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The Spring “To do” List.

With the recent rise in temperatures and maple trees starting to leaf out, signs of spring are in the air. Which brings us to the spring to-do list.

Your home, if you own it, is an asset. Pay rent for 30 years and you have put a roof over your family’s head. Pay a mortgage for 30 years and you’ve both put a roof over your family’s head, while also paying off a mortgage. You now own your home free and clear. This is an asset that can benefit you in many ways.

Your home’s value is based on general market conditions (is the local market up or down), location and condition. By the way, the local market is currently red hot, with many more buyers than sellers. This leads to multiple offers and even bidding wars on some homes.

While homes can be sold in any condition, from pristine to fixer upper, getting top dollar for your home requires that it be in good condition. If you are in a great location, the general state of the market may not require your home to be in pristine condition to get top dollar.

Keeping, or getting, your home into good condition is a process. That process starts by doing a methodical inventory of your homes condition and making a list.

Water is the most damaging element to homes and inspecting for the potential for water damage must be at the top of your inspection list. Roofs age and will eventually leak. Plumbing will develop leaks. Paint will fade, age and peel and leave the surfaces below it unprotected. Interior and exterior caulking will age and crack and allow for water intrusion. Decks must be cleaned and resealed every few years to keep them in good shape.

Inside and outside the home, things will need attention over time. Fences will lean and gates will drag. Pollen and algae will turn the home a color it is not supposed to be. Screens get torn. Seals around doors and windows will become compressed and quit doing their job, allowing your A/C to escape. Windows will fog, gutters will fill, and pets and children will damage things that need to be fixed.

Remember, your spring inventory of maintenance and repair needs is not something you need to address all at once. It is simply a baseline inventory from which to plan. Whether you take care of the list yourself, hire help, or a bit of both, your spring to-do list is a necessary step in keeping your home, an investment and wealth building tool, in its best possible condition.