2019 has officially begun, and with the new year comes New Year’s Resolutions. Being more active, saving more money, and organizing your life are common resolutions, but what about goals for your home? Here are 4 essential New Year’s resolutions for home owners.

4 New Year’s Resolutions for Home Owners

Start an emergency fund

One of the most essential New Year’s resolutions for home owners is to start an emergency fund. The idea of setting aside $100 cash every month to put in an emergency fund sounds doable, but often falls on people’s “will do later” list. But what happens if you’re faced with a life changing event where you need access to cash? This year, look at your finances and pick a monthly amount to set aside for your emergency fund. You could save over $1,000 in just one year by staying consistent in putting money aside. You’ll be so happy you did if/when the time comes.

Create a disaster kit

Your home is your castle, but it’s not indestructible. If you haven’t already, create a disaster kit to store in your garage so you’re ready to grab it and go should an emergency happen. A disaster kit that includes financial documents, copies of passports, and a home inventory will speed up recovery if disaster hits. Additionally, it’s a good idea to place at least 3 days of canned food in your disaster kit, along with emergency medical supplies so you’re set for a few days.

Budget for home improvements

Most homeowners have goals of what they want to improve in their home, even those who buy brand new homes. This year budget for one or two large projects so you’re able to make progress on this goal list. These large projects may be replacing roofing, kitchen appliances, or adding a living space onto the back of your home. By achieving one or two of these this year, you’ll stay motivated to keep finishing projects throughout the next few years, and with the right budget to do so.

De-clutter

If you feel like you’re running out of storage in your home, it is time to go through each room and de-clutter. Spend a day in each room and create 3 piles: keep, donate, and sell. Once you’ve made your way through your home, combine all the donate items and drive them to a Goodwill or Salvation Army. Once you have all your sell items in a pile, host a garage sale, or sell online via Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. You’ll find your life less stressful when you get rid of all the unwanted clutter!

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Fall is a good time to take care of home cleaning projects you didn’t want to do when the days were sunny and long in the summer. Take some time this fall to give your home some TLC with this fall home maintenance checklist.

Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Care for trees and shrubs

If you have trees on your property, fall is the time where you’ll need to trim the trees and rake the leaves off the ground. Fall is also a good time to keep an eye out on your trees to make sure that the trees don’t show signs of disease. These signs include early change in leaf color, pines looking thin and sparse, and needles turning brown.

Clean gutters

One of the most important items on the fall home maintenance checklist is checking the gutters. Either hire a professional to clean your gutters, or clean them yourself on a clear weekend. Try to avoid scheduling the cleaning on a rainy weekend since it’ll just make the job more difficult. Clogged gutters during rainstorms can cause water to pool and damage your siding.

Seal exterior gaps

Take a walk around your home and take note of any small gaps where a rodent could enter your home. Mice only need a tiny gap to enter your home and raid your pantry. With the cold winter on it’s way, many small animals will be making their way to warm places to make a home during the cold weather.

Stock up on winter supplies

Make sure you have an ice scraper for each of your cars. You don’t want to be stuck in a situation where you are running late to a meeting and have to wait an extra 15 minutes for your car to manually defrost. Also, restock emergency kits for your car and home if needed. Additionally, to prepare for the snow, make sure you have a snow shovel on hand so you’re able to exit your driveway. The main streets may get shoveled by the city but your driveway doesn’t.

Check safety devices

Another one of the most important tasks on the fall home maintenance checklist is to test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors around your home. As the weather gets cooler, and windows stay shut more often, radon is more likely to become trapped in your home. If you find that you have unhealthy levels of radon in your home, hire a contractor qualified to fix radon issues.

Deep clean the kitchen

How long has it been since you truly deep cleaned your kitchen? Probably too long. Take the cozy time in the fall to tackle some of the more laborious kitchen cleaning tasks. These tasks include cleaning the oven, scrubbing tile grout, washing the walls, washing the garbage/recycling bins, and cleaning light fixtures. When the busy holiday season comes where you have a bunch of family visiting at all times, you’ll be glad you took the time to make your kitchen sparkle.

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Just like the seasons of the year, there are different real estate seasons that bring opportunities for home buyers. The spring market blooms along with the flowers, while the fall months dwindle with the leaves. This slower pace could be an advantage for home buyers. If you’re in the market for a new home, here are 4 reasons to buy a home this fall.

4 Reasons to Buy a Home This Fall

Deals on old inventory

Often times, sellers choose to put their home on the market in the spring, often listing their home too high. If their home isn’t selling, this could result in price reductions over the summer months. By October, if they still haven’t sold their home, they become desperate and potentially price below a home’s market value. So just because you’re not buying in the busiest home buying season, doesn’t mean you don’t get the benefits.

Fewer buyers

Perhaps one of the greatest reasons to buy a home this fall is because there are fewer homes competing in the home search. Families who want to be in their new home by the beginning of the school year will have wrapped up their home buying process a couple months ago. This means less competition and more opportunity for buyers. Additionally, in really busy home buying seasons, often times home buyers will find themselves under pressure to make a decision within hours. When there is less competition, the pressure isn’t so intense for home buyers.

Sellers want to close by end of year

Just like any other asset, a home is an investment with tax consequences. A home seller may want to take advantage of a tax gain or loss so you might see them pushing for a close date before December 31. As a home buyer, ask why the seller is selling, and look for listings that offer incentives to close by the end of the year. This way you can use their urgency to your benefit and come out with $3,000 credit in closing costs or a brand new washer/dryer/refrigerator set.

Harsher weather shows home’s true colors

In the summer months, every home looks great since there is a bunch of natural sunlight, and the front and back yard are looking green as ever. In the fall and winter months, you’re able to see any flaws revealed with the home. As a home buyer, it’s better to see a home’s flaws before making an offer, instead of being surprised and disappointed in the future months.

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