It’s good to think of your home as an investment. This is one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make, and it will likely retain its value over time – or even grow in value, helping you make a profit on that investment. However, these assets aren’t guaranteed to appreciate. In fact, if you’re unlucky, or if you don’t take proper care of your house, your home could actually decrease in value.
What steps can you take to ensure the value of your home rises over time?
Choose the Right Home
The first step is an obvious, but important one – you have to start with the right home, in the right location. There are many things you can do to upgrade the exterior and interior of your home, but you won’t be able to change its placement or the neighborhood in which it resides.
Much of a property’s value is dependent on where it’s located. If it’s in an up-and-coming neighborhood with good schools, low crime rates, and access to transportation and employment opportunities, the home will likely appreciate in value. If it’s in a neighborhood that keeps getting worse, you won’t be so lucky.
Keep Up With Maintenance and Cleaning
Next, make sure you keep up with maintenance and cleaning. This will ensure your home accrues less damage, remains in good condition, and looks presentable for a longer period of time. Here are some of the most important things you can do:
·Change the filters. Changing the air filters in your HVAC system only takes a minute or two, and if you do it regularly, it could prolong the lifespan of your system by many, many years. Air filters are designed to catch small particles of dirt, dust, and debris that might otherwise work their way into your system and interfere with moving parts. Changing the filters and keeping them clean will ensure smooth airflow.
·Clean the interior frequently. Clean the interior of your home frequently. Invest in a powerful vacuum cleaner to remove dirt and debris from your carpets, sweep and mop your floors, and clean your countertops and walls. You should also use sealing products on things like hardwood floors and countertops every few years. If you do, your home will be less prone to staining, your air ducts will remain cleaner, and the home will overall remain in better shape for longer.
·Winterize the home. If you live in an area with harsh winters, you should know that winter weather can cause a lot of damage to a home. That’s why it’s important to take the time to winterize your place before that weather sets in. Simple tasks, like turning off the water to your hose bibs, can prevent the formation of ice dams and eliminate the risk of a frozen or burst pipe.
·Clean out the gutters. If your home has traditional gutters, clean them out on a regular basis. If you don’t, they could clog and cause a backup, ultimately leading to roof damage.
·Inspect for damage. Get to know your home. Review the different rooms of your house and inspect them for damage periodically. If you notice anything wrong, be proactive and try to take care of it.
·Take care of necessary repairs the right way. Occasionally, every home will run into issues, like leaking roofs, dripping faucets, and faulty wiring. When you notice something wrong, try to resolve the issue right away and thoroughly – otherwise, you could end up with a much more severe problem down the line.
Invest in High-ROI Improvement Projects
You can also help your home appreciate in value by investing in improvement projects that offer a good return on investment (ROI), such as:
·Kitchen and bathroom remodels. Kitchens and bathrooms are some of the most noticeable and most important rooms of your house, so it pays to give them extra attention. New appliances and superficial makeovers can boost the value of your home considerably.
·Fireplace installations. Most people love the idea of a crackling fire in a cozy living room; that’s why fireplace installations are so valuable.
·Upgraded windows. If you live in an old house with leaky windows, a set of new windows could provide tremendous value – and save you money on energy costs as well.
You probably won’t see a net profit on these projects, but if you continue to live in the home, you’ll also enjoy the benefits of these upgrades.
If you’re in a good neighborhood and you take good care of your house, you should see it appreciate in value over time. Remain patient, continue enjoying your home for the next several years, and when you notice prices starting to spike, consider cashing in.