HomeLife Articles

New Year Plans & Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions aren't just for improving your health and self-image - they're perfect for improving virtually everything about your home, from its market value to its energy efficiency.

New Year Plans

Furthermore, a fresh new 2014 household calendar can serve as the perfect map for plotting and implementing New Year's Resolutions virtually guaranteed to make your home better, safer, and smarter.

For example, the National Fire Protection Association and the U.S. Fire Administration advise that you should check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors at least once a month. Resolve to do so in 2013 with the help of your calendar: go through it today and mark one day per month for making sure these crucial safety features are in good working order.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average household spent $1,689 on general maintenance in 2012. A well-maintained home has a higher market value than a neglected one, so why not resolve to anticipate and address your home's maintenance requirements in 2014? For instance, clogged and dirty air filters and ducts for heaters and air conditioners bog down the systems that run them, resulting in wasted energy. Make it one of your New Year's Resolutions to clean your heating and AC filters and ducts every few months; assure that you'll carry through by writing reminders in your calendar now the mundane household maintenance chores you'll need to remember in the coming months.

New Year's Resolutions are all about looking ahead, and among things we can expect in 2014 are higher energy costs. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, appliances and electrical devices in the home were responsible for about 20 percent of the typical household's energy bill in 2012. An excellent New Year's Resolution for the home is adopt a methodic approach for improving its energy efficiency. Some of these steps are obvious, such as replacing high-watt light bulbs with energy-efficient lighting, blocking air drafts with weather stripping and caulking, and reducing your energy costs as much as five percent by lowering the temperature on your water heater by 10 degrees.

For elements that are less obvious or downright unpredictable, use your calendar to strategically budget an emergency fund for household repairs and replacing older appliances with new, energy-efficient models.

You can also use your calendar to plan for the upkeep of your yard, which ultimately improves your home's value in terms of curb appeal and outdoor living space. Write reminders in your calendar now for the proper pruning and planting seasons so that when spring, summer, and autumn arrive, your home will be as beautiful outside as it is energy-efficient and well-maintained inside - all thanks to your New Year's Resolutions for the home.

For more information about buying or selling a home, contact your local Carrington Real Estate Services sales professional today.

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