Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Is your home ready?

Is your home ready? Ready for what? Spring? To list for sale on the market?

Hard to believe that spring is finally here. The trees are just now starting to bud and finally, finally we are starting to see warmer temperatures. I was almost wondering if we would ever get out of all the ice, snow, and below 0 temperatures. But one thing that spring brings is the realization that now is the best time to get your home ready to show, even if you are not planning on selling it.

Deferred maintenance is one of those things that most all of us hate to admit, but we have it. Yes, it plagues all of us especially in the spring since we realize that all of those little things that we meant to do but were to cold to do are starting to build up. I hate working in the cold. Therefore, as I look around, everything needs to be cleaned from all that dirty icy mess. Windows, carpets, even the dust seems to be thicker in the spring. As I look closer, the paint is starting to peel in places, the garage is full of clutter, oh my there's a leak under the sink!

So how do we get all this stuff done that has piled up in the winter and yet still have time to go play in the park, go to the lake, or a round of golf? The tasks can be quite challenging looking at the long list that you, or your spouse has compiled. But if you break it down into segments it can become a little more manageable. Create a checklist. Or get a copy of mine by e-mailing me.

I don't do windows. I hate it. Don't know why really, maybe the squeaking of the glass just gives me the creeps. So, as I was breaking down my list, I decided to delegate some of those tasks like cleaning the windows to a pro. What I found was that for about $4 to $6 per window, a pro will come out and make them shine like they were new. No falling off a ladder, no streaks, and I don't have to listen to that annoying squeaking of glass. Now I know it costs a little bit, but clearly worth it.

There are so many services available to do all kinds of things if you just look for it. Break down what you don't mind doing and find someone to do the more daunting tasks. I just found a service guy in town who will clean and organize your garage. In a matter of hours they will transform that mess into a neat and organized haven. Everything labeled, sorted, and put in its proper place. Wow, now that is a service. It's not cheap though, a 2 car garage can cost $500 and up depending on how much clutter one has collected. But hey, when you come home from playing golf at least you can park you car in the garage.

A cheaper route that also can be effective is hiring the 16 year old down the street that needs gas money. He/she may not be quite as fast as a pro, not quite as reliable, but it is still just a garage.

It doesn't just start here in your own home. You know me...I do property management too. See my video podcast on how to check up on your rental properties and make sure that they are in a good condition too.