The Spring Home Maintenance Checklist You Need Today

Don’t just spring clean… Get going on your spring home maintenance today!

Spring is in the air and that means that you’re probably thinking about spring cleaning.  Hold on though! You also need to be thinking about some key spring home maintenance items as well! Doing these 8 things at least once a year will save you time, money, and a big headache down the road.  The goal is to prevent things from going wrong or catching little problems early BEFORE they become major problems.

We created a handy check list of 8 spring maintenance items you should be checking every year.  As a matter of fact, you can probably get these done in one weekend and then you don’t have to worry!

 

1.  Check your gutters and down spouts

Gutters and down spouts get all clogged up over the winter with leaves and debris.  Get up on a ladder every spring and clear that gunk out.  It will save you leaks, breaks, pools of stagnant water and a big repair bill.

2.  Inspect your roof

Most roofs will last around 12-25+ years (depending on the material) IF, and only if they are inspected regularly and repaired.  While you’re up on the ladder cleaning your gutters and drain spouts, take a moment and climb up on your roof.  Look for loose roofing, pooled water, or curling shingles.

It can be very affordable to repair your roof regularly.  If your roof ends up leaking during those springtime showers, it can cost you thousands in damages PLUS the money to repair or get a new roof.

It’s a good idea to check your roof both in the spring and the fall. Just to be safe.

3.  Check seals on windows and doors

Check and repair any seals on window sills, door sills, and thresholds.  Look for damaged or peeling caulk, splinters, loose panes and gaps.  While you are at it, check and repair any screens – you’ll be glad to be able to open those windows and air out your home without bugs getting in!  Here is a handy guide for how to caulk your windows.

 

4. Give some love to your deck

Already planning the first BBQ of the season?  Better get that deck ready.  Just like your roof, you want to inspect it every spring.  Look for cracks, greying wood, loose joints and water seeping in.  Every 3-5 years you’ll want to stain and seal your deck to keep it from weathering.  A final step?  Give it a good pressure wash to get it ready for that backyard party!

5.  Filter out those dirty filters

Guys. HVAC filters get D.I.R.T.Y.  They collect dust, pollen, pet hair and dirt.  And then recirculate all those things back through your house if you don’t clean or replace them regularly.  This is something you’ll want to check several times a year.

 

6.  Don’t forget about your dryer and refrigerator

When doing spring home maintenance, don’t forget to check your dryer vent.  It gets clogged up and makes your dryer work that much harder.  Which makes your electricity bill go up.

And while you’re at it, check your refrigerator coils.  Chances are they need a good vacuum.  Not only are they really gross when they are covered in dust, they also make your fridge less efficient.

 

7.  Drain that water heater

Your water heater should be 100% drained a couple of times a year.  The reason?  All kinds of minerals and sediment build up in the bottom.  Which equals corrosion and water that doesn’t heat as fast as you’d like.

 

8.  Test your smoke detectors

This spring home maintenance item can literally save your life.  Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and put fresh batteries in.  While you’re at it why not make sure that your family knows what to do when an alarm goes off.  A household fire drill goes a long way.

Need a hand?

Check out our list of trusted vendors, contractors, supplier and all around handy types who can help you if you run into problems (or they can just take care of this stuff for you).  They’ll give you a hand with the whole spring home maintenance thing!

The Autumn Home Maintenance Checklist You Need Today

Buying a home in the winter.

Winter may not seem like the ideal time to make a move, but there are some benefits of doing so.

 

The main plus with buying a home in the winter is there are less buyers in the market to buy homes so you don’t have to compete as much.

 

Also, this could mean you ***might get a little better price on a home.

 

 

That said, there are several cons to buying a home in the winter months, such as:

  • It is very hard to inspect roofing when there is snow on the roof.

  • It can be hard to inspection the condition of exterior faucets, siding, etc.

  • If there is snow covering the ground it can be hard to see the condition of landscaping.

  • AC units cannot be tested due to low temperatures.

  • There is usually less inventory to choose from on the market.

Need a hand?

Check out our list of trusted vendors, contractors, supplier and all around handy types who can help you if you run into problems (or they can just take care of this stuff for you).  They’ll give you a hand with the whole spring home maintenance thing!

