This article comes all the way from Vegas. Debbie Drummond has been a full time Realtor in Las Vegas since 2003. She specializes in the luxury home and high rise market. Debbie’s website is The Las Vegas Luxury Home Pro where she shares all her top real estate tips! Debbie is here to explain why your home is an investment and you should treat it like one!
For most families, their single largest investment is the home they live in. While many of us take this investment seriously when making our buying decision, it’s easy to take it for granted once we have moved in.
If you have a family member or spouse who is putting on a bit of weight, you may not notice when you see them every day. The same is true of your home. You may not notice the paint is getting a little dull or chipped. It’s easy to overlook the exterior of our homes if we pull into our garage and don’t spend a lot of time outside.
Routine Maintenance Will Save Money in the Long Run
Years of neglecting home maintenance can be costly. It will damage the resale value and can lead to expensive repairs later. In “Smart maintenance Tips for Homeowners”, the article provides an essential checklist that works well for all climates. In our Las Vegas climate, having your HVAC serviced before the Summer heat and again before the Winter is a good idea.
In “Home Maintenance 101” Admiral Cove Homes also suggests having the roof inspected and refinishing the patio and decks. This will extend the life of your decks. One of the most common issues we find during a home inspection are filters needing to be changed. Deteriorating caulk around plumbing fixtures is another common issue. Changing the filters will save money on your energy bills. Having the caulk repaired will help prevent mold. Visible items like caulk that is crumbling will make potential buyers wonder what else has been neglected.
Making sure you take care of the little things before selling your home can go a long way in keeping the buyer from trying to negotiate the offer on your home downward. Buyer’s today like turn-key properties.
Has Your Home Kept Up With The Times?
On top of routine maintenance tasks, we need to invest in keeping our home updated. One of the biggest turn offs buyers have is going into a home and seeing out-dated kitchens and bathrooms.
Buyers see shiny gold faucets and trim in the bathroom and comment “that’s so eighties”. Then they calculate how much it will cost to switch them to chrome or brushed nickel. Recent trends have brass making a comeback. However, it’s “brushed” brass rather than the shiny gold throwback of the disco age.
Light fixtures are another item that is easy to update and doesn’t have to cost a fortune. It’s OK to have an occasional light fixture that was handed down from Grandma (that you’ll be taking with you when you move). You don’t want outdated fixtures and sconces in every room of the house.
Replace items like Corian or white tile kitchen counter tops with granite or Caesar stone. It may seem extravagant but it can help your home sell. We recently worked with sellers who had updated their kitchen counter tops. They knew the kitchen was dated and wanted to prepare it to sell. They were surprised that it didn’t actually cost that much. She wondered why they hadn’t updated it earlier so they could enjoy it. Instead, they put them in for the new owners to enjoy.
Bathroom fixtures are another turn off. If you have one of the old fashioned bath tubs from the eighties (think pinkish/mauve color), you might want to change it. Aside from being dated, potential buyers will know it’s old and wonder about how clean it can be.
As a homeowner, it’s a good idea to budget for a home improvement project each year. On a newer home you won’t have to do this. On an older home you should be prepared. One year, it may be replacing the HVAC system. The next, maybe it’s time to re-do the kitchen or the bathrooms.
Flooring is another worthwhile home improvement project. Today’s carpets come with warranties of 5, 7 or 10 years. If you have an active family or pets, the life of the carpet may be shortened. We are seeing a trend towards hard surface floors. Ceramic or Travertine tile, wood or engineered wood with carpet saved for the bedrooms if used at all. You can improve your home’s resale value while “Making Your Home Look Larger” as Debbie Gartner explains.
What’s your home’s value?
Anyone who invests in stocks keeps an eye on the market. Why should your home’s value be any different? There are websites that will give you a “estimate” of your home’s value. Most of these online tools have not proven to be accurate. Stay in contact with your Realtor who should know the accurate value with just a little bit of homework.
Most of us do a monthly newsletter that reports market trends. Let your agent know that you would like to receive updates for your specific subdivision or neighborhood. Maybe they can send you a report every six months or year about recent sales of homes comparable to yours.
This will be valuable information to share with your insurance agent.
Your home is an investment that should be protected. If home values have gone up, you might need to increase your coverage. If values have gone down, you might save money on your insurance premiums.
You should become involved in your community. Is there a graffiti hotline to call when you see a property that’s been tagged? Is there a proposed zoning change that might affect your home’s value? The more you stay informed the better you can make decisions about when you should sell your home and when you should hold onto it. Keep in mind your neighborhood will play a large role in the overall value of your home.
The tender loving care you give your home is likely to make a difference when you do cash in on it. With so much of your net worth tied up in your home, it only makes sense to protect and maintain your investment.