SUMMER TO-DO LIST
1. LANDSCAPING- Landscaping can improve your homes outward appearance and definitely create a first impression for potential buyers. Many local garden centers often have sales on perennials later in the season. It’s also best to hold off until later in the season for most other lawn care practices, including fertilizing, seeding, thatch control, and applying weed killers. The period from late August through early September is ideal for many of these practices.
2. DECKS – Decks have become an extremely popular, low-cost way to add living space to a home. Decks make it convenient to enjoy sitting outside day or night. They open up the home and facilitate entertaining and outdoor dining. Yet, decks are also subject to the damaging effects of weather. As such, deck maintenance is critical to prevent discoloration caused by dirt, moss, algae, and other plants. Summer is the perfect time to have your deck cleaned, power-washed, or resealed.
3. ROOF – This is the perfect time to have your roof professionally inspected and/or repaired/replaced. Winter, especially in Vermont, is very hard on your roof. You want to ensure that your roof is able to handle the snowfall that Vermont winters produce. Curling shingles are a telltale sign that your roof may need to be replaced.
4. GUTTERS and DOWN SPOUTS – Make sure that your gutters and down spouts are free from debris. Use long barbecue tongs to reach in and remove any debris that may have gotten stuck in your downspout. Re-attach any that have become loose, again in preparation for the heavy snow that winter brings.
5. BASEMENT – This year in Vermont many homes were affected by statewide flooding. Even if you weren’t, many Vermonters get moisture in their basements after the spring runoff. The summer is an ideal time to get estimates on waterproofing and to ensure that your sump pump is operating properly. Other maintenance items may include: running a dehumidifier, applying waterproofing paint, or even sealing the concrete floor. It is important to run a dehumidifier in a musty (smelly) basement while your home is being shown as to not turn off any potential buyers.
6. FURNACE – Many licensed HVAC companies offer discounts for servicing your furnace in the summer months. The busiest time of year for them is in early fall so beat the rush while you can! This is also a good time to change your filters.
7. AIR CONDITIONING – While it’s true, many Vermonters don’t have central air conditioning, it is important if you do to ensure that any debris, shrubs, or weeds are not growing around the unit. It is a good idea to replace or clean your filter and especially more frequently during the season if you have pets. The same is true for window air conditioning units. Simply remove the front cover and vacuum or replace the filter.
8. EXTERIOR JOINTS – Caulk exterior joints around all windows and doors. Caulking helps keep the house weather-tight and reduces energy bills. It can also help keep insects and vermin out of the house. As well as prevent the water to penetrate through small cracks.
9. HOT WATER HEATER – Water heater maintenance is easy to overlook because the tank just sits there and has no moving parts to worry about. To keep your water heater operating correctly, and to extend its life by years, you need to carry out regular maintenance to minimize rust and calcium carbonate. Therefore, it is advised to drain and clean your tank once yearly. Another item to check when carrying out annual maintenance is the pressure relief valve. This is a valve on the side of the tank near the top. It should be connected to a pipe that directs the water down and away from the tank so that scalding water does not spray a person if the valve releases due to excessive pressure. There are lots of websites out there that explain how to do this, and if in doubt, call a professional.
10. POOL – Pools are a popular destination during the summer months. Take this time to be sure that tiles and grout are in good repair, or that linings are free from holes in the case of above ground pools. Check your pool’s chemistry often. That means twice a week during the summer. And don’t forget to clean the pool skimmers often to make sure you get the best circulation, a must for any healthy pool. Many clients ask me if installing the pool will increase the home’s value; the short answer is no. There is a very large portion of the population that is afraid of water, doesn’t enjoy swimming, has small children, or that just doesn’t want to take on pool maintenance. Therefore, if you’re going to install a pool, do so for your own personal pleasure and not for resale value.
If you are not comfortable with performing any of these maintenance items listed above, there are many professionals out there that would be more than happy to help you! As always, use common sense and follow all safety guidelines.
In the extreme heat of summer sometimes the real estate market tends to slow down a bit; but if you are a Buyer in this market, it is a great time to find a bargain. Other Buyers are not out looking because they are away on vacation or involved with family activities and this means less competition for you! If you’re trying to Sell during the summer months, is important to make sure that your home shows well and is cool. Put out fresh flowers, run fans/air-conditioners, or open windows! If you have any questions or if you need names and numbers of maintenance professionals I would be happy to assist you!
Please feel free to contact me for all your real estate needs, and stay cool!
Bye for now!
Dave Chenette, Broker/Realtor