Home Maintenance Tasks You Need To Tackle This Fall

Fall is officially upon us. And while it’s important to take the time to enjoy the changing leaves, mild temperatures, and all-things-pumpkin-flavored, it’s also important to keep in mind that winter is right around the corner.

Fall is the perfect time to tackle the home maintenance tasks that will protect your home when the temperatures dip into freezing territory. According to a recent article from Realtor.com, there are six maintenance tasks homeowners should plan to tackle in the fall to prepare their homes for the winter, including:

  • Properly store your yard equipment. You won’t be mowing your lawn in the snow—so before it gets too cold, make sure to properly store your lawn equipment for the season.
  • Protect your pipes. Pipes can burst in the freezing winter temperatures—so fall is the perfect time to take steps (like wrapping your pipes in foam insulation and closing foundation vents) to protect your pipes.
  • Clear out your crawl space. If you have a crawl space, now is the time to clear it out—so that if your pipes do happen to burst in the winter, you can access them more easily.
  • Close your vents. Leaving your crawl space vents open during the winter can lead to cold floorboards—which is not exactly a comfortable way to start the day.
  • Start a compost pile. If you’ve been thinking about composting, fall—with all the dead leaves and plants—is the perfect time to start your compost pile.
  • Protect your trees. If you have thin-barked trees, winter temperatures can cause their bark to crack. Take precautionary measures (like wrapping tree trunks in paper tree wrap) to make sure your trees make it to spring.

Bottom line? You want to winter-proof your home before winter actually hits—so tackle these maintenance tasks before fall is over.

Preparing For An Appraisal? Focus On These Projects

An appraisal is an important part of the home selling process; you want your appraisal to accurately reflect your home’s value and your listing price. But if your home appraisal comes in lower than expected, it could cause issues with your home sale and put the deal at risk.

Which is why, as a seller, you want to do everything you can to get your home ready for the appraisal. But what projects should you be focusing on?

recent article from Forbes covered the home projects sellers should tackle before their appraisal, including:

  • Curb appeal. You only get to make a first impression once—so your home’s curb appeal can go a long way in adding value and setting the tone for a great appraisal. Keep any trees, bushes, or shrubs pruned, make sure your grass is mowed and healthy, and, if you have the budget, consider adding flowers or other details to spruce up your outdoor space and add a pop of color.
  • Bathroom upgrades. Simple (and affordable!) bathroom upgrades, like repainting or updating fixtures, can have a major visual impact—and, as such, can have a major impact on your appraisal.
  • Kitchen cabinetry. New cabinets can completely change the look and feel of your kitchen—and, as such, can add serious value. Don’t have the budget for new cabinets? Swapping out the cabinet doors can create the same kind of impact (without the hefty price tag).

There’s no need to do an entire renovation on your house. Simply make sure that what you already have to work with shows in the best light possible. Just spending even a little time and money on things that will catch the eye and attention of an appraiser, should pay off.

Buyers Make Their Four-Legged Friends a Priority When Shopping For A New Home

There are plenty of things to consider when buying a home, from the size of the property to the location to the backyard. But for many buyers, it’s not just about what they’re looking for in a home; what their pets are looking for is just as important.

According to data from the National Association of Realtors and realtor.com (outlined in an article from REALTOR Magazine), a whopping 95% of pet-owning home buyers said their pet’s needs play into their home selection process. And if a home is otherwise perfect but doesn’t fit the needs of their four-legged friend? 68% of those buyers would pass on the property.

The Takeaway:

So, what does this mean for you? If you’re searching for a home and “perfect for my pet” is on the top of your must-have list? You’re not alone. Factoring your pet’s priorities into your home search will help ensure you find the perfect home for your entire family—human and animal alike.

Three Things That Make Now The Perfect Time To Sell

COVID-19 is still creating a lot of uncertainty—which has many homeowners wondering whether now is a good time to sell their home.

Well, as it turns out, now isn’t just a good time to sell your home—it’s one of the best markets to sell your home in years.

recent article from realtor.com outlined the top reasons why now is the perfect time to sell your home, including:

  • Demand is high and inventory is low. After months of being stuck at home due to COVID-19, buyers are emerging ready to make a purchase—but there just aren’t enough homes to keep up with demand. According to realtor.com’s market outlook housing inventory was down 27 percent year-over-year in June. Fewer homes mean more buyer demand—and higher prices for sellers.
  • Mortgage interest rates are low. Mortgage interest rates are at an all time low; according to data from Freddie Mac, on August 6, average interest rates hit 2.88 percent for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage. Buyers are scrambling to lock in those low interest rates (and save big money in the process)—making it an ideal time for sellers.
  • The economy is showing signs of recovery. There’s no denying that COVID-19 initially sent shock waves through the economy. But unemployment is starting to trend downward, meaning more people are getting back to work—and more people may be in the economic position to purchase a home. “Data from May and June suggests that businesses are adding back jobs as consumers get back to spending, and some companies are now scrambling to keep up demand,” realtor.com’s chief economist Danielle Hale said in the article. “Some speculated that we’d see a sharp bounce back in activity, and I think it’s fair to say that’s what we’re seeing so far.”

The point is, there hasn’t been a more seller-friendly market in years—so if you’ve been thinking about selling your home, now is the perfect time to make a move.

Video Touring a Home? Make Sure To Check These Outdoor Elements

Video tours are a great option for long-distance buyers and buyers who are hesitant to tour a property in person due to COVID-19 concerns. But if you’re planning a video tour and want to get a comprehensive feel for the property, you need to tour more than just the interior of the house—you need to take the video tour outdoors.

recent article from realtor.com outlined the key exterior elements you should explore on a video tour, including:

  • The neighbors’ homes. Privacy is important—and, as such, it’s important to know how far (or how close) the neighbors are to the property you’re considering. Ask your agent to show you (or potentially even measure) the distance to each neighbor’s home while you’re video touring the property.
  • Landscaping. You want to get a clear idea of the time, money, and energy it will take to maintain the outdoor space, so make sure your agent gives you a full tour of the front, back, and/or side yards; that way, you can get an idea of existing trees, flower beds, and landscaping needs.
  • The deck. It can be hard to see structural damages on a video tour, so make sure the agent zooms in on the deck area so you can identify any wear and tear.
  • Each side of the house. The front of the house may look like it’s in great shape—but what about the sides and the back? Make sure your agent shows you the exterior of the home from every angle so you can identify any potential damage or necessary repairs.