Americans are talking about their homes, and homeownership in general, frequently these days. Rising interest rates, price drops, landlord headaches, and tax implications to name only a few issues. One discussion, however, remains consistent among all the chatter – the need to repair and maintain homes and surrounding property effectively and efficiently.
Read on for a comprehensive list of to-dos for your property this spring season, including unique situations for New Mexico homes, such as adobe-style houses and desert landscaping. You’ll also discover that home improvement projects are within reach with competitive home equity loans or HELOC financing from credit unions whose loan officers often share the same experience as homeowners in neighborhoods just like your own.
Check & Inspect
Spring is the perfect time to take stock and outline an agenda for repairs and refreshes to your home. Use the following suggestions to ensure the safety of your home and kickstart your spring cleaning:
- Winter can take its toll — check your home’s foundation for cracks or holes, look for damage to siding, and keep an eye out for peeling or chipping paint.
- Drip, drip, drip — look for evidence of water leaks in your home including stains on the ceiling or walls, dripping faucets, or damp spots around your home’s foundation.
- Stay safe — test each smoke and carbon monoxide detector to determine if it is operating properly. Replace batteries if necessary or as a matter of routine, once in spring and again in fall.
Touch Up & Replace
Small repair jobs are within the skill set of most homeowners and can pay dividends in the form of savings on more extensive repairs down the line:
- Paint touch-ups – adding a new splash of paint to areas of your home like your front door or an accent wall can add to your home’s curb appeal and overall look.
- HVAC filters – swap out air filters to maintain the healthy air quality in your home and to reduce allergens. Consider having your unit serviced at regular intervals with an HVAC professional to keep your system in its best condition and ensure that it’s operating at maximum efficiency.
- Light fixtures and hardware – keeping up with the recent trends in the look of your living space is an affordable and fun way to create a more stylish and cohesive look in your home, while also helping with resale in the future event that you decide to sell your home.
- Maintain landscaping equipment and spruce up the garden – trimmers can sit idle during the cold months. Sharpen blades, switch out oil, and replace damaged or worn parts. Spruce up your landscaping by picking up fallen branches, leaves, and other debris and trim down excessive growth.
- Refresh caulking – bring areas like bathrooms, including bathtubs and sinks, up to speed by recaulking these high-traffic areas. It’s a low-cost and low-skill opportunity to spruce up the look of your home while helping to prevent damage by keeping water away from areas that it shouldn’t penetrate.
- Spring breeze – the new season will have you wanting to open your windows instead of cranking the air conditioner. Replace torn or damaged window screens and do patchwork on drafty windows or doorways.
Clean & Organize
In modern times, it is considered self-care to keep a home clean and decluttered. Gain peace of mind and consider the following ideas for your next spring cleaning:
- Garages and cabinets – these spaces are easily turned into de facto storage units by busy families. The good news is that a wide variety of solutions, including ceiling-mounted storage units and innovative shelving, are available at affordable prices and can help free up much-needed space in your home.
- Outdoor furniture and spaces– patio chairs, tables, and other furniture are built to withstand the elements but they don’t clean themselves. Clear out spiderwebs and debris around awnings and outdoor doorways, and consider power washing your deck, patio, or siding to give a home a newer and fresher appearance.
- Gutters and downspouts – A ladder and a pair of gloves are all you need to clear out the leaves, twigs, and other debris that accumulates in roof gutters over the winter season. Keeping gutters clean prevents water from backing up and causing potential damage to your roof or foundation.
- Unwelcome visitors — termites, rodents, and insects are an unfortunate reality of desert living. Protect your home with regular pest control measures such as traps and sprays.
Go Big & Go Home
Some repairs and refreshes to your home are beyond the capabilities of many homeowners. Don’t let big or dangerous jobs prevent you from enjoying the benefits of home improvement and the return on investment that they provide:
- Chimney inspection and maintenance – a professional can inspect your home’s chimney for creosote buildup (more common in adobe homes) and clean it effectively.
- Roof cleaning and repair – climbing to the top of your home is often best left to professionals. Have your roof inspected for leaks, missing or cracked shingles, damaged flashing, loose tiles, and other indicators of wear and tear. Check your homeowner insurance policy for details on more significant repairs or even a roof replacement, if appropriate.
Looking for a better deal on home insurance? Get your free quote from TruStage and learn more about home insurance options today.
Living Large in The Land of Enchantment
Living in New Mexico may be a privilege but still requires commitment and discipline from homeowners. Extreme heat or cold, high winds, dust, and even small seismic activity can take their toll on New Mexico homes. Some special considerations for New Mexico homeowners include:
- Adobe is a porous material that reacts to changