Happy Friday! Real estate in Arizona is a huge sellers market right now. Prepping your home is one of the biggest benefits you could give yourself because it helps add value to your home. You want to make sure your home is in tip top shape and ready to be shown to plenty of potential buyers. Our good friends over at Happy Writers Co. helped us come up with some awesome tips for getting your home ready to sell!
4 DIY Home Inspections to Do Every Year
Developing the eye and increasing your knowledge around home inspections can save anyone who owns, is planning to buy, or who is selling a world of trouble and headaches in the long run. One of the most important things to remember when inspecting a home on your own is to take your time and record notes or pictures if possible. Logging as many details as you can about the home is beneficial information that future inspectors or home segment specialists can learn from. Everything from stuck windows or doors to sloping floors, stained walls, and slow drains should be noted. Out of the magnitude of inspections that should be completed regularly, here are four inspections that can be done on your own every year.
Look for Wear and Tear on Roofing
Repairing a roof and full roof replacements can cost as much as $30,000, and pricing varies depending on materials and the scope of work needed. Whatever the roofing issue may be, spending the time and money on roofing fixes is a hassle. Going into any sale with eyes wide open regarding roofing needs will help future homeowners plan and negotiate property costs, and homeowners will be able to use the information gained to have an educated conversation with roofing companies.
Using scaffolding or a ladder to safely access the roof is best. Once safe access has been established, assessing the current condition of shingles, missing shingles, and doing penetration testing to check for disparities will quickly reveal any leaks, holes, or weak points that need to be fixed. Homeowners should also do their own assessment and research before hiring an inspector or service provider. The information will help owners and sellers compare services and discuss issues with housing experts.
Be Sure to Check Gutter Systems
While your scaffolding or ladder is out and readily available, ensure to thoroughly check outdoor gutter systems. Keep an eye out for wear and tear, and you may have to unclog areas if they are cluttered to get a better look. Don't forget a hose when inspecting. Water should be run through the gutter to make sure that they are working correctly and that downspouts are not obstructed.
Clogged gutters can cause foundational issues because water can collect around the foundation of your home and seep into unwanted areas, which can then cause rot and mold. If you see water collecting around the house, be sure to make a note. It could be a simple clog, or gutters may need to be upgraded.
Windows Tell a Big Part of the Home’s Story
Make sure to pay attention to the windows and check for cracking, broken glass, gaps, and stripping as you walk through the property. Windows with cracks or crevices can let in heat and cold, which will drive up heating and cooling costs. Gaps are also an open door for bugs and critters to make it into the estate. Openings and stuck windows and doors can also be a sign of foundational issues.
Also, ensure that windows can open and close properly. A common reason why this function fails is because there is a buildup of dust, dirt, debris, or loose/damaged hardware. If windows are getting up there in age, then it could be time to replace them, and this is an essential detail to note.
Don't Forget About the Siding
The side of a home might be one of the last things on your mind, but it can be one of the more extensive home fixes on a property. Poor siding opens up homes to a wide variety of weather-related susceptibilities that decrease the home's value and let moisture in. Houses that are not appropriately insulated also have trouble retaining a consistent temperature, which can impact your finances.
When inspecting siding, check for rotting, discoloration, rust, exposed nails, moisture damage, and damage around joints and seams. Keep in mind that damaged siding may not necessarily be due to wear and tear but improper installation. This means that even if the home or siding is new, a thorough inspection is still needed. Water damage is the typical result when siding is not connected correctly, and damage may not show itself inside the home but still impact the home's structure.
A Thorough Inspection Delivers Peace of Mind
Taking your time and looking for the story homes tell through walls, windows, drains, and all of the other elements that make up a property provides peace of mind in the end. Knowing what the tell-tale signs of significant damage look like will help prospective buyers skip over properties that may not be worth pursuing, or strengthen dialogue with home professionals as a seller or homeowner.
3 Value-Boosting Upgrades for Your Current Fence
Who knew that Robert Frost knew so much about the value of fences when he spouted the everlasting truth, "Good fences make good neighbors" in his famous poem "Mending Wall." Quality fencing makes a significant difference in every component of home life, impacts relationships with neighbors, and is a must-have, especially for homeowners with pets and children. Apart from the physical and more practical elements, fencing can be both functional and aesthetically pleasing at the same time, and upgrading this part of your home exterior can add value to your home in the long run.
Natural Barriers Are Trending
The default white picket fence now has competition since the arrival of the natural barrier. Using trees, shrubs, vines, and many other landscaping architecture options to line your property is often a more cost-efficient approach to marking your property line. Live fences can consist of 100% plant life, or plants can be weaved with fencing materials. Not only are natural barriers visually stunning, they also provide ecological diversity and support local ecosystems by increasing habitats for bees, and other critical insects that need a home.
An additional value-add to natural barriers is that they last considerably longer than manufactured fencing and are resistant to termites and fungal attacks. The greenery that lines your property can also double as a garden and produce fruits and vegetables. If you're looking for a more clear-cut boundary, then inosculating or grafting branches in a criss-cross pattern, so that they grow concurrently will give your live fence a more definitive look.
Defining Property Lines Doesn't Mean Views Have to be Obstructed
Another trend taking properties by storm is low fencing that doesn't obstruct the home's view. This fence type is the perfect fit for highlighting the architecture of a home, and drawing a clean property boundary will be a delight to neighbors as well. A good neighbor fence can be built in multiple sizes and is a shared feature, which means that collaborating with neighbors is part of the building process. Both sides are pleasing to the eye with this type of fence, and costs are split evenly between neighbors.
Going with a good neighbor fence and a lower fence line works to add value to your neighboring properties, which in turn benefits you. Another bold style that can be considered is combining plant life with a traditional good neighbor fence line. This would include using some traditional fencing along with shrubs, trees, or bushes to break up the fence line and make it more creative.
Make it Automatic
Installing an automatic gate on your property instantly improves security by restricting pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Homeowners can easily control who can access their property from inside their home and screen visitors. Gates can also be opened from inside of a vehicle and help to protect pets and children. Automatic gates make a significant difference in larger properties and help to increase privacy. This heavy layer of protection for your home also boosts your property value and can even reduce insurance premiums.
An automatic gate's convenience component is one of the most attractive reasons to have this feature automated, but various safety elements transcend its practicality. Inclement weather or a late-night arrival can make it very uncomfortable and unsafe to open up your gate for visitors or people living in your home. Having a secure way to operate your property's entrance no matter the weather or time of day offers many homeowners peace of mind.
Choosing the Right Fence For You
There are many styles and raw materials to choose from when deciding on the fence that will stand the test of time, look appealing in contrast to your property and be an all-around perfect fit. The wide variety of fencing materials available offers homeowners a collection of styles and looks that will end up being one of the first style elements people see when visiting your home. Starting with functionality and quality is the first step. Whether you decide to install a traditional, natural, vinyl, or wrought iron fence and add an automatic gate, putting your design hat on will help you choose the right style that makes your property stand out.
A home or business's roof is one of those vital elements that doesn't get as much attention as it deserves. Due to its proximity to everyday life, it's easy for a home or business owner to overlook its condition until things reach a crisis level. Below are five signs that should never be ignored because they signal that the roof either needs to be repaired or replaced.
1. Granules in the Gutters
Checking the gutters regularly can provide clues about the health of a structure's roof. If there are shingle granules littering the gutters, chances are that the roof needs to be replaced soon. This is because shingles tend to break down and lose increasing amounts of granules as they age.
2. Check the Shingles
The days after a storm might be a local time to do so but checking the roof's shingles should be part of any regular maintenance routine for a home or business owner. In addition to making sure that all the shingles are still intact, it's a good idea to check for those that are discolored. Shingles that are darker in color or that are inconsistently colored usually mean that their granules have begun to wear away.
3. The Paint Suffers
Because this sign is not actually on the roof itself, many home and business owners might not immediately connect its cause to a roofing issue. If the paint near the roofline is peeling, bubbling or staining, it can be a sign that the roof is leaking. This deterioration can also result in staining and seepage into the interior walls of the structure as well. This kind of issue can kill your curb appeal but, more importantly, it's a sign of a bigger problem that should be dealt with ASAP. A leaking roof is never a good thing, and the longer a homeowner takes to address the issue, the greater the potential for damage inside the home.
4. Look in the Attic
Puddles of water and other signs of moisture in the attic mean that the roof is leaking somewhere. Even if it isn't raining, a home or property owner can determine if the roof potentially has a leak in the attic area. Being able to see inside an attic without having to use a light is a solid indication that the roof is allowing light to enter it.
5. Check the Roof's Age
Like other building systems, a roof typically includes a warranty. Most of these are good for around 20 years. If the roof hasn't been replaced in 20 or more years, it's a good idea for a home or building owner to do so as soon as possible. Doing so helps ensure that any issues related to a leaking roof can be avoided.
The darwin Wall Team. Assisting Arizona Home buyers and Sellers in the East Valley.