb appeal is important in attracting a buyer. And lucky for homeowners, some easy and inexpensive things can improve yours! Regularly power-washing your siding or brick can maintain your home’s appearance. Keeping your trim and window shutters well-maintained will save you from a big paint job down the road. 

There’s curb appeal, but don’t forget about nose appeal! Are there any unpleasant odors accumulating in your home? Especially if you have pets, give it a sniff test next time you walk in the door. Ensuring good air quality in your home and checking the cleanliness of carpets will go a long way when welcoming prospective buyers in the future. 

The Grass is Greener

Keeping up your lawn care is definitely worth it. That same NAR study found that standard landscape maintenance, such as regular mowing, fertilizing and weed control saw a 267 percent return on investment. A major landscaping upgrade such as adding beds, trees, or a flagstone path can give an 85 percent return. 

You don’t have to be a master gardener to make these improvements. Most nurseries are happy to provide advice on what to plant and where and even offer tree planting services. If you are looking to plant garden beds but don’t want anything high maintenance, choose hearty perennials instead of annuals. You’ll see these plants return year after year with little upkeep required. 

How Smart is Your Home?

Science fiction is now science fact: the past ten years have shown an incredible increase in the availability of smart home devices so much so that homebuyers are beginning to expect them. A 2018 Coldwell Banker survey found that 77 percent of homebuyers would want a smart thermostat preinstalled and 75 percent would want a smart smoke detector preinstalled. 

The benefits of these devices can also save you money. Nest, one of the leading smart home companies, reports that the Nest Learning Thermostat saved 10 percent to 12 percent on heating costs and 15 percent on cooling costs, paying for itself within the first two years. On top of that, they’re better for the environment, so you can increase your home’s appeal and help the earth while you’re at it! 

Of course, there are other, bigger options to increase your home’s value and livability. If you are looking to make a major renovation or improvement, you can always contact your Grand Savings Bank about a home equity loan. We are here to help you as you grow!

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