3 Little Words Homeowners Love to Hear … and Why

Dept of Energy Solar Decathlon/flickrOwning your own home is a dream fulfilled … but it can also turn into something of a nightmare at times. Maintenance, repairs, renovations, fix this, replace that! The upkeep on your property can feel never-ending. Fortunately, there are few iconic moments that make up for all the hassles, such as when you are privileged to hear one (or more) of the following little 3-word phrases.

Fixed the leak!

Leaks may seem fairly minor in the grand scheme of things, but they should never be ignored. Whether that persistent drip, drip, drip comes from your shower, your toilet, or a hole in your roof, a water leak is unlikely to clear up by itself. It will only tend to get worse, leading to moisture and mold problems that are likely to cause serious – and costly -- damage to your home. If you are a knowledgeable do-it-yourselfer, you might try tackling the leak repair yourself. Otherwise, call in a qualified plumber or roofer and get this potentially huge headache nipped in the bud.

Here’s your rebate

Let’s face it, home improvement can get expensive. And going green with environmentally friendly appliances and materials seems to take even more greenbacks. However, in some cases, local utility companies and government agencies offer homeowners rebates, incentives, or tax credits (AKA “free money”) for making energy-saving upgrades, like installing a high-efficiency home heating and cooling system. These will vary depending on the region where you live, so do your homework before you buy.

What lovely decor!

Your home is -- or should be -- an expression of your personal style. Decorate to make it a comfortable, esthetically pleasing place for yourself, your family, and friends. Don’t be afraid to inject some individual touches – frame your kids’ most imaginative drawings to hang in your living room, display special vacation souvenirs, and paint your walls (or at least one accent wall) a bold and beautiful color that makes the statement Welcome to our uniquely lovely home. Guests will love the ambiance and you will too.

The handyman can

Feeling pressured and overwhelmed by all those pesky items on your daily to-do lineup? Well, first of all, take a deep breath. Then sort out tasks that you can delegate to make room for the essentials in life -- like work, family, and a little bit of “me” time. Turn your honey-do list over to a professional handyman. With his (or her) combination of job skills and equipment, it won’t take long to get rid of one major source of stress. Now if only you could do something about that annoying neighbor …   

We’re on schedule

Home renovation, the old saying goes, is heaven once you’ve finished but hell until you finally get there. Make your home remodel a heavenly (or at least tolerable) experience all along the way. Choose your remodeling contractor carefully, checking customer reviews and comparing several cost estimates. Be clear about what you want – and can afford. Make sure that both of you sign a written contract, specifying details of price, materials to be used, and a schedule of payments linked to project milestones.

For sale? Sold

Are you planning to sell your house? We wish you the very best of luck. Remember, though, successful selling is not primarily about luck. Curb appeal matters – it makes for attractive photos in your online real estate listing and brings house hunters to your door. Once inside, prospective buyers will be looking for signs your home is in good repair, for example a neatly labeled up-to-date breaker box and sinks that drain properly. (Yes, buyers may well examine the breaker box and run the water in your bathroom, but don’t worry, it’s all part of the home buying process.) Make sure your house is in the kind of great shape that will lead to a quick – and profitable -- sale.

Laura Firszt writes for networx.com.

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