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!

Real Estate Trends in 2021

buying-an-investment-property

With so many significant changes in 2020, we expect to see some major developments in 2021 real estate trends. This is due to the pandemic, it has changed how many people think about housing and work. 

We’re expecting more people to move out of cities or away from their offices because they no longer need to be close to work. House hunting will continue to be affected by social distancing until we all can get a vaccine. And, younger people will realize they can afford more property than they thought.

Suburban Growth and Working from Home

Two big trends coming in 2021 are caused by the changes in 2020 to work and society. With so many people starting to work from home, realtors have seen an increase in people looking to move out of cities. They want space and safety in their preferred neighborhoods rather than commuting convenience.

The growth in buyers wanting to move to the suburbs is a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic, people are realizing they can work from home. Those who used to live in a city have quickly realized they can get much larger housing for the same or less money as they would in a city.

Moving away from urban centers has also become a trend because of unrest and protest that we’ve seen in larger urban areas in the past twelve months. As we move into 2021, this trend for buyers to seek homes in less congested areas will continue.

Virtual House Hunting

Another 2021 real estate trend is the move to online house hunting. Whereas home buyers have always wanted to visit houses in person as part of buying a new home, the pandemic has meant that more people are willing to view homes through virtual appointments. This is a significant change in how realtors and buyers operate.

Expect to see improvements in virtual home tours as we move into 2021, as we’re still practicing social distancing and dealing with the effects of the coronavirus. 

Millennials Moving Up

Millennials are one of the fastest-growing homeowner demographics. Moving into 2021, more millennials will enter the housing market. They will soon account for more than half of all home buyers. 

Millennials buying homes also ties into the first of the 2021 real estate trends we discussed. In the past, the youngest age demographic segment tended to look to rent or buy in urban or downtown areas. However, with remote work becoming more accepted, millennials are also joining the hunt for homes outside of cities. 

Part of this trend is that millennials realize they can now afford more of a house than before if they swap high-priced rent in cities for land and square footage in the country or smaller towns. This change in mentality leads to the trend of millennials “moving up” in the housing market.  

Keep an Eye on 2021 Real Estate Trends

As you can see, the changes that have occurred in all our lives will keep affecting real estate. We’ve highlighted three of the biggest 2021 real estate trends here because they are going to change how you think about buying your next home.

Remember, cheaper, larger, safer property outside or urban, downtown locations are booming. Improving technology will make house hunting virtually much better. And, the market is getting an influx of younger buyers with money to spend.

For more advice on real estate, get in touch with us today.

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 disappointments by avoiding looking at homes outside of your budget or what you 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 that sometimes negotiations will need to take place.

6. Once you have an accepted offer, follow your agent’s 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 in your 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.

Yes. Buying a Home Can Be Stressful.

Yes. Buying a home can be stressful.

Hiring a professional to buy or sell a home is a good way to assist you in dealing with some of the stress points during a real estate transaction. Often times, buyers and sellers are unaware of all the possibilities that may come into play when purchasing a home or selling one. Your realtor is a trusted resource that will help you remain calm.

Here a just a few to consider:

 

  • Sometimes you will have to write many offers in our competitive market before you will secure a contract.

  • Sometimes home inspections do not go well and negotiating repairs can be stressful.

 

 

  • Sometimes closing gets delayed or there is an issue getting your keys once closing has occurred.

  • Often sellers may accidentally leave items at the home that are unexpected or leave the home less clean than anticipated. This can cause extra work to be needed before you may want to move in.

 

  • If you do not understand the home buying process well or your lender and/or real estate agent are not communicating consistently, it can leave you feeling out of the loop and anxious.

  • Feel free to constantly communicate with your agent and lender if it helps you feel at ease during the process. They really are such a valuable asset in so many ways.

 

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.