During these uncertain real estate market times, even if you’re not selling your home you should keep it in good shape. Here are some spring home-maintenance tips:
- Fix the exterior of your home. Walk the exterior of your home with pencil and paper and make a list of items that need maintenance or repair: overgrown bushes and trees, damaged siding, areas in need of new or fresh paint, mold or mildew on siding or the roof, and landscaping that needs attention. If you can take care of some of these items yourself, you should. If you can’t, hire a professional to help you out. You want to make sure your home has great presence and appeal from the street. Even if you’re not selling your home, your neighborhood will look better if its homes are well taken care of and that care is visible to buyers.
- Fix the interior of your home. Take a look at each room of your home. Again, jot down things you could do to make your home sell faster: repaint walls, replace carpeting, remove excess furniture, clean out closets, and unclutter the kitchen, basement, and garage. Pack up or give away items that you don’t need or want or have not seen or used in years—don’t just move clutter from one part of your home to another. If you care for your home’s interior over time, you will benefit from the repairs and improvements you make to it—and you’ll enjoy your time living there even more.
- Clean your house thoroughly. It’s easier to care for a home that’s clean than one that’s filthy and cluttered. Take the time to recaulk bathrooms, remove mold and mildew from kitchens and bathrooms, and fix loose handles, doorknobs, and cabinet pulls throughout the home. Don’t forget to replace filters in air-conditioning and heating systems, replace chemicals in water softeners, maintain septic systems, replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, check alarm systems, grease garage door systems as required by the manufacturer, caulk cracks in exterior siding and around windows and doors, and adjust entry, closet, and cabinet doors around the home to make sure they open and close properly.
Watch this video series for more spring maintenance and DIY home repair tips.
Samuel Tamkin is a Chicago-based real estate attorney with more than 20 years of experience working with residential and commercial clients. Sam received his law degree from the University of Illinois College of Law in Champaign-Urbana. Sam currently practices as a real estate lawyer in Chicago, and his Ask the Lawyer column is syndicated in newspapers across the United States.
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