How We Market Selling Your Home (and why we do it that way)

Knowing the right way to market your home to sell is vital. Market Source Real Estate has been providing home sellers with excellent service and extensive local expertise since 2007, securing the highest price and quickest sale possible for you in the best and worst times in the market. We excel in evaluating homes, making them better with staging, advising of needed repairs and setting the right price to get the best outcome for our sellers. We set realistic expectations based on anticipating repairs needed after a buyer’s home inspection, preventing most of the typical drama that comes up during a sales transaction.

Staging:

Staged homes sell an average of 17% faster than homes that are not. There are many statistics to be found from many sources but staged homes also appear to sell for 1-5% more than a home that is not staged. We work with many different staging companies so we can tailor staging services to each unique home’s needs.

Photography/Video:

Professional photos and/or video tours of your home is a part of your listing which greatly helps our marketing efforts. If you don’t have great photos, most people will not make an appointment to see your home!

 

Signage:

When Market Source Real Estate lists your home for sale, a professional, oversized and easy to spot sign will be placed in your yard. Our company colors have also been specifically chosen to stand out. The two most memorable colors in marketing are red and yellow.

Community Outreach:

We will implement the appropriate community outreach strategy either through sending out flyers, alerting neighbors through community social media sources, sending postcards to neighborhoods or reaching out directly to neighbors to try to secure a buyer for your home.

Open Houses:

If determined to be in the right location for open houses, we will also host open houses at your home. Only 1-3% of homes sell from an open house but it can be effective if your home is in a high traffic area or fast-moving market.

 

MLS/Website:

We market homes for sale on the MLS and utahrealestate.com, where most buyer’s agents are searching for homes as well as saltlakeopenhouse.com, redfin.com, facebook.com, thinksaltlakecity.com, realtor.com, ksl.com, youtube.com and all other brokerage websites that broadcast MLS feeds.

Social Media:

In addition to advertising your home for sale on websites, we will create a branded social media strategy for your listing so we can best target potential buyers for your home through the appropriate social media channels. Our developed social media channels include: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Showings:

Sellers should be aware that same-day and even last-minute requests for showings are
common, so a seller with a ‘24 hour notice to show’ stipulation often cuts himself out of a good chunk of the buying market.
In Utah the standard is 24 hours notice.

Checklist for Sellers

We take a holistic approach with our clients and consider every detail of buying or selling a home and how it will affect our client’s lives. Buying and selling homes tends to be one of the largest financial transactions of a person’s life. Finances aside, choosing to sell or purchase a home affects a person’s health and lifestyle as well.

 

Here is a checklist for selling your home we think you may find helpful:

 

  1. Pricing your home to sell. Home sale prices directly correlate with days on the market in our current market conditions.
    When a home is on the market for more than 30-60 days (generally in the $500,000 and below range), buyers perceive that there is a problem with your home and your offers will tend to get lower and lower with time.
  2. Home Inspection Issues. We can identify potential inspection issues for you when walking through your home and
    consult with you on repairs so that your sale will not fall through based on inspections. You might also consider getting a pre-listing home inspection to avoid complications during your sale as there are things we will not be able to see.
  3. Home Warranty Coverage. Some homeowners get frustrated by a home warranty because they assume they can hire anyone they want to make a repair and that if something is broken or old they can simply have the item replaced by the warranty policy. Home warranties offer important protection from unexpected repair bills, but they won’t usually be enough to replace an item that has worn out, had pre-existing problems, or were improperly maintained.

4. Seller Disclosures. These disclosures provide a wide range of information. Overall the basic premise of the disclosure is to have the seller explain any known material or legal defects with the property. Some of the items to expect in the disclosures are the seller’s knowledge of any zoning or legal violations on the property, legal actions affecting the property, location within a Greenbelt, damage to the roof, past-due utility payments (ones that affect title), problems with culinary water, damaged sewer or septic tanks, damaged heating and cooling devices, etc.

A. Fraud. In Utah, lying on a seller’s disclosure in a way that induces a homebuyer to purchase your home is fraud. For instance, if you were to say that you’ve never repaired leaks in the basement, but in fact have patched an area that’s now hidden by boxes, that would be a lie. Don’t do it. Fill out the seller’s disclosures, and fill them out honestly.

B.  Fradulent Nondisclosure. Fraudulent nondisclosure involves failing to disclose a material defect. For example, if you

were to incorrectly claim that you never noticed any leakage in the basement at all, that would be a nondisclosure.

