Always think about selling one day when buying a house

Home Maintenance

When you buy a house, whatever your budget is, you picture your lifestyle in that home with all the space and a backyard.  As a home buyer, one seldom thinks about making the house ready for sale in distant future.  It’s just too counter intuitive to think that way in the beginning when you’re focusing on your life in the house, not without it.  But you need to think about selling your house one day and make appropriate improvements while you live in it.  Average Americans spend about seven years in a home before they move to another home.  Some major life events trigger people moving such as job relocation, having children, career improvement, and downsizing after a divorce or retirement.  There are many other life events affecting one’s decision to move but those are some of the main ones.

When you live in a house for a period of time, you should make improvements if you can to increase the value of the house.  Making improvements not only help you sell for more money one day but will help sell faster.  Selling faster is a big value to a home owner in a case where the seller has to find another home to purchase during escrow.  Read more on selling and buying a home at the same time.

Below are some important items buyers look for when deciding to buy a home.  Remember, there may be other homes priced similar to your home one day with better conditions and square footage.  When competing to sell your home, you need to make sure your home is a desirable home for buyers.  If not, it will stay on the market for a long time unless you price it low according to the condition of your home.  Either way, you will not get as much from your home sale.  If you can, while living in a house, try to perform some of these tasks below so that you can maximize your return on your home investment.

Maintain your roof & gutters

In the rainy Pacific Northwest, our roofs need cleaned every other year or so to remove moss and prevent further growth.  If your house is located by tall trees, you will have branches and leaves fall onto the roof.  As those organic materials deteriorate, they facilitate moss growth and eventually will weaken the integrity of your shingles reducing its life.  Roof is very expensive to replace so if you can you should pay attention to your roof.  Also make sure your gutters are clean and not filled with debris blocking the water flow.  Once it’s too full, it will cause leaks and overflows, potentially causing a rot to soffit boards behind the gutter.  Overflowing water can also seep into your foundation and crawlspace, that can potentially cause foundation issues down the road.  Hydropressure is a very bad thing in soil with structures on it.

Update your interior

When buyers look for a house to buy, they are attracted to modern upgrades especially in the kitchen and bathroom.  Remodeling kitchen and bathroom is not always easy and can be a costly job.  However, some jobs can be done by DIYers or don’t cost too much to hire a contractor without going through an extensive renovation.  Changing cabinet door handles, installing granite countertops, and upgrading kitchen and bathroom sinks are some upgrades that will bring you a great ROI.  Upgrading trims and baseboards is another low-cost improvement that can freshen up your living space.

Paint the exterior

A fresh paint goes a long way to make a house look attractive.  Painting is also required every few years to prevent water intrusion into sidings and walls that can cause rotting.  Some people can paint their own house on a summer day.  When you do, make sure you do a thorough preparation by sanding any peeling old paint and repairing sidings first.  It’s all about prep work when it comes to painting.  Additionally, don’t leave brush marks.  Brush marks look very unprofessional and undesirable.  You need a paint sprayer and lots of plastic coverings to do a clean and professional job.  If you live in a second story house, hire a professional because you will likely be on a ladder all day.  Lots of accidents happen due to misuse of a ladder.

Landscaping & Decks

Landscaping can be either an easy job or a very daunting job for a homeowner.  For the most part, it involves simple tasks such as raking leaves, dumping barks or gravel in the backyard, and maintaining your lawn.  Daunting jobs can include fixing drainage issues, repairing and rebuilding outdoor stairs or concrete patios.  Decks also require constant maintenance.  Every other year or so, it needs pressure washed so all the organic growth can be removed.  Every 3-5 years, decks need refinished.  Make sure to repair rotting deck boards and joists.

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Peter Park

I'm a realtor with attorney experience representing buyers and sellers throughout the Portland metro area.
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