The new year is around the corner! For many, that means setting the traditional New Year’s resolutions such as losing weight or getting your finances in control. But why not shake things up a bit for 2023 and set a resolution focused on your home? These resolutions are incredibly simple to keep – small, actionable items that will improve the value of your home.
1. Set up an Emergency Savings Fund
A home savings fund could save you from a financial emergency. Even if you have a newer home, you never know when you’ll have to deal with a flooded basement or weather-damaged leaky roof. Create a home emergency savings fund that ideally covers 3-6 months of living expenses. I know that’s a lot of money. Don’t let that overwhelm you. Start with just a tiny amount every month and eventually, your savings will grow to an amount that you can rely on if an emergency occurs.
2. Create or Update a Home Inventory
Protect your personal belonging with a home inventory. This is a simple document of the physical belongings within your home. While there are several reasons to create a home inventory, the biggest motivation is to help get insurance claims settled faster. Simply, snap photos of your belongings and write out a list of your major items – store this in your phone or in a safe place.
3. Decrease Fire Risk
Every year, U.S. fire departments respond to approximately 379,600 home fires – that’s almost 40 fires every hour!! And these fires cause an average of $8.1 billion in property damage per year. Luckily, you can reduce your home’s risk of fire by doing a few simple things.
- Smoke Detector – Test your smoke alarms to ensure they are properly working. Change out batteries every 6 months. And upgrade if the detector is older, as most have a lifespan of 8 – 10 years.
- Fire Extinguishers – Arm yourself with the right equipment to fight small fires from spreading out of control. Do you have fire extinguishers in your home? And if so, are they readily accessible? Are they still active (i.e. not expired?)?
4. Complete One Upgrade
Is your home feeling a bit dated? Have a half-finished project staring back at you? Even if you’re not a DIYer or don’t have a lot of money to invest, there are so many easy ways to update a house that can immediately increase its value and comfort.
- Painting your front door
- Boosting curb appeal with new plantings
- Restoring your existing deck
- Replacing appliances nearing the end of their life cycles
5. Keep up with Seasonal Maintenance Checklists
This one is very important. Nothing lasts forever unless you make sure it does – that means maintenance. Here are a few tasks you can do yourself every season:
- Change your furnace filters
- Check your bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans for blockages (ensure they are removing moisture)
- Clean out the gutters and check if they’ve corroded or disconnected
- Hire a professional to do a thorough check of major systems. Roofs and HVAC systems have the largest cost associated with deferred maintenance – keep an eye on them!
Resolve to make 2023 the year you focus more on your home. Your home is, after all, one of your biggest assets and the place where so many treasured memories are made.
Happy New Year!