Thursday, May 7, 2015

Getting your home ready for Spring

Originally published in the New Buffalo Times-April 16, 2015

 “A home is one of the most important assets you’ll ever buy.” 

Warren Buffett, CEO Berkshire Hathaway, Inc.

Whether you are considering selling your home today or years from now, the best way to protect your most important asset is to keep your home in great shape year round. Spring is a perfect time to take a look inside and out and set your priorities for maintenance and home improvements that will help you increase the value and attract the most buyers when you are ready to sell. 
Start at the curb: A well-kept yard, means the home is well-kept on the inside. Spruce up your home’s exterior with well-placed trees, shrubs and flowers. You can typically get a 100-percent return on the money you put into your home’s curb appeal. 
Make Small Fixes: A broken railing or leaky faucet, gives the impression that other things in the house have not been cared for. Replace missing tiles, fix torn screens, touch up holes or cracks in walls. Replace cracked windowpanes and moldings. Making repairs like these won’t cost a lot of money, yet they will have a huge impact on the value of your home. 
Paint: One of the simplest and most inexpensive ways to spruce up your home. Start with the front door and then move inside. Getting a fresh coat of paint on walls will instantly brighten them up and make the home look fresh and new. Wake up drab rooms with a splash of color. Or use more neutral colors for a current, updated look. Painting has one of the biggest returns on your investment of any home improvement project. 
Lighten Up: A low-cost but effective way of showcasing your home is making it appear brighter. Replacing low wattage light bulbs with brighter ones and actually changing some fixtures out completely can open and brighten up a room instantly. Adding a lamp to a dark corner can open up and add space to the entire room. 
De-Clutter: De-cluttering doesn’t mean getting rid of everything, but it definitely means organizing and managing your things. Often rooms have too many pieces of furniture. Remove at least one piece to open up the room. Reduce the amount of books in shelves, and remove vases, and some objects from tables. A good rule of thumb is to place no more than three decorative accessories on any one surface. Don’t forget to de-personalize as well. Buyers like to envision themselves living in the home.
Clean: Cleaning the house is one of the most essential tasks you can do. Set aside a few days each season to clean rooms from top to bottom. The kitchen and bathrooms need to be immaculate. Cleaning the windows, is a simple inexpensive way to bring more light into rooms and make even older windows look new again. Clean blinds. Shampoo rugs. Dress the beds. Dust shelves. Counters, sinks, tubs, and appliances should sparkle. Clean all switch plates. A bright, spotless house will make your home much more appealing.   

Ensuring that your home maintenance is up to date, and your house is clean, well-organized and pared down, means you have will more time to enjoy all the amenities that Harbor Country life has to offer and when you want to sell your home it will be ready.  


Rob Gow is a writer/ photo contributor with twelve years of experience as a Realtor in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois. Rob is affiliated with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, KoenigRubloff RealtyGroup in New Buffalo, Michigan.  Rob Gow can be contacted at