New Year, Better Home

Everyone sets goals for how their lives will change in the new year, some transformative and some minor. That applies to homeowners, too. 

While some people are planning big moves – to upgrade, downsize or buy their first home, other homeowners are remodeling and staying put.

But not everyone can afford to update their homes–whether it be installing new floors, undergoing a remodel or making a major repair. So, how about some changes that are (relatively) inexpensive, and simple to make? Here are ways you can tweak your approach to the day-to-day at home and ensure more safety and efficiency where you live. 

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Plan for an emergency
Does your family have planned exit routes in your home in case of an emergency? You should! Setting exit routes for each room in the house and assigning a designated meetup spot outside the home can ensure the safety of you and your loved ones. Now is the time to determine – and practice – emergency procedures with each member of your family. And while you’re at it, test your fire alarms and make sure there’s a functional fire extinguisher on each level of your home.

Check on your mortgage payment
If you’re one of the many who owned their home before the most recent rise in sales prices, you may have accrued considerable home equity as your property value has risen. You may have also finished some considerable home improvement projects in that time. In either case, you may have lowered the loan-to-value ratio on your mortgage. If you’ve hit a certain point, you may be eligible to cancel your private mortgage insurance, if applicable! There’s no harm in asking your lender if you’re unsure.

Lower your energy bills
There are many ways to make your home more energy-efficient, even if just by being more flexible about the inside temperature. If you have the budget this year, consider upgrading to a programmable thermostat, trading older appliances for energy-efficient models or sealing up your draftiest windows. If you’re feeling especially ambitious, you can reach out to an energy auditor, who can identify the biggest issues costing you extra in heating and cooling costs.

Here’s a tip that doesn’t need to cost you a cent. In fact, you may make a few dollars! There are entire television shows and blogs dedicated to the art of decluttering and organizing a home. Identify your favorite decluttering method, whether it’s making a keep-sell-donate pile or asking whether items “spark joy.” After a garage sale or trip to the donation center, it’s time to kick back and enjoy your cleaner, more spacious home!

If what you really need next year is to move to that home that’s got the space or amenities you’ve been dreaming of, reach out! With a dedicated Real Estate Advisor, like Sarah Marrinan, at your side, you may be surprised what you can accomplish.


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