What’s your New Year’s resolution this year? Instead of making the same pact year after year to lose weight or eat healthy, why not make a resolution that sticks? If you’re a homeowner, consider making a commitment that can really save you money and improve your quality of life in the long run. Here are some of our suggestions for New Year’s resolutions for homeowners.
Get ahead on your mortgage
Have you ever thought about how much money you could save – and how much more quickly you could pay off your loan – if you were to put extra money towards your mortgage? If you were to make one extra mortgage payment a year, you could literally save yourself tens of thousands of dollars and shorten the amount of time you’re on the hook for those payments.
Challenge your property tax assessment
Has your home declined in value in recent years? Then you could be saving money on your property taxes. Be sure to review your property tax bill and note the assessed value of your home. If you feel the value is excessive, you can appeal. Visit your tax assessor’s website to find out how the process works in your area.
Review your homeowner’s insurance
Did you know that you might qualify for discounts on your homeowner’s insurance? If you’ve made any major repairs or improvements, you could be entitled to a discount. Contact your insurance company to make sure they have the most up-to-date information about your property. And if they won’t budge on the premium, consider shopping around for a new policy.
Audit your energy usage
Depending on where you live, you may qualify for a free energy audit. In some states, a nonprofit will come to your house free of charge to assess your energy usage and make recommendations about how you can save money. If that option is not available, you can hire a professional energy auditor. Even simple lifestyle changes, like switching to LED light bulbs or getting a programmable thermostat, can make a big difference in your monthly bill.
Tackle home improvement projects
Has your home’s to-do list gotten a mile long? There’s no time like the present to start tackling some of those home improvement projects you’ve been putting off. Some of the projects that are worth doing include:
- Sealing drafty windows
- Silencing squeaky floors
- Adding an alarm system
- Installing motion-detecting lights on the exterior
- Servicing your air conditioner
- Weather-stripping doors
- Cleaning out your dryer’s lint trap
- Changing the furnace filter
- Planting a vegetable garden
- Installing rain barrels to catch and save rain water
- Buying a compost bin and composting kitchen scraps and yard waste
- Creating a housecleaning schedule, and assigning chores to every family member
Take time to enjoy your home
It can be easy to get sidetracked by all the things you’d like to do for your home, but remember to set aside time to actually enjoy your space. Plan a party, invite friends over for a movie night, or simply sit on the porch and watch the sunset. You deserve to enjoy the home you’ve worked hard to own and maintain.