Real estate – a home, a haven, and an asset that is worth looking after.
If you do take care of your property and do your best to add value, it can be a satisfying way to make some cash.
Yes, putting in solar panels or a pool are surefire ways to spike interest in your property, add value and save you some money – but they can be expensive and quite costly to maintain.
Here are some quick fixes and money savers that may offer some wiggle room when it comes time to negotiate the value of your house down the track.
1. Allocate time
Decide how much time you are willing to spend on your home. A year, a month, or a week. It does not matter if you are able to commit to a specific period to meet the challenge of property maintenance.
2. Fix that leaking tap
Every drip is money slowly running down the drain! Thirty drips a minute can equate to more than 5,700 litres a year. How much is that costing you?
3. Water heater
Outdated water heaters are inefficient and expensive to run. While an initial overhead may not be cheap, the overall savings could save you up to 50% on water heating costs.
4. Water temperature
Your water temperature may be set on the high side. Check to see that the temperature is set around 50 degrees, any higher and you are running too hot. Also try to turn your water heater off if you are away for prolonged periods. Letting it run while not in use is wasteful and expensive.
5. Draft management
If you can feel a draft in your home, there is an issue. Seal any crevices or cracks so you do not let any cold air in. Investigate, walk around your house to identify any loose or broken seals. Pay special attention to the gaps on windows and doors. Many problem seals can be fixed cheaply with silicon and a caulking gun.
6. Light fittings
Being conscious of electricity usage and turning off lights that are not in use is fantastic, but a way that you could be saving even more is through implementation of modern LED and halogens. Replace the inefficient, costly to run incandescent bulbs with a more modern alternative. The environment and your bank account will both appreciate it.
7. Pest control
Your last pest inspection was probably conducted when you purchased your home. But, if you have not checked for termites in the past decade, then you should. Termites can cause substantial structural damage to the foundations of your home. Watch out for bubbling paint, wood that has gone soft and mud tubes. If you find a suspect beam, tap it and if it sounds hollow, that is not good.
8. Utilise your fans
You may not know, but your fans at home have two settings, a winter and summer mode. Most people only use their fans during the summer to push cold air, but they can be used during the winter to move warm air down towards you. Grab a ladder and check the stem of your fan, for a little switch. Some remote-controlled fans have the switch inside the remote.
9. A/C filter
If an air conditioning filter is dirty or clogged the unit will have to pull more power to help meet the cooling temperature that you have set. This burns additional electricity. Clean your filter regularly and make sure you always read the manufacturer’s instructions as filters can be delicate.
10. Know your limit
There will be tasks that you do not know how to complete, or you are not confident in doing. Consult a handyman or specialised tradesperson. Spend a little extra to make sure a small problem does not become a big one.