This spring it is time to update your home
Spring has sprung! So while it is time to get outside and enjoy the outdoors, it is also the ideal time to focus on your house itself and make some valuable home improvements. With the spring market notoriously being the most active season for the real estate market throughout the calendar year and with the industry performing as successfully as it is, it is also the ultimate time to upgrade your home for the purpose of putting it on the market for sale. Whether to test the market that is swarming with buyers or to simply repair, replace and enjoy the positive changes in your home for yourself, there are some important areas worth tackling.
The following are the Top 10 home improvements from Realtor Magazine according to the vast majority of contractors:
1. Replace windows – While this may be a rather expensive task to change, it undoubtedly is an incredibly necessary one. Single-pane windows, old wooden and most likely rotting windows and more are a serious sign of the past. Regardless if placing the home on the market or having to live through a cold winter due to drafty windows yourself, dated windows are a negative for all parties. Replacing a window can be roughly $400-$500 each and even have the added cost of a $100-$150 installation fee, however the overall impact they will make will be priceless in the long-run.
2. Install a new heating system and change filters – Today it is imperative both for your wallet or for potential buyers to have EnergyStar label equipment. These products provide the best results. If you simply want to update a current system, look to check your filters each month and replace them once they are dark and clogged.
3. Clean air conditioning units – Always clean the coils of your air conditioning units and replace filters especially before the summer temperatures rise and HVAC pros are swamped. Drain lines should also be cleaned to eliminate moisture.
4. Install more insulation – The attic is the first place that should be a home’s defense layer to stop either cold or hot air from entering the home. Energy audit’s can notify owners about how much more insulation may be needed, however experts usually contend that anywhere from eight to sixteen inches are required by most local codes. If living in colder climates, hydronic or electric radiant heat under kitchen and bathroom floors also provides added comfortability.
5. Switch out inefficient appliances – One of downsides of appliances is that they date extremely fast with newer models seemingly coming to storefronts each season. Furthermore, as these products age they often need to be serviced and repaired which is always a costly endeavor. It thus becomes apparent that buying new appliances is a better alternative to always sinking cash into aged ones. Once again, EnergyStar label items are far superior. In the kitchen, experts agree that the priority order for new appliances should be to switch out the range first, then the refrigerator, followed by the dishwasher and then the microwave.
6. Repair or replace roofs, gutters, and downspouts – Especially those homes who experience a strong winter flurry, replacing or repairing one’s roofing is critical. Architectural asphalt shingles are a viable option because of their warranties lasting often at least 50 years and just given that they are attractive and are suitable for a variety of styles of homes. Gutters and downspouts should be cleaned and unclogged, especially if the residence is near trees that may be overhanging. Angling the gutters away from the house also ensures that water will not pool around the home’s foundation, thus avoiding risk of water seeping into the basement. Gutter covers are also a helpful option for eliminating debris.
7. Paint – Reassess the color of your home this spring. In areas with a lot of snow or stormy weather, paint can often be damaged and will appear faded in some areas. Either for you or for your prospective buyers, almost nothing can help your house pop and stand out more than a fresh coat of paint to improve your home’s curb appeal.
8. Prune trees – Cutting down, trimming, and thinning out the brush and trees in the area around your home is a smart decision. Not only does it help these plants and trees grow in a more uniformly proper shape, but it prevents the likelihood of overhanging, damaged or old limbs from falling on your home or other valuable pieces of the property.
9. Mulch Plantings – Spring is the key season for mulch. Not only does it aid plants by keeping out weeds, but it also helps retain water and looks very pleasing to the eye. Experts insist that using bark, shredded fir, leaves, straw, or grass clippings are good options to use.
10. Replace light bulbs – Replace burnt bulbs with LED lights which last longer than any incandescent bulb in addition to saving energy. LEDs have dropped in price as of late and now can be purchased for roughly $10 each. Indeed the quality and durability of such lights has drastically improved as well and they can now be dimmed or bought in a variety of colors.
As a whole this spring, make your home look the way you personally want to feel; inviting, polished, manicured, beautiful. Always remember to get a written estimate before hiring anybody for any of the aforementioned jobs as in the end, it is better to be safe than sorry.
More Information: National Association of Realtors