What are today’s homeowners doing to make their living space more comfortable, their lives easier, and their financial situations less stressed? Economic uncertainty has spurred millions into action. Most property owners are looking for ways to improve their current location because moving is temporarily out of the question. That’s why people choose to get annual house inspections and tackle DIY repairs.
Staying in place makes more sense if you can take decisive action to remove household clutter, use built-up equity to cover a child’s college expenses, and improve your overall lifestyle. Additional strategies include automating HVAC and lighting to save money and add convenience, ramping up home security with the latest devices, adding a backyard garden or greenhouse, and taking advantage of potential savings from rooftop solar panels. Use the following suggestions to jumpstart your imagination.
Get Rid of Clutter
Removing clutter from living space has both financial and psychological benefits. There’s also a safety element for individuals at risk of falling. When you begin clearing out attics, basements, spare bedrooms, storage units, garages, and other parts of the house, it quickly becomes apparent that some items can generate income. Designate all potential money-makers by labeling them clearly and setting them aside.
Then, put them up for sale on your favorite online auction site. Avoid procrastinating by spending no more than 30 minutes per day on the clutter removal project. Within a week or two, you’ll see significant progress and will have opened plenty of space. The chance of tripping over boxes and piles of clutter will soon be a thing of the past. Plus, you’ll feel better about living in a more open and comfortable place.
Use Home Equity to Pay College Expenses
If you’re concerned about how you or your child will cover the high cost of a four-year degree, using a HELOC to pay for college could be the perfect solution to the financial dilemma. Homeowners can access favorable interest rates on lines of credit and use the funds for any desired purpose. Equity-based borrowing is less costly and simpler than standard loans from banks and other institutions.
However, using the accumulated value in a house is not a universal solution. Parents need to find out the facts about borrowing based on property ownership. After that, deciding if the strategy suits a particular financial situation is easier, like paying for a college degree.
Automate Heating, A/C, & Lighting
Automation is a simple, efficient way to boost your home’s comfort level and save money on utilities. Consider investing in an energy audit as a first step. It’s a reliable way to determine whether there are any leaks in floorboards, walls, doors, windows, and other components that tend to let air into and out of the structure. Then get busy installing a programmable thermostat and smart lighting systems to reduce monthly utility bills.
Get an Inspection
One of the advantages of custom home designs is that inspections are typically quick and easy as the home is brand new, but what about the inspection work on an older home? Annual inspections give you a clear idea of what needs to be done to maintain your home’s long-term value and safety. Regular inspections save owners money and help prevent major problems with foundations, roofs, and plumbing systems by discovering issues in the early stages. Fortunately, the price of a routine home inspection is quite reasonable. View the inspector’s bill as an investment in your most costly asset.
Add a Garden for Fun & Profit
Those who love gardening soon realize that they save money when they grow crops like tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, onions, cauliflower, melons, peas, and dozens of other edible plants. A small garden or greenhouse is a fun way to learn about nature and save a few dollars. Start small until you gain enough confidence to expand your backyard food garden or add a greenhouse.
Start Small With Solar Panels
The cost of solar energy arrays has come down in the past decade. At the same time, the technology behind the units has become more sophisticated and efficient. For consumers who place panels on their roofs or on the ground in their yards, that means more bang for the buck. It also means that today’s solar panels pay for themselves in a much shorter period, typically within five years for an average arrangement on a standard home.
For those without experience with the technology, it’s good to start small with just a half-dozen panels placed on a sun-facing section of the roof. Monitor power generation levels carefully for at least one year before deciding how many more panels to purchase and where to place them. Of course, budgetary concerns play a role in the decision, but most owners find that small or moderate-sized arrays can deliver energy savings that make an effort worthwhile.