Safety and maintenance

Modern homes have many features that older homes did not have in the past. It is always fun to see an existing intercom system in the older homes that I show to buyers. While cell phones have made intercoms obsolete, there are new items that make living in your home more pleasant. 

Some safety features becoming more common in homes are the doorbell with a camera and carbon monoxide detectors. If you have a wood-burning fireplace or any natural gas or propane appliances, having carbon monoxide detectors is very important. Be sure that you also have smoke detectors located throughout the house with fresh batteries.

Normal household maintenance should include having your fireplace checked every year or so to be sure it is still intact and safe to use. A professional chimney sweep can take a detailed look and clean your fireplace out for you, which can prevent house fires.

Be sure to replace your Air Conditioning filters once-a-month. This prevents many issues that arise and can be very expensive in the long run.

Another costly repair that is fairly common in Huntsville are foundation repairs. When you notice a shift in floor level, sloping and cracks in your walls, look into having it repaired as soon as possible. Taking care of foundation issues as soon as they arise will prevent severe repairs later on.

If you are getting close to needing a new roof, consider spending the money on a metal roof that lasts much longer and is very attractive with today’s design styles.

There are a couple of convenient upgrades you can do to your home. Installing a combination lock on your front door makes it easy for all family members to get in, without having to carry their key on them. A keypad on your garage door also provides the same convenience.

When making upgrades to your home, energy efficiency is a plus. The lower your electricity bill is, the better for you and potential buyers in the future. When you have to replace your HVAC system, purchase a unit with a higher seer number. Also, consider installing a heat pump which provides efficient electric heat when the cooler temperatures are mild. The gas furnace is great when it gets really cold and using emergency electric heat strips can make your electric bill skyrocket.

If you decide to replace windows or doors, use quality products like dual-paned windows that will keep the cool air in and hot air out. Consider having spray-in (not foam) insulation put up in your attic. It is an inexpensive way to lessen the heat and cold air that enters your home, lowering energy bills.

Upgrading your home little by little while you live in it is always a great plan. When the time comes that you are ready to sell, it will make the whole process easier.

Daiquri Beebe is a Huntsville resident and realtor with Abby Realty.