Now that 2022 is underway, you likely have goals in place for work, life, and everything in-between. If you haven’t yet settled on home resolutions to reach your goals as a homeowner this year, we have a few ideas to help you brainstorm, and tips to keep you on the right path all year long. Check out our home resolutions below.
1. Upgrade Safety & Security Measures
From making sure your home is fire safe to installing a new outdoor security system, there are a number of ways you can make your home safer this year. Potential health hazards in your home can go unnoticed if you’re not paying attention, so if you haven’t made this a priority in the past, now is the perfect time to refocus on it.
For fire safety, you’ll first and foremost need to check and make sure your smoke detectors have batteries and are working properly. Although you probably already take dryer lint out of the lint trap after every load of laundry, it’s worth cleaning the dryer vents and ducts of lint every once in a while as well to avoid a huge fire risk over time.
Colorless, odorless deadly gases are some of the largest potential hazards within homes. For instance, radon can be difficult to detect without testing and is a known cause of lung cancer. Test kits can be found at most local hardware stores for as little as $20, so it’s definitely worth the effort of getting and using a test for your peace of mind. And while you’re at it, make sure you have carbon monoxide detectors on every floor of your home, which will help you detect any furnace or flue leaks before they become a major health and safety issue.
Lastly, upgrading your security system can help you and your family rest easier throughout 2022. Whether that means adding on video surveillance, using mobile control apps, or just checking an already-present system’s continued performance, a check-up or major upgrade will both help to ensure you have a solid plan in place in case of a security threat. And making sure your windows and doors are all closing and locking properly can help you feel safer in your day-to-day life.
2. Save on Energy Costs
Speaking of checking on your doors and windows, this check-up can also help in another home resolutions endeavor — saving on your monthly energy bill. Especially if you live in North Central Ohio like us, your energy costs can skyrocket in the cold winter months if you don’t have updated doors and windows or haven’t weather-proofed your home properly.
A few other tips can help in saving on energy costs and also make your day-to-day life greener. Don’t leave lights on that don’t need to be, only run your dishwasher or washing machine when they’re full, and turn off power strips when they’re not in use. Additionally, LED bulbs are more energy-efficient, and certain showerheads are more water-efficient.
Managing your air conditioning and heating systems better is another common way to save on your utility bills. Whenever you leave the house in the warmer months, make sure you switch your air conditioner off. And during the night in the cooler months, turn down your thermostat a little more than usual and opt to bundle with more blankets. Smart systems will allow you to set parameters so that these changes happen automatically, requiring less effort on your part.
Lastly, your landscaping can be a huge drain on your water bill if you have an automatic sprinkler system. Try turning on your sprinklers manually only when needed and avoid using excess water that your lawn doesn’t actually need in order to save more.
3. Clean Out Storage Spaces
From attics to basements and all the spaces in-between, making your home more clutter-free will help you to stay organized in 2022. Getting rid of things that aren’t adding to your daily life and making sure that new items you buy are ones that can last you a long time are great home resolutions to keep your home feeling light and refreshed.
Since your major storage areas probably aren’t given as much attention as other areas of your home, they can accumulate many things that you don’t need anymore. Starting your organization plan in these areas will free up space for you to store more items from the rest of your home once you start organizing other spaces.
New bins and shelving can help you to find a place for everything in your garage, basement, or attic. Since organizing can be pricey, you may want to consider covering costs by selling your items online (or in-person at a garage sale, if the weather permits).
4. Complete the Project You’ve Been Putting Off
Have you been dreaming about a deck for years? Or thinking about replacing the carpet, but it’s never been the right time? What about granite countertops or new appliances, or updating the master bathroom? Do you need a new roof, or windows, or anything else?
The laundry list of long-term changes people want or need to make to their homes is long, which can make homeownership feel overwhelming. Many people don’t know where or how to start tackling projects within their homes.
Determining which project to start with out of your home resolutions is two-fold. Which one would improve your day-to-day life the most? And which will improve the long-term value the most for when it comes time to sell?
High-return projects can range in scope, but often include smaller fixes that aren’t as large of an upfront investment. Consider refreshing your landscaping once the weather is warmer, or refinishing floors or cabinets while you’re stuck inside during colder months. Another typically low-investment, high-return project that will improve your daily life is a closet upgrade.
5. Save Up & Make Your Move
If you’re wanting to buy a new (or your first!) home sometime this year, then it’s definitely time to start saving up. Luckily, house down payments are lower than in previous years, and you may be expected to put only 3% down depending on the property.
Lifestyle changes like building ample savings into your monthly budget, automating money being moved over to your savings account on payday and not touching it after, cutting out your worst spending habits, and seeking opportunities for extra income can all help you reach your savings goals. These tips will help you move closer to your dream of homeownership every day just by making, spending, and saving more intentionally.
While you’re in this in-between period, it’s helpful to start thinking about what you’re actually looking for in an ideal house. Having a vision of what you want and a clear idea of what it will cost you is a great motivator for saving up over a long, tedious period of time.
Once you’ve saved up and are ready to take the leap, you’ll want to partner with a real estate agent you know you can count on to always act in your best interests. If you’re looking to find a new home in the next year, connect with one of our trusted real estate experts in North Central Ohio today.