by TJ AndersonThis prediction from Dwell magazine, from late last year, just made its way into my Facebook feed: “Step Aside, Subway Tile — Penny Tile Is the New Classic.” Penny tile,
Things You Should Do To Help Maintain The Value Of Your Nashville Home
by TJ Anderson
A post I just read on HouseLogic was a good reminder of why I encourage homeowners and homebuyers to rely more on Nashville real estate professionals who are in the mix every day, less on algorithms, for an indication of a home’s worth.
Key point in that post, focusing on home maintenance: “A poorly maintained house can lose up to 20k in value.”
I’d agree. A home’s value in Nashville and anywhere else is a complex, detailed calculation. The data digital calculators pull from — trends based on basic location and square footage — is a piece of that. But so are many other details, from finishes to condition.
Homes that are victims of deferred maintenance absolutely fall lower on the value scale, since buyers are usually quick to see dollar signs in necessary repairs. And even if they happen to overlook issues, home inspectors invariably find them.
For most of us, getting the most money out of selling a home in Nashville isn’t a short-term process. It’s a long, consistent way of life — of making sure that we put the time and attention necessary into maintaining our homes.
Not sure what the key things to focus on with long-term home maintenance are? Here are some of the regular projects I’d suggest addressing, and staying on top of:
Routine maintenance that helps maintain your Nashville-area home’s value
Keep the gutters clean
Moisture is the arch enemy when it comes to home maintenance. And one of the easiest ways to let moisture damage your home is to not maintain your gutters. Good rule of thumb: Clean them at least annually, more often if you have a heavily wooded property. If your gutters or downspouts are damaged, make quick work of getting them repaired. They’re a big source of protection, directing moisture away from your house and your foundation.
Change your HVAC filters regularly
This is a good practice both for your short-term air quality and the long-term maintenance of your systems. Making your HVAC work harder to push air through clogged filters will only shorten its life. And the major systems in your home are a significant contributor to its value.
Have your HVAC professionally serviced
Put this on your annual spring to-do list. A heating and cooling pro can and should inspect and service your HVAC system once a year. They'll give everything a good cleaning, and address any small issues before they become big ones.
Keep debris cleaned away from your foundation
I love fall foliage as much as the next guy, but as soon as it starts building up around your property, give it a much-deserved "boy bye." Debris around your foundation will trap moisture, and could contribute to expensive issues down the line.
Get your chimney inspected/swept
Buyers love fireplaces, but not when they’re in questionable shape. Best case scenario, a chimney that isn’t routinely cared for can make a home smokey (an unpleasant and potentially dangerous situation itself). Worst case, it can be a fire hazard, and a costly problem to clear up. The best way to ensure that your system is in good shape (and your best chance for catching problems while they’re small): annual chimney inspections/sweeping (definitely with wood-burning; gas you can usually go a little less often). Costs a few bucks, but well worth it, safety and investment-wise.
Check your caulk
More moisture. Over time, the caulk that’s protecting the areas around your showers, tubs and sinks can deteriorate, giving water access to places it shouldn’t be. Inspect those areas regularly, and if you see damaged caulk, re-caulk. It’s not hard, barely costs anything and can save you from wall damage, or even mold. Same goes for windows — keep an eye on the caulk/weather stripping, and repair/replace quickly when you see an issue.
Address the cracks in your concrete
Cracks and gaps in driveways, walkways and patios are easily overlooked, but I’d encourage you to sweat them when they’re small. Even in mild Nashville winters, we get enough of the freeze/thaw cycle to make small cracks into big gaps. Water gets into the masonry, expands when it freezes, and squeezes open the problem areas further. Not fun, and buyers see those crevices as hints that a big masonry job is on the way. Keep your eyes open, and make the small repairs as you go.
Touch up exterior paint
Another moisture thing. Your exterior paint has aesthetic benefits, but it helps protect your siding/trim from weather, too. So keep some extra paint around, and touch up as you see issues. It’ll keep your home looking good in the short term, and make whatever pre-listing freshening you have to do a much smaller job.
Inspect your roofing
Don’t wait until you have a full-blown leak to address your roof. Whether you’re hiring a roofing pro to periodically inspect it or just keeping your eyes open for loose, missing or damaged shingles, the roof should be on your regular maintenance agenda. Catching those little issues can save you from dealing with much larger headaches, now and when you sell.
Research your stone countertops' maintenance needs, and don’t skip it
Natural stone countertops are beautiful, and buyers love them, but they usually need routine care. If you want to maintain their value — which is considerable — you have to keep up with that care. For everyday cleaning of your granite/marble, make sure you get a neutral, pH-balanced cleanser designed specifically for that purpose. No abrasives. Always make sure to wipe up spills as soon as possible (acidic stuff like orange juice and wine can damage the surface). Most granite and marble (but not quartz) will need to be sealed routinely too, depending on the specific product. Here’s a good rundown from a marble company that should help guide you.
Give your carpets a regular deep clean
If you don’t want to have to replace all your carpets before you sell, work a semi-regular deep cleaning in. I’m not saying once a year, necessarily (though if you have a lot of pets, you might think about it). But every other year couldn’t hurt. Carpet dirt tends to compound when not addressed, and before you know it, you have dingy floors that turn buyers off. Regular cleaning helps keep them in good shape for the long run.
Wooden deck/porch/fence? Reseal it regularly
Not a small job, I know, but weather takes its toll on your exterior wood, and it needs protection to stay in good shape and look good. There are sealants on the market that say they’ll last seven years, but use your judgment — if you see that your deck or porch isn’t kicking off moisture like it used to or the wood is starting to warp, it might be time to take on a resealing job again. That regular attention will keep the wood looking new much longer.
Hope these give you some worthwhile things to think about. If you’re looking for any more homeowner guidance — or are thinking about selling your Nashville-area home — I’d love to help. Just call or email TJ Anderson Homes.
TJ Anderson is a Nashville Realtor with Benchmark Realty who's helped countless clients both buy a home and sell a home in Nashville, Tennessee. He blogs about Nashville regularly, from Nashville-area....
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