Monday, April 28, 2014

Mike Holmes: Maintaining Your Home Adds Value

What matters most when it comes to buying, selling, or staying in a home? For Mike Holmes, the answer is simple. Lipstick and mascara finishes such as flooring and paint can be changed, but the bones of the house should be the most important priority to any home buyer or owner. Structure is king, but there are also simple things that homeowners can do to add value to their homes. In the article below, Mike discusses tips and tricks that he recommends homeowners do to maintain their homes and add sell-appeal.
From the Ottawa Citizen:

 Mike Holmes: Maintaining your home adds value

Good bones most important, whether you're selling or staying

 Timely structural fixes such as roof repairs can help increase property value. Leaving them undone can scare away buyers.Photograph by: Handout, Homes Group
Postmedia News

Mike Holmes: Tips for increasing your home’s value.
Homeowners frequently ask me what they should do to make their homes more valuable. But what does “valuable” mean?
To me, making a home valuable means making it work for the family, making it durable so it lasts and making it more energy efficient so the homeowner pays less each month.
This might not always lead to a soaring selling price, but it will always lead to a happier homeowner. These kinds of fixes give you peace of mind — and to me and smart homebuyers, that’s priceless.
Still, if you’re planning to sell, here are some other tips that can increase value the right way.
1. Don’t curb curb appeal
Look at your property. Does it look shabby? Unsafe? Does the exterior of your home look like it needs some TLC, things like tuck-pointing, brick or stucco repairs?
When it comes to a house, if the outside looks bad, you can bet the inside won’t be any better. The outside can usually tell you how much maintenance was put into the home overall.
Take care of entrances, including the garage and any side doors. Make sure entryways are safe, strong and secure — that also means properly lit. Make any repairs to walkways, steps, the driveway, as well as your home’s exterior. And don’t forget to clean up the yard.
2. Fix roof problems
If your roof is leaking, get it fixed by a pro and show home buyers the permits and warranties on the work. A good roofer will fix flashings, soffits, replace missing or sagging shingles — and let you know if your chimney needs repairs. Some of these fixes aren’t expensive; leaving them undone can scare away buyers.
3. Clean up
You can’t sell square footage that people can’t see. Buyers hate clutter, and the truth is it can affect indoor air quality.
I once worked on a job where piles of stuff everywhere were blocking the vents around the home and causing serious condensation issues.
If you’re selling, get rid of everything you don’t need. Have a garage sale. It doesn’t have to cost you a dime, and you might even make a few bucks.
4. Repair walls
Simple fixes such as filling in holes, fixing baseboards, repairing trim and applying a fresh coat of paint go a long way — but do it right. If your home has electrical problems, fix those first. Once that’s done, repair the drywall with products that are free of, or low in, volatile organic compounds..
5. Replace foggy windows
No home buyer wants to see a foggy window; it’s a sure sign something is wrong. The seal between the panes could be broken, or maybe it’s a cheap window, or the framing around the window needs repairs. Any of these problems lead to heat loss. Or, maybe the home has ventilation issues.
Replacing windows can cost thousands of dollars, but it’s one investment that pays off. If you use a pro, get guarantees and warranties on the work. Also, use your energy bills to show potential buyers just how much more energy efficient your home is — their offer just might go up.
Remember, buyers will change the lipstick and mascara of a home to suit their taste, but the structure and building envelope is what they are investing in. Granite countertops and hardwood flooring don’t matter when there’s a leak in the basement or a hole in the roof.
Watch Mike Holmes on Holmes Makes It Right on HGTV. For more information, visit

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