Local News and Information Archives for 2023-03
Spring is the perfect time to make the outside of your home look like the best on the block. Outdoor upgrades will enhance your house’s curb appeal and deliver a more substantial return on investment if you’re trying to sell. Some exterior projects may require the help of a professional, but many solutions are simple and affordable.
First, review your home’s appearance as if you’re a potential buyer, taking note of what you see. What features of your home’s exterior can benefit from a simple touch-up? To help get you started, consider these makeover suggestions:
Grass. Real estate experts say a lush lawn makes all the difference in appealing to neighbors and buyers alike. Fortunately, keeping up with your yard throughout the year can be easier than you think. Before you mow your lawn, inspect the height of your mower blade and adjust as needed to ensure the grass is at least 3-4 inches tall after mowing. Taller grass will help keep the soil cooler and allow the roots to grow longer to retain moisture better and reach nutrients.
Lighting. Landscape lighting can enhance your safety and make your house dazzle at night. A well-planned setup can transform an ordinary porch into your new favorite hangout spot. Another option is to brighten your walkways with pathway lighting. If you’re worried about installing electrical wires, there is a wide range of solar lighting options.
Paint. A fresh coat of paint can enhance your front door, garage door and window trim. However, if your front door is worn and showing age, it might be time to replace it. A new door is one of the easiest home improvement projects to tackle with a high return on investment.
Grime. A thorough cleaning of a home’s exterior can have a major impact on curb appeal. Invest in a high-powered pressure washer or hire a local professional to give your driveway, front steps, walkways and siding a once-over. You’ll be amazed by how much cleaner they can get.
Extra Greenery. Planters with vibrant spring colors can make a big impression on the any-sized porch. While homeowners with covered porches may seek out hanging planter options, those with uncovered porches can explore using planters of all sizes. A creative presentation can make your home memorable if you experiment with arrangements.
For more suggestions about improving your home’s curb appeal and for a list of local professionals to tackle the projects top on your list, visit our member directory.
Professional home builders construct homes to last. However, over the decades homeowner needs and preferences evolve. If you’re a homeowner who has recently purchased an older home or spent decades making memories in your current home, you’re not alone. The median age of owner-occupied homes is 40 years, according to a National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) analysis of America Community Survey estimates.
A closer look at the nation’s housing stock data reveals that many properties may be due for an upgrade. A little less than half of the owner-occupied homes in the nation were built before 1980, with around 35% built before 1970, according to NAHB. In contrast, new construction added nearly 8.3 million units to the national housing stock from 2010 to 2021, accounting for only 10% of owner-occupied housing stock in 2021. Chattanoogan homes skew even older than the national average with the median age of homes being 1974 and over 58% being built before 1980, according to the latest Census data.
Taking steps to modernize your home isn’t only about interior design changes like removing shag carpeting. Any improvement project, big or small, can make your home more enjoyable and increase your comfort level. Updating your property also has the potential to add value to your home. According to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value 2022 Report, upgrades such as a siding replacement, a small kitchen remodel, and windows or entry door replacement provide a great return on investment and add to a home’s resale price.
It might be challenging to know where to start if your home needs significant upgrades. A professional remodeler can provide a wealth of experience and solve any design challenges you may encounter during your project. Home remodeling frequently involves problem solving, such as maximizing existing space, strategically building additions, or navigating limited budgets. Professional remodelers help homeowners manage such challenges and meet their needs while staying within the budget. To find a professional remodeler in our community, visit our member directory.
Those first daffodils and the layer of pollen on your vehicles signal that spring will be here before you know it. As mother nature continues to play her yearly game of highs and lows, inspecting and cleaning your home during the transition to warmer weather can make any household easier to manage. By dedicating just a few days to completing these simple tasks, you will keep your home running smoothly and protect your investment at the same time. To get started, here are five ideas to help you spruce up your home for spring.
Refresh Your Windows. As the weather gets warmer, it’s vital to ensure your windows are in good working condition. First, inspect all windows for proper operation and a tight fit. Next, clean the window tracks with a handheld vacuum or microfiber dusting cloth. If you have window screens, gently wash them with mild soap and water. Next, check that the weatherstripping hasn’t cracked or torn. You can reduce your energy bills by up to 10% by sealing leaks in windows and doors.
Schedule an Air Conditioning Tune-up. Have your air conditioning system inspected and cleaned. If your system has a filter, replace it. A good rule of thumb is to change your air filter every three months to keep your unit working efficiently, more often if you own pets. If your HVAC system is in good shape, consider other ways to keep your home cool as the weather turns warmer, like adding curtains, shades or blinds to windows.
Prepare for Unwanted Pests. Warmer weather also means that pests – including ants, roaches, rats, and termites – will be looking to join your household. Keep them out by sealing cracks and openings along baseboards, behind sinks, and around pipes and windows.
Inspect Your Roof. Severe weather can take a toll on your roof. Experts recommend checking your roof for any signs of winter damage from ice, snow, or debris. Remember to take special care when using a ladder to inspect your roof. Read and follow directions carefully.
Clean Your Gutters. Long winters bring a mix of storms and heavy winds that can carry a lot of debris to your gutters. Leaves, small branches and twigs can clog up your gutters and downspouts which can lead to damage and leaks over time. Cleaning gutters in the spring and then again late fall is recommended to keep your gutters in the best condition.
To find an industry professional to help with spring cleaning and home maintenance tasks, visit the HBAGC member directory.
A home is one of the most significant purchases a person will make in their lifetime. There is no question that the cost of purchasing a home has been challenging recently. Yet, despite some affordability hurdles, many individuals continue to buy a house to invest in their future. According to a National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) analysis, in the fourth quarter of 2022, nearly half (46%) of prospective home buyers were actively engaged in the purchasing process. Additionally, Realtor.com recently ranked Chattanooga in the top 10 housing markets positioned for growth in 2023.
As Chattanoogans begin their search for homes, one of the buyers' first decisions is if they should purchase a new or existing home. Older homes may offer charm or might be in a preferred location, but existing homes generally need upgrades, costing homeowners more money in the long run.
An NAHB analysis of recent census data found that a third (35%) of owner-occupied homes were built before 1970. Building standards have changed a great deal over the decades, almost as fast as technology has evolved. Due to this evolution, new homes can accommodate today’s advanced technology and be customized to meet an individual homeowner’s needs. And knowing that the house was built by a qualified professional to adhere to the latest safety codes gives the owner added assurance.
In addition to being built to the most recent safety codes, today’s homes are more energy efficient than ever. With innovative materials and construction techniques, new homes are built to be much more energy efficient than homes constructed a generation ago. As a result, not only can they be more affordable to operate, but new homes also are significantly more resource-efficient and environmentally friendly.
New homes also have adapted to modern homeowner’s needs. The pandemic changed the way most individuals live, work and play. And new homes available on the market today are designed to accommodate a variety of lifestyles, from busy on-the-go families to flexible spaces ideal for spending more time at home.
For more information on purchasing a new home and to connect with home builders in our community, contact us here at the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga.
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