Your Home’s January Honey Do List

Home Improvement

Let's start 2019 off on the right foot with this list of January resolutions for your home.

Ah, the month of resolutions! Your personal honey do list is sure to be filled with ambitious goals for 2019: get back to the GYM, take control of your diet, but what about your home? This month, round up a January to do list to make sure you start the year off right.

1.  Nix Indoor Condensation

- Look for indoor condensation on windows and take corrective action. 

- Invest In a Dehumidifier. One of the best ways to combat humidity is to purchase...

- Keep the Fans On. Fans provide low energy circulation which can push humidity out of the air.

- Take Shorter Showers. This is the option that nobody really wants to do,...

- Check For Leaky Pipes. Sometimes excess humidity can be...

2.  Make a maintenance calendar – Review warranties and product material to check on recommended maintenance for furnace, equipment, appliances, and tools. Mark your calendar to track scheduled upkeep and service.

3.  Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize – After the holiday decorations come down, your walls can feel a bit dull and empty. January is a great time to add new home decor accessories, like fresh throw pillows or framed photos of the past year’s activities.

4.  Get ready for the big game – Now’s the time to get ready for the ultimate game day. Here are 5 winning football party ideas that will score big.

Display Your Team Colors

This isn’t just any party, so put your team colors front and center! Colorful paper plates and napkins are just the beginning. Check your local dollar store for inexpensive balloons, koozies, tablecloths, and more. If you want to go all-out, why not set up a football-themed photo booth? Create a simple backdrop with streamers or a bed sheet and add a few simple props (footballs, helmets, pom-poms, etc.). Etsy is a great source for inexpensive, printable photo booth props, which can be customized using your teams colors.

Give Everyone a Good View

There’s nothing more frustrating than missing a big play, so make sure every guest can see the TV. If you have a small New York apartment, this can be a little tricky. Before your guests arrive, survey your home and gather extra chairs, benches, ottomans, and even floor pillows. Test out each seat for maximum visibility and make adjustments, if necessary.

Score with Great Food

A great football party isn’t complete without amazing food! Football Sunday can get rowdy, so keep the spread casual and easy to serve. Individual servings of classic favorites make it easy for your guests to grab a bite and get back to the game — think sliders or little cups of dip. Dress up your food with these free football party printables. Take it easy on yourself, too. As your guest list grows, so does your food preparation time. Don’t be afraid to ask guests to bring a dish, pick up pre-made snacks from the grocery store, or even order takeout.

Encourage Guests to Show Their Team Spirit

Sure, everyone will wear their favorite jersey or T-shirt, but why not kick things up a notch? A few fun props will break the ice and get guests talking. Set out mini footballs, face paint, foam hands, and pom-poms. You could even give out a mystery prize (a plastic trophy filled with candy, perhaps) for the guest who displays the most team spirit!

Keep Kids Occupied with Crafts and Games

Four quarters can feel like an eternity to kids with short attention spans, so keep them busy playing games or making a craft. Put out some board games or small toys. For kids who are more interested in the game, pass out football bingo cards. A classic team pennant is a simple craft kids will love. All you need is some inexpensive felt (check your local craft store), glue, and scissors. Create a sample pennant to get them started.

5.  Organize your files – While most paperwork is now maintained digitally, it’s still important to make sure you’re organized and backed up. Take an afternoon to sort through online statements, contacts and emails that piled up over the holidays. And after all of that hard work, be sure to back up to a hard drive or cloud service.

6.  Sort and toss – Take time to sort through your toiletry products in the bathroom and food items in the pantry. Toss anything that is old or expired and start fresh for the new year.

7.  Warm up your home – In many parts of the country, we’re dreaming of ways to add a little extra warmth around the house. Whether it’s adding weather stripping or a smart thermostat, easy ways to make your home warmer and cozier this winter are just the trick!

Smarten Your Thermostat Up – Without fail I always forget to lower my thermostat before I leave for work in the morning, but when I do lower it I come home to an icebox! There’s a fantastic new smart thermostat called “Nest” that learns your schedule, programs itself and can even be controlled from your phone. Nest converts have indicated it has lowered their heating and cooling bills by up to 20%.  Many other smart home products are available besides Nest, get busy this month to check them out.

Cook more – With our inevitable exodus indoors during the wintery  months, baking pies, cookies and cooking dinner home will make it a whole lot warmer around your kitchen area. And seeing how more and more homes are coming with open concept kitchens, your main living area will most certainly receive the dual benefit of warmth and awesome smelling food.

Light it Up – Incandescent light bulbs are said to give off 95% of its energy as heat rather than light, making them simple ways to add a heat source to your home. Compact flourescent and LED lights will help save you money, but aren’t helpful in warming a room up. You can either screw them into your regular light fixtures or buy a few new lamps to liven things up!

No doubt there are countless other quick ways to stay warm indoors this winter. What are your other favorite hacks for keeping a warm home this winter without breaking the bank?

8.  Ready to Move? Do this first – If you’re thinking of selling your home in 2019, make it a resolution to collect these top pieces of valuable information well before the spring real estate rush.

Gather your receipts for improvements and repairs – This is excellent information that will help you fill out your State Property Disclosure and will also disclose any repairs made to the property. Your Property Disclosure is an opportunity to show buyers the extensive improvements that have been made to your home.

HOA rules and regulations – Have a copy of your Home Owner’s Association Rules and Regs so this can easily be shared with interested buyers or provide buyers and their agents with a link to the HOA website for up to date info.

Mortgage documentation and info about any Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) – When you obtain a contract on your home, the closing office will need all of the information about your mortgage and any additional loans on the property (mortgage company name, loan #s, etc.).

A 1-page home “brag sheet” – List any improvements you have made to your home whether major or minor including redesigns of rooms, new flooring, bathroom updates or anything else that you can “brag” about your home.
Warranty information – If any major improvements have warranties this could be very desirable to a buyer.  For example windows with lifetime warranty or a roof with a 25 year warranty.

Provide your Realtor with details about outdoor features – Pool, landscaping, irrigation systems, outdoor kitchens, fireplace, etc. These items have become very important to buyers and the more information they are given, the more excited they get about your home.

Tell the story of your neighborhood – The neighborhood website, walking trails, etc. In Memphis there is special neighborhood called High Point Terrace that has a street called Aurora Circle and Mimosa.  Theses treets have hosted the 4th of July parade for decades and even have their own “mayor.”  Everyone wants to live on these streets because of this, so make sure tell the story of your street.

Remember how it felt when you first bought your home – You wanted as much information about the home as possible.  Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and try to provide as much documentation as possible.

If you are having trouble remembering any issues or repairs made to your home, walk through each room – A tour of each room and the exterior will help you remember any changes and repairs or issues that have come up while you lived there. If you have had any

Homeowner’s Insurance claims, be sure and provide all documentation to your Realtor.

Always remember:  disclose, disclose, disclose – Be sure not to withhold any reports or information about your home. What may seem minimal to you may seem major to a buyer.  Oversharing is always good practice when selling your home!

Whether your ready to sell or buy, these tips will work for everyone, even those who are staying right where they are for 2019.  Contact me for more home buying, selling tips, and resources.  Wishing you a great year.

Melissa Dooley

Excerpts from VICTORIA KEICHINGER JAN 2, 2017 and Sally Isom with Coldwell Banker Collins-Maury in Memphis, TN who has a handy list of 10 pieces of valuable info.