When the prices of homes in the market rose steeply, owners of residential properties became house rich. According to Yahoo Finance, data from Redfin shows that the prices of residential properties across the country increased by 24.8 percent from June 2020 to June 2021. The median selling price of homes reached $386,888. Because of this, the equity of homeowners likewise increased.
The CoreLogic Homeowner Equity Report for Q1 2021 reports that from the first quarter of 2020 to the first quarter of 2021, the average home mortgage holder increased equity by $33,400. This represents an annual increase of 19.6 percent. Since about 62 percent of residential property owners hold a mortgage, their collective gain in equity from the first quarter of 2020 to the first quarter of 2021 reached more than $1.9 trillion.
According to data from ATTOM’s Q2 2021 U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report, as of June 2021, the remaining loan amounts of 34.4 percent of home mortgages were 50 percent or less than their expected market value. This is considered being equity-rich. On the other end of the spectrum, mortgages with loan balances that are 25 percent over the property’s expected market value are considered underwater. In the second quarter of 2021, only 4.1 percent of mortgages were underwater. This represents a decrease of 6.2 percent from the second quarter of 2020.
Homeowners must, therefore, strive to keep their residential property values high, whether or not they intend to sell now or in the future. A high property value means high equity and, therefore, more wealth on the balance sheet. Regular home maintenance is the key to keeping the value of a residential property high. This means not allowing any part of the house and its surroundings to deteriorate.
The soundness of the building structure is a basic concern. The homeowner must periodically have an expert check the building foundation for any cracks or damage. Likewise, hire a roof maintenance service to check the roof and clean the gutters. They will prevent any leaks that will damage the roof and the interior of the house. Inspect all walls, both external and internal, for any cracks or misalignments. Check internal walls for moisture.
Hire a window-cleaning service to regularly clean the exterior of windows, especially those hard to reach, such as windows on upper floors and skylights. Always check the caulking of doors and windows to ensure that they are properly sealed against hot and cold air. Regularly clean the sidings by pressure washing and check for cracks or loose boards. If the paint is already peeling or otherwise deteriorating on the house’s exterior, it is time for a paint job.
Indoors, check for leaks everywhere. This includes the interior of closets and cabinets. Leaks are signs of some structural damage that needs to be identified and repaired. It can also lead to the growth of molds that are dangerous to the residents’ health. Ensure that cabinet doors and drawers open and close properly.
Regularly clean carpets and replace them as needed. Give the interior a fresh coat of paint when it starts to look shabby.
Home Utilities, Safety, and Security
Hire professional services to check and maintain the HVAC system, electrical system, and plumbing system. Ensure that all appliances are in good working order.
Install a fire alarm and sprinkler system as well as a carbon monoxide detector and alarm system. Keep a fire extinguisher in the house. Install bolt locks on exterior doors, as well as a house security alarm system. Check all these regularly.
Garage, Yard, Fences, and Gates
Keep the garage door in good working condition and presentable. Keep the garage clutter-free. Regularly check for pests such as rodents.
Keep the lawn mowed and regularly trim hedges and trees. Sweep up and discard fallen dead leaves. Check the driveway and any paved walks for cracks. If there is a deck or a patio, always check this for any needed repairs.
Keep fences and gates freshly painted if they are the type that needs painting. Some materials need less maintenance, as well.
A Well-maintained Home
It takes diligence to maintain a residential property throughout the year, but this comes with the responsibility of being a homeowner. The tasks are also satisfying because maintaining the home also means keeping it always comfortable for its residents. In addition to physical comfort comes peace of mind that the property is safe and secure, and the investment in it continues to grow in value.