Owning real estate is a privilege, and in doing so, you are committing not only to serving your own personal interest, but potentially that of your family for years to come. A success story is increasingly possible, and for many of us real estate is our single most important asset when it comes to retaining value. When managed well, the rights in land associated with the building on it, not only maintain their value while factoring in inflation, but increase in value. The key to retaining your home’s value while ensuring comfort is good maintenance and a few simple upgrades.
If you property has, or is surrounded by trees, your gutters may need to be cleaned multiple times each year. As a good rule of thumb, it’s best to access your roof in the summer when it’s dry to give your gutters a good clean. Remove obvious debris such as leaves, the odd tennis ball, bird nest, or tree branches, and make sure the downspout has a strainer on top and is free of debris.
Bonus tips: A cheap toilet brush is ideal to scrub the sediment, which you can also collect and use in your yard as a fertilizer.
So, summer is the start of your gutter routine. But in the fall when you see the leaves changing colour, do another clean – and then start the full service routine. As you see leaves on the ground, know that they are also in the gutters, and it’s rainy season so they are damp and in danger of clogging your gutters. You may now need to clean once a month or more depending on the type of trees bordering you and unloading leaves on your roof.
Neglecting gutter duty could cause an overflow, creating discomfort walking around the house on a rainy day, the noise of a flood of water dropping to the ground, or worse, causing damage to your foundation.
Bonus tip: Refrain from using a power washer. It’ll just create a mess, potentially bending your gutters and damaging your asphalt tiles.
So, you were just on the roof checking on your gutters, and you noticed a bit of moss spreading...just a bit. Don’t allow that moss to spread. Prepare to spray the entire roof, or get a zinc strip installed. A good spray will do the job, but the zinc strip prevents moss creation.
Keep Your House Clean – Outside!
I’m always surprised not to witness more outdoor washing. When you wash your car, you do it in two stages, inside and outside. Well, the same applies for your house. Equip yourself with brushes (boat brushes work great), some CLR and scrub away. I’m not referring only to the deck and the windows. Think about the entire house. That includes window frames and ledges, concrete foundations, outdoor walls, the outside face of the doors and any shutters.
With Metro Vancouver starting a new program, RateOurHome.ca , to advocate for labeling of energy efficient homes and looking to implement a new voluntary practice of energy label disclosure, home buyers will be able to see the energy consumption profile of homes via a label and report established by the government of Canada. So if you have high energy consumption, it could be off-putting to buyers.
About 70% of your home’s heat loss goes through the roof. Your attic is meant to act as a buffer between the outdoor and the indoor comfort of your house. You can tune up the effectiveness by going the extra mile and exceeding minimum required standards by adding extra layers of insulation. Insulation value is determined by the “R Value” – the higher the R Value the better. You can also choose between loose fill blown in by an insulation professional, or batts laid for a DIY option.
When this is being addressed, think about having a heat pump installed. They are energy efficient, run on electricity and provide both heating and cooling.
If you want to really modernize your house, consider mechanical ventilation with heat recovery to have full control of your home air temperature and air quality when combined with pollen filters. This is particularly suitable for those with allergies or asthma, and mold and mildew are also eliminated.
Bonus tip: Another high-tech upgrade that buyers love and will save you money is a smart home thermostat that is programmable and connected to your smartphone.
Faucets and Light Switches
This is an easy upgrade that will not only make a difference in aesthetics, but can also potentially save you money. Have a look at your kitchen and bathroom faucets. How do they look? How old are they?
While they are still in good working order, and you judge that they have done their time and paid for themselves, start to look around for new faucets. They can seem pricey, with certain high‐end faucets displaying a four‐figure price tag, so compare prices from store to store, online and in the classifieds.
Do the same with the light switches. Upgrade the switches, incorporating screwless plate covers or dimmable switches that will look great and appeal to buyers.
Disclaimer: Home maintenance must be conducted with care, and with all the necessary safety precautions. In the event you are unsure how to do something or lack the expertise, hire a professional!
Interested in becoming a contributor for REW.ca? Whether you're an agent, broker, home inspector or general real estate professional, we're always looking for writers to share their knowledge with home buyers and sellers. Contact [email protected] for details.