Tips For Being A Better Home Owner
Efforts a homeowner can do to improve the value of their home, their street and effectively their neighbourhood.
It’s that time of year where you may still be on a high from your recent new year’s resolutions and changing a few things in your immediate environment. The itch for buying a new home or renovation is on the cards for many homeowners as a result of this too. The year has just started, the holiday is long forgotten, and you need to do something with your living environment to make it feel better/different. Just to make some kind of change. Change is as good as a holiday, they say.
Renovations don’t always have to be massive. It could be anything as small as hanging those pictures you’ve been meaning to for the last year, a garden overhaul, building a braai room or even that added baby room. If you’re not outright selling & buying a new one from scratch of course!
But changing the way you participate in your neighbourhood can also have a huge impact on your feel-good factor for your home.
Be part of the neighbourhood groups and be vigilant of the safety of your and neighbouring homes. This does not necessarily mean you have to go out on patrol. Keeping an eye out and reporting anything out of the ordinary to your local neighbourhood Whatsapp group, or even on the Facebook group. Most neighbourhoods now have these readily available.
Being part of these groups are not necessarily only about safety and security, but a great place to see what is happening in your neighbourhood – such as restaurant specials, or new restaurants, gyms, yoga classes or even dog walking groups!
Speak to Neighbours
Get to know your immediate neighbours and who regularly visit their home. For example domestic or gardening service. That way if anything is out of the ordinary you can alert them. They of course will do the same for you when you do start talking to them more regularly.
Keep it Clean
Pick up litter you see in the street. It’s a great way to be a role model for others in your neighbourhood, and also keep it nice and clean. A clean neighbourhood or street is a sought-after one!
Spit & Polish
Keep your house exterior neat. The exterior of a house is usually the last area to get love and maintenance – unless of course there is a specific pain point, such as a leak in your roof. But keeping your exterior neat and tidy alludes to a well maintained home – and one that will fetch a higher valuation. Other areas that assist with a good looking exterior include weeding the curb, trimming any hedges and fixing any broken fences or gates – besides the obvious paint and plaster.
Plan Your Renovations
Freehold houses tend to have a lot more leeway when it comes to renovations and build extensions, than their sectional titled counterparts. Sectional title properties usually come with a bunch of rules and design regulations, and anything you choose to add or change needs approval from the Homeowners Association before it can go to council.
In both cases, you should have your renovation plans approved by the local Council. Once it is approved a warning prior to the build work commencement will most certainly be welcomed by your neighbours.
This can sometimes be tricky, depending on the type of neighbours you have, however, if the larger neighbourhood is seen tidy, clean and cared for – all houses within it will benefit from a higher valuation. Therefore if anyone decides to sell their home, it should sell faster and for a higher value if everyone works together. For example, if any home has a broken window or fence, encourage them to get it fixed. One could even offer your neighbour assistance in keeping their exterior neat – especially where those neighbours might be elderly and unable to keep up with the regular maintenance.
Being a better homeowner to yourself and your neighbours will have a lasting positive effect not only on your own psyche but those of your neighbours as well.