Does your house have healthy ‘bones’?
By Michelle Gillespie, Realtor, Prudential Prime Properties
Autumn has arrived – leaves are falling and days becoming shorter. In the real estate market, fall is the time to prepare your home for the winter months ahead, and to assess your home for the spring market. To assess your home, I always recommend that you begin with your home’s infrastructure, or its “bones.” To get a complete picture, start at the top (roof and attic) and finish at the bottom (foundation and cellar).
Start at the top
Visually inspect the roof for missing shingles or worn areas. If anything looks unusual, call a roofing expert to discuss any necessary maintenance, repair, or replacement of your roof.
Inspect your attic for leaks and check for proper ventilation. Do you have insulation? Know your R-value and check it for its insulating effectiveness. Buyers are very energy minded, so wherever you can, add that extra touch of energy efficiency.
While you’re still at the top, make sure your gutters are cleaned out, especially after the leaves have fallen. This can help prevent any ice dams in the winter months.
Moving down to the main body of the house, inspect the windows. Again, be an energy miser—caulk and weather strip around the window and door frames. If a window is cracked or a seal is broken, replace it. Clean the windows inside and out. Search for rotted exterior wood around the windows and along the trim. If you locate any rotten wood, repair or replace it. These flaws will show up in a home inspection, so it is very cost-effective to fix them now.
Another low-cost suggestion is to update your front door with a fresh coat of paint and replace the hardware or hang a seasonal wreath. Keep in mind that first impressions are very important to buyers. Do as much as you can to have a structurally sound home, and keep a log of all updates. Be proactive in maintaining your home; buyers will appreciate the effort.
The foundation is the “backbone” of your house. Look for any cracks or air leaks. To find air leaks, head to your basement on a sunny day, and look for sunlight filtering through foundation cracks. If you find any, call in a professional to assess and if needed, repair. Clean downspouts to avoid overflow and basement flooding. Consider downspout extenders to keep the water away from the foundation.
As the cold winter approaches, remember to drain and remove the hoses from the outside faucets, and turn off basement shut-off values to prevent supply lines from bursting. Lubricate your garage-door hinges, rollers, and tracks to avoid problems during those frigid winter months.
Set up an appointment for an inspection and cleaning of your heating system. Have it tested for efficiency, and repair any trouble spots. Include your hot water heater in this inspection process. The water heater should be drained to flush out sediment and debris, which can lead to leaks and inefficient operation.
Spring is only five months away!
Remember, even though winter is still ahead of us, spring is only five months away and the average homeowner starts planning to sell their home four to six months in advance of listing it. Listing a home encompasses a lot of work, from preparing the home to marketing it. I would like to meet with you to discuss the preparation process for listing your home. We can set reachable goals in a comfortable timeframe so that your home can be ready for sale this spring.
Remember, my goal is sell your home; let me help you achieve that goal. Call me today if you have any questions about the information presented in this article, or if you would like to discuss selling your home.
If you are thinking of selling your home, or if you are looking for a new home, call me, Michelle Gillespie at 508-934-9818, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit my website at www.michellegillespie.com for more information.
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