A house in good order can help my clients to insure their property and belongings at great rates. Perpetual investment is the necessary perspective that I emphasize. Regular and timely upkeep is paramount to preserving their properties for future generations or enabling the properties to turn a profit if the owner decides to sell. The best way to ensure success is to keep selling in mind when considering maintenance—regardless of the owner’s intentions. These five essentials can help in maintaining or increasing the value of one’s property, be it home or business:
Face it! The first impressions of a blind date affect whether or not that date even gets a sincere conversation. Curb appeal for property is the same. No matter how structurally sound the foundation, how wonderful the floor plan, or how upwardly mobile the area, if the first impression is a negative one, then you provide a mental strike against your own objectives. I stress that the outer appearance be attractive and full of possibilities. The exterior is the ticket to the interior.
If the exterior still needs painting, then I would mention siding options as an investment for clients. The Pink Floyd mural in the den probably rocks, but not so much when you’re considering to sell. Select neutral colors in a finish that resists stains to extend the five-year rule quite a bit. And don’t forget the ceiling!
Consistent cleaning contributes to the longevity of the property value, as well as pest control. Tidiness helps to identify potential problems easily. I can’t be aware of an infestation if I’m the biggest rodent in the house. Pack rats attract other rodents and nesting insects. Cleanliness aside, I suggest annual professional treatment for termites.
Ideally, appliances should be energy-efficient and have at least a decade of foreseeable use, especially big ticket items like heating and cooling ventilation systems and water heaters. Insufficient plumbing defeats the purpose of newer, more efficient appliances. If investing in plumbing—quality materials being a given—I suggest double sinks for the kitchen and master bath (and a bidet is very forward-thinking). I also recommend convenience and modernity, not necessarily top-of-the-line or state-of-the-art.
The roof is a costly investment that is worth emphasizing. Depending on the materials used, a roof can last from 15 to 50 years. Routine inspections, repairs, and, if necessary, replacements, are absolute musts. The only question to ask is “how often do you want to replace it?”
Since we are mortal beings, a house or place of business is ultimately an investment for future use by other people. I help my clients to realize the maximum return on it and the benefits of insuring it by ensuring that the replacement value does not exceed the coverage provided. I set up annual policy reviews for just that reason. I also suggest that they schedule a routine inspection of the property at the same time. The policy may vary from state to state, but these tips apply nationwide.
The rabbit hole of insurance coverage goes much deeper than these five essentials. Visit our website to learn more about property and casualty insurance pre-license training.