Q1 Home and Finance Maintenance Checklist

Let’s face it – not everyone has included “take care of my investments” in the New Year resolutions, so here are a few things to consider as we get ready for Spring Cleaning (although we can argue that it already feels like spring, right?):

 

Maintenance

For the first walkthrough, make sure you take a notepad, a rag, a vacuum cleaner, and a screwdriver. As with all maintenance, safety first. If you feel that this is not within your realm of possibilities, make sure to hire a pro to help you with this.

  • Check for broken or missing electrical plates. If any screws are loose, make sure to tighten them up.
  • Check for missing, discolored, or loose caulking, specifically around bathtubs and in the shower.
  • Check your fire extinguisher(s) – if they’re past the expiration date, or if the charge is about dead, mark it down for replacement. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, consider one for a “what-if” scenario.
  • Vacuum – using the right attachments – your vent covers, under and behind the fridge – and wipe clean lightbulbs, ceiling fans and shutters
  • Cabinet drawer pulls, locks, doors should be inspected for loose screws. Door hinges should be checked and properly lubricated (whether graphite or the manufacturer’s recommended oils).
  • Make note of the size and amount of AC filters that you have – filters are typically replaced every 3 months. Buy them and change them.
  • Count the number of Carbon Monoxide and smoke detectors you have – that will give you the number of batteries (typically 9V – the square ones) that you’ll need to get from the hardware store. Replacing these not only you’ll be protected, but will avoid the annoying chirp or voice that prompts you to replace them.

 

Financial

  • Make sure that you have everything you need to prepare your Tax Return. January 31st is the deadline for entities that need to provide tax documents for you to place your W-2, 1099, or 1098 (for mortgage interest, for example) in the mail, so you should have everything on hand now. Organizing your tax packet will be appreciated by your preparer – or yourself, if you do it yourself!
  • If  you haven’t done an insurance policy review in a while, now may be a good time to do so. As we shared in the past, it’s always healthy to shop around.  Jessica Robertson from Liberty Mutual provided us with these home insurance rates to give you an idea of the current premiums look like. Keep in mind that insurers do offer a lot of discounts based on life events or the number of policies you have with them.
  • Keep an eye on your home assessed value – Your county’s assessment district sets the appraised value early in the year EVERY year (in fact, you can check it out in the CAD’s portal – Montgomery County  Harris County), and although homestead properties (i.e. your main residence – see article on homestead exemption) are capped by law to increase up to 10% in assessed value, you may contest and appeal your home’s assessed value, with the right facts and data. Stay tuned to our next article on how to do this – and when it’s a good idea to hire a professional.

 

About Danny Sanchez

Joining Rianne's award-winning team after a successful career as a Program and Operations Manager for a global outsourcing firm (with Fortune 100 companies as his primary clients), Danny has seen The Woodlands grow to what it has become today since 2001. An advocate for innovation and perfecting the Best Possible Real Estate experience, he understands very well that clients always come first. In his own words, "success looks like clients feel that they don't have any needs - because you've more than anticipated them."