Spring is the time that folks often start thinking about home repairs, remodeling, or even relocating. If you have your eyes set on some type of housing change in the near future, we offer you some tips that will help ensure that you make sounds decisions. Whether it is a pre-sale preparation or an over-due home maintenance project, being informed and prepared goes a long way in producing a successful outcome.

For the safety of you and your family it goes without saying that whether it is your current home or a home you are considering, you certainly want to make sure that the structure is sound and that the systems are all in excellent working order. 

Often times we become forgetful as our household systems serve us through the years. Only once a disaster or near disaster strikes, do we kick ourselves for missing that last service appointment. And really, how many of us truly understand the intricate functions of all the systems that make our home such a comfort? 

We are going to begin with a simple introduction to things that you and your family can do to begin to get your home in order, again – whether a spring cleaning or a relocation – these simple efforts will promote increased pride your property and an increased desire for a buyer to want to purchase your property. 

Start Simple – First 20 Things to Accomplish

1. Ensure all debris is cleared from the exterior yard.

2. Ensure all landscaping is trimmed and tidy; this may be a good time to eliminate problem trees or shrubs that threaten the foundation of your property.

3. Wash the outside of the home and windows.

4. Correct any loose stones or bricks in sidewalks and steps.

5. Make sure all exterior light bulbs are in working order.

6. Make sure all interior light bulbs are in working order.

7. Ensure that all door frames, door knobs, and light plates are clean and free of messy fingerprints.

8. Sweep, Mop, and Vacuum all flooring in the home, even behind doors and inside closets. 

9. Clean all windows paying special attention to sliding doors, side lights to entry doors, and glass doors. 

10. Ensure kitchen is free of dirty dishes and messes on the countertops. If you have a pest problem and intend to sell, use food storage containers that deter pests and contact a professional exterminator. 

11. Appliances should all be wiped down and free of fingerprints and splatters.

12. Clean-out and reorganize closets and pantries most particularly if you intend to sell but it is also a great opportunity to eliminate expired items and create a shopping list for the future. (Expired medicine should go down the toilet and be sure to remove your name and personal info before disposing of containers.)

13. Apply fresh paint in areas of need inside and outside. This could be entire walls, door frames, a particularly busy wall, a fence, a porch, etc. 

14. Eliminate excess clutter that serves no purpose or is worn out. Freshen up a space and make it inviting by getting rid of old worn furniture, stacks of magazines, cabinets full of VHS, etc. 

15. Be sure that all locks work inside and outside. Take this time to also check that the doors seal properly and do not stick. 

16. Keep a clean bathroom with a countertop free of personal care items. Use under cabinet or in cabinet storage bins for personal items and consider clean-up and cleaning-out.

In the event you are moving, take this opportunity to do a few things a little different:

17. Pack away things you wish to keep but are personal décor. Freeing the area of personal effects and your own taste in décor enables a potential buyer to more easily see themselves in that space. Some use a rule of thumb – remove knick knacks and pictures under 10”.

18. Be sure that pets are put away when showings are scheduled. If they could visit a neighbor or stay in the yard, that would be ideal. 

19. Replace broken windows, torn screens, missing floor tiles, holes in drywall, broken light fixtures, and other miscellaneous things that have been left unattended. They may seem small and simple as one item, but if there are several of these you give the potential buyer a feeling of “what else is wrong”?

20. Latest and yet it could be most importantly, have your home inspected by a professional and licensed home inspector. 

Again, whether you are doing some overdue home repairs or preparing to sell your property, all these tips can be huge helps in making the process a success. You may wonder why you should have your home inspected if you are just doing some repairs and maintenance. 

A home owner should have an inspection performed by a licensed professional inspector every 5-10 years. These inspections will allow you to keep on top of the maintenance of your home and its systems as they age. Over time, even what started as a brand new house will eventually become of such an age that none of its systems are the same age any longer. So you want to ensure that you routinely check the entire property. 

Similarly, if you are going into a new property, you want to make sure that all systems are in a condition that suits you. We say this because as long as you have a fully disclosed inspection, in many cases the home improvement types are able to make a purchase “as-is” with dysfunctional systems. Typically unless you are an investor in properties, you are looking for a home you can move into and feel comfortable and safe with little to no work. That being the case, a professional inspector will be able to perform extensive inspection and testing where necessary on just a few things such as: 

• Asbestos

• Lead Testing

• Mold Testing

• Chinese Drywall

• Roof Issues

• Heating / Cooling Systems

• Water Heating System

• Electrical Guidelines

• Radon Testing

• Termite Inspection

• Water Quality Testing

… and so much more depending on your needs. 

The point is that simply put, you cannot leave the selling, purchase, or safety of your home in the hands of an inspector that is not licensed educated and professional. You want to be sure that you understand the inspections and tests that are pertinent to your property and your goal. You want to be sure that you get results you can understand. And you definitely want a professional that offers a guarantee for their services.

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