Everyone knows that neglecting their yard or painting their house neon pink could make their home less valuable. But whether you're planning to sell, to refinance or to rent on Airbnb, here are five common mistakes to avoid:
Neglecting your hot water heater
A well-maintained hot water heater runs better and more efficiently than a neglected one, leading to lower bills and longer life for the nucleus of your home's utility center. Add insulation and periodically flush the tank to remove sediment. A dirty water heater will wear out much quicker; a home inspection will catch this.
Installing a pool
Many homeowners assume a pool will pay for itself in the form of a higher asking price when they sell — especially in a hot climate. This is rarely true. Home buyers look at pools and see dollar signs. From security fences to vacuums to resurfacing every few years, a pool can be an expensive headache that actually lowers the value of your home.
Destroying existing value by 'remodeling'
Many remodeling jobs can actually destroy some of the home's inherent value, such as removing a seldom-used half-bath to expand the laundry room. Instead, look for cosmetic fixes, like painting existing kitchen cabinets and changing the hardware. Refinishing wood floors is another good fix.
Neglecting outside air-conditioner units
Another major mistake that devalues the outside of the home and leads to an increase in energy and repair costs is not trimming shrubs around air conditioning units. Overgrown shrubs block airflow, making the units run harder, which reduces the life of the units, thus decreasing the value of the home.
Not cleaning gutters regularly
Cleaning the gutters is absolutely necessary. Gutters carry water away from the home, its roof and foundation. When gutters are clogged, water finds the path of least resistance, which many times leads to irreversible damage when it seeps into the fascia board or foundation.