New Year, New Home Owner Resolutions

It’s a new year and that means a time for many of us to make a few resolutions. And while you’re making resolutions for 2012, why not give some thought to ways you can improve the value of your home?

Here are a few ideas to help get you started:

  1. A room free from clutter. Declutter. I live quite minimally and I still manage to de-clutter on a regular basis. Instead of hanging on to items that take up space and are not used, purge and de-clutter. Lighten up your house and give it some breathing room. These efforts will pay off down the road when you sell – but in the short term your house will look and feel more spacious. Be sure to go through closets and drawers – and don’t forget your garage!
  2. Small updates. It’s amazing what some fairly low-cost updates in your home can yield in terms of visual improvement. Are you waiting to replace some dated lighting fixtures “someday”? Add that to your list for 2012 and shop for deals. Lighting fixtures can be quite inexpensive and newer, modern versions are often a huge improvement over their dated counterparts. The same goes for tired, old carpeting. Carpeting isn’t expensive to replace – and end-of-roll deals are out there to be had. Plumbing fixture updates are another fairly easy and low cost spot for improvements.
  3. Paint. If you haven’t painted in a few years, give some consideration to tackling a room or two… or more. Trim often takes a beating through the years – and a room can often become significantly brighter with a fresh coat of ceiling paint. If selling your home is on the horizon,Pretty colours in paint cans be sure to stick to neutral colours that will have the most broad appeal to prospective buyers.
  4. Yard work. If you have a yard that needs some attention, make this your year to give it some TLC. In terms of home values, start at the front and try to boost the curb appeal of your home. If working in the garden isn’t your thing, there are plenty of individuals who can help – from landscape architects who can transform outdoor spaces to handymen who’ll do a great job of simply tidying up what’s there.
  5. Repairs. I live in a very old house, so I know all about home repairs. It’s amazing how easy it is to let a repair or two slide and then suddenly look around and realize quite a bit needs to be fixed. Knowing where to start can be a challenge, but my advice is to start by repairing things that are obviously broken – things that a prospective buyer would likely notice. I find it helpful to make a master list and tackle repairs one by one, only moving from one to the next when the first task is truly completed.
  6. Greening your home. More and more, energy efficiency is becoming a home buyer’s concern. Costs to keep the lights on – and furnace in those cold winter months – keep rising with no end in sight. Having gone through the process of an energy audit, I do recommend it. You’ll learn a lot about your home during the process, including of course the various ways you can try to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Some feel that by simply having the audit done – even with no retrofits – value is added to homes. In older homes this may be particularly true.
  7. Home Values - Kelly CaldwellGet a home valuation. It’s never a bad idea to have a real estate agent come through your home and provide you with their opinion on fair market value for your Guelph home, based upon aspects of your home, market conditions and comparable sales in the region. If you’re thinking of selling in the short-term, this should be a no-brainer. But even for people who feel fairly settled and aren’t thinking about a move, it’s a good idea. A proper valuation should give you a clear picture of not just value but also concrete suggestions on where to spend renovation dollars and/or sweat equity for optimal return on investment. I’d be more than happy to help with this. Contact me for a valuation of your Guelph home.

I’ve added a few of these items to my plans for home improvement in 2012. There are several cans of beautiful paint… in my basement. It’s time to bring them up and get my home office painted!

PS – Not the handiest home owner? If you need referrals to Guelph trades people, please contact me. I know plenty of talented, hard-working people who will be happy to help you get your house in great shape in 2012.

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