Top 10 New Year’s Real Estate Resolutions

2015 is upon us. And the new calendar year is often a time when we chart out our goals for the year.

So consider adding your home to the mix of things to improve. It will help you plan for investments that could make your home more comfortable to live in and add significant value to your property.

Start with the scary but fun part: An assessment of what would improve your lifestyle at home and what needs updating, replacement or removal.

A few things to keep an eye out for:

  • Drafty windows or doors that need new weather stripping.
  • Fading paint or excessively dirty walls that need a new coat of paint.
  • Excessively worn or stained carpet or rugs.
  • Areas that could be de-cluttered.
  • Fading stain and wear and tear on your patio or deck.

If your home is already in good shape, move on to the ideas you’ve been thinking about for years, such as kitchen remodeling, bathroom updates, art, deck and patio additions, gardens and new trees.

Now, it’s time to take a close look at your budget and prioritize. If you start saving up for improvements today, you may have a solid financial head start on projects you start as the weather warms up this Spring.

Here are 10 New Year’s real estate resolutions to consider:

1.)   Replace or repaint your front door: Few features of a home get as much attention as your front door. Consider these ideas.

2.)   Create a savings plan to achieve your goals: Whether it’s a new coat of paint or a remodeled kitchen, it’s important to have a financial plan that will help you improve the value of your home.

3.)   Energy Efficiency checkup: Schedule a home efficiency audit to see where your money is wafting out leaky door frames, windows and ductwork, among other uncovering energy losing issues. That will show you investment ideas that could save you money on electric bills. And, if you get a city-certified audit, you’ll have one step in the home selling process out of the way. The certificates are good for 10 years.

4.)   De-clutter and organize: This is one that doesn’t require any significant budget. And de-cluttering your home is one of the best ways to give it a refreshed feel and highlight your home’s best attributes.

5.)   Check carbon monoxide detectors, change air filter, fire extinguisher, family emergency plan: Although these are things that should be done a few times a year, why not make it one of your easy-to-achieve resolutions?

6.)   Add or replace exterior lighting: From a casual string of small lights that sets the mood on your patio to motion-sensing security lights that provide home security, a few outdoor lighting upgrades can help give your home a new twinkle. Consider a few of these ideas.

7.)   Pressure wash and re-stain or paint your deck: With Austin’s fantastic weather and the popularity of relaxing on patios, outdoor living areas such as patios and decks take a beating. A few coat of stain or paint will make one of your primary entertaining areas pop again.

8.)   Go green: Consider using one of the City of Austin’s rebate programs to add rain barrels, solar panels or composting to your home. It will help save resources and probably save you significant money in the long run.

9.)   Collaborate with your housemates: Create a family cleaning plan to keep things nice without having to rally a team for a marathon 24 hour cleaning session. Create a list of regular chores and delegate them among your family. Consider a little incentive for keeping up with the schedule.

10.)   Get  civically engaged: Austin has a new form of city government and a plethora of issues that will impact homeowners for years to come. Consider attending a neighborhood or homeowners association meeting to get involved with neighborhood and civic issues. You can also keep tabs on the city council online.