7. Staging.Before listing your home it is important to have your home looking its best. Staged homes sell an average of 17% faster than homes that are not. There are many statistics to be found from many sources but staged homes also appear to sell for 1-5% more than a home that is not staged. We work with many different staging companies so we can tailor staging services to each unique home’s needs.

8. Marketing. We achieve high list-to-sale ratios and very low days on market in contrast with other brokers. We excel in evaluating homes, making them better with staging, advising of needed repairs and setting the right price to get the best outcome for our sellers. We set realistic expectations based on anticipating repairs needed after a buyer’s home inspection, preventing most of the typical drama that comes up during a sales transaction.

9. Showings. Sellers should be aware that same-day and even last-minute requests for showings are common, so a seller with a ‘24 hour notice to show’ stipulation often cuts himself out of a good chunk of the buying market. The only standard lag time that should be necessary is when you must give ample notice to a tenant. In Utah the standard is 24 hours notice. Once a house gets tagged as difficult to show by agents, you won’t receive as many calls to show it.

Home Buyer Checklist

Our mission is to guide home buyers and sellers through one of the biggest financial decisions of their lives. We strive to make buying and selling homes a smooth process where our clients feel empowered with information and shielded from complications.

We hope this checklist helps you through the process of buying a home.

 

1. Get Pre-approved for a mortgage loan and establish a budget. This important step will illuminate any disappoints by avoiding looking at homes outside of your budget or what your qualify for.

 

2. Identify what type of property you would like to buy (condo, townhouse, single family home, duplex etc.)

3. Identify what locations are acceptable for your new home. Consider public transit, schools, grocery stores, shopping etc.

4. See prospective homes with your agent. This can be daunting but so much fun!

5. Write an offer on a home and get it accepted! Keep in mind sometimes negotiations will need to take place.

6. Once you have an accepted offer, follow your agents instructions for providing earnest money, ordering a home inspection and starting the loan origination process with your lender.

7. After inspections are complete and the appraisal is completed, usually the transaction will go through so it is time to start packing and planning your move.

8. Contact movers 1-2 weeks ahead of time as a minimum to be sure your timeline can bet met. And start packing!

9. Less than one week before closing you will need to set up utilities to be inyour name, homeowner’s insurance to start. We will provide you with the contact info for your utility providers.

10. On the day of closing or day prior to closing, you will need to wire your down payment and closing costs to the title company for closing. After your loan funds and the deed records, you are the new owner of your home! Your agent will arrange to get keys to you so you can take possession.

Hidden Costs for New Homeowners

When the time comes for you to buy a home, new homeowners need to understand that there are ‘hidden’ costs and fees when you are ready to sign on that dotted line. We are calling them ‘hidden’ because they are not included in the actual price of the home, these costs are obtained through the buying process and at the time of closing.

Here is a breakdown of those ‘hidden’ costs.

 

Home Inspection

Although this is an optional expense, it does protect you from purchasing a home that may have a lot of issues that may not be obvious. These can include things like mold, problems with the heating or cooling system or water leaks. A rough estimate for a home inspection is $300-$500. Keep in mind, if you end up not buying the house after the inspection, you are still obligated to pay the fee.

Appraisal

This is a necessary fee that asses the home and property so your lender knows that you are paying what the property is worth. There are times when a seller may have to adjust their asking price due to an appraisal coming in under the amount of asking. Appraisal fees can run $200-$500.

Loan Application Fees

These fees start the entire loan process. A lender will need to run your credit report to ensure you can qualify for a home loan. That fee is included in the application fees. These typically run $75-$300.

Title Services

Title services include running a title search on a property, paying the notary to notarize all the documents that you sign, and the required government filing fees. It is important to get a detailed invoice for these fees so you are fully aware of what you are paying for. These fees run $150-$400.

Origination Fees

These fees go to the lender for creation of the loan. These are paid upfront and include processing the loan application. the underwriting process and the actual funding of the loan. These fees are usually based on a percentage of the loan amount and range from 0.5%-1.5%.

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

If you put less than 20% down on your new home, the lender will require you to purchase PMI. This protects the lender from losing money in the event of a foreclosure. This fee can be re-assessed at such time as you have equity in your home. This fee is based on a percentage of the original loan amount as well.

 

Disclaimer- All dollar amounts and percentages are estimates.