As the new year starts, let's check up on your biggest investment, your home. Are you updated with the latest changes and updates within your home? From plumbings, electrical outlets, inspections, and even taxes and insurances that involves your home are some of the important things you should never miss to check. On this blog, if you are a homeowner from Austin, we will guide you on the simple yet important things to do in 2020.
1. Clean Gutters
Clogged gutters can cause problems that can lead to serious issues such as ice dams, water damage or become a new home to pests. Clean your home gutters at least twice a year especially before winter starts. Carefully climb up the ladder and remove the leaves by using a leaf blower, garden hose, or by hand.
2. Roof Inspection
You might overlook this since the roof is one of the things you might not see until a leak happens on the inside of your home. Check up on your roof at least once or twice a year. With Austin's climate, know that there are months where heavy rainfall occurs so you better be ready and rather than spending hundreds on repairs. Call an inspector for leak assessments, routine maintenance, and proper drainage. Detect roof problems before it's too late!
3. Driveway Sealing
Weather, heat, and air are factors that can damage your driveway. Never underestimate small cracks as they could lead to another, and another, until it gets huge. Sealing your driveway, whether it is concrete or asphalt, can extend its life and prevent cracks and potholes from developing. You can either DIY or call a professional to help you restore the beauty of your driveway. Enhance your curb appeal by sealing your driveway and who knows, once you get to the point of selling your home, you'll get a return on investment on that.
4. Check Pipes and Sewage Flow
No one wants a clogged sink or a leaking pipe! Don't ignore small leaks as it can become a bigger problem which could cost a lot. Leaky faucets can cause higher water bills. Low water pressure? There might be a sediment buildup somewhere in your line. Another is corrosion that can be caused by physical and chemical reactions from the material of the pipe plus water. If any of these happens, don't hesitate to call a plumber right away to get things done and solved!
5. Inspect Electrical Outlets
Failed electric wiring is one of the hazards that can start a fire in your home and that is the number one thing you should look after. Electrical testing and inspections are ways to identify if there are faulty lines that could compromise the electrical safety around your home. It also helps protect against the risk of electric shock. Regularly having your electrical inspections and testings will ensure that your wires and line are safe to use. Check our list of utility companies in Austin if you are looking for a specific utility company that will help you with your home maintenance and repairs.
6. Homestead Exemptions
Now, if you are a new homeowner in Austin, Texas, don't forget to file your Homestead Exemption forms. Homestead exemptions remove part of your home's value from taxation, so they lower your taxes. Let's say, your home is appraised at $100,000 and you qualified for a $25,000 exemption, which is mandated for school districts, you will pay school taxes on the home as if it was worth only $75,000. You may apply for homestead exemptions on your principal residence.
Keep in mind that not all homes qualify for homestead exemption. Only the homeowner's principal residence qualifies. The home must meet the definition of a residence homestead whereas the homeowner must be an individual and the uses the home as his or her principal residence on January 1 of the tax year. There are several homestead options available which you may receive such as the following: school taxes, county taxes, age 65 or older and disables exemptions, optional percentage exemptions, and optional age 65 or older or disabled exemptions. Applications can be filed from January 1st to April 30th so don't forget about that!
7. Review the Homeowner's Insurance Policy
It is recommended to review your homeowner's insurance policy on an annual basis. This should be part of your home maintenance checklist from now on. Measure how much coverage you need. Are you underinsured? Do you know your policies? Are you covered if an emergency were to happen? Keep in mind that inflation happens too and insurance prices could rise in the upcoming years. Inspect what is not covered and you might be required to add supplemental coverage for that. Understand your liability coverage which can protect you against lawsuits for property damage.
Your home is your most valuable asset. If you are looking into purchasing a home and become a new homeowner in Austin, view our featured listings in Austin or get in touch with our Austin real estate agents by filling the form below!