In my Real Estate adventures I have learned a few things: one thing that a lot of homeowners do not realize is that to keep the depreciation on your house at par, you must continually keep your house up to date and renovated. This is not a subjective, it is just the way things are because every house depreciates each year. The features of your house get older, the paint gets dull, styles change, the basement might get a small leak, the carpet gets dirty, the tiles scratch, the windows get stained from storms, the roof deteriorates and I could go on and on.

Home owners always think that their house is worth more than it is when they are selling. It is always a shock to see their faces when they get an evaluation of their house from a staging company, a decorator or appraiser to determine what is needed to bring the value on the house back up to speed. In some cases it could cost a lot of money to bring it up to par since no renovations have been done at all.

Here is a checklist of things to do each year to keep the value of your house.

Paint: This is the simplest thing to do. A fresh coat of paint can do wonders to your sluggish house. A word of advice; if you do a really bad job it can make your house look worse to buyers. Look for the newest in home decor to determine paint colours; see what’s the new colour that is in style this year.

Floors: If you have carpet when you bought the house, you could use an upgrade. Laminate is a cheap upgrade and can make a world of difference. I don’t know anybody that likes carpet. It gets dirty, it is not pet friendly and can make your house look very old and can smell. Look for the newest in floor design. If you decided to go the wood laminate route, make sure it is done properly.I see a lot of this type of floor coming up in spots. Make sure the floor is properly vented for a few weeks when installing the floor, the moisture can make this floor bubble or lift.

If you are determined to keep the carpet in the house, get the carpet steamed cleaned. This will make it look somewhat new and take away the odor. It only costs a few hundred dollars to have a professional company come in to clean it.

Yard: Get your yard landscaped by a professional company. Avoid weird plants and trees that make your yard look old and cluttered. Try to stay away from big floral plants that make the yard and house look ugly. Keep it simple simple. Make sure that the yard is cut and that you do not have weeds. If the grass has really bad weeds, bring in new grass. It might cost a few dollars now but it can add more value to your house.Don’t get stuck with the previous owner’s weeds! A fresh start with a new yard is the best way to get your house to look its best.

Clean your house: I’m sure you do a good job at cleaning your house. What about the outside? Do you spray down the siding? Look for areas that you don’t normally clean. Did you clean your furnace vents recently? What about your washroom fan filters? When I go through a house with buyers you wouldn’t believe what I find behind the corners. Its not that owner are dirty, its just that usually when buyers are going through a house they look at areas that are not normally cleaned or visible. Open windows up, look behind the cracks, there is probably dust in there.

Driveway: Depending on what type of driveway you have you should use a sealer on it every year. A good sealer for your driveway will keep it looking new. If your driveway has  a lot of cracks in it your might want to think about a renovation project there. A new driveway is a nice thing to come home to.

Lighting switches & Outlets: Replacing lighting switches and outlets is a good way to keep your house looking great. Its a small thing but everybody looks at them. You could also include the vent covers here. A lot of hands touch these items and they are cheap to replace. Modern replacements is a good way to bring your house back to date.

Refinish Kitchen Cabinets: This is a great way to transform your kitchen. Instead of spending a lot of money to replace the cabinets, why not just refinish them. It is a lot cheaper and you can have it done a lot faster with less hassle of bringing in new cabinets for a fraction of the cost. You could also add refinishing counters here. Depending on your counters you can refinish or just replace the tops of your counters.

Well I hope this gives you some refreshing points in keeping the value of your home.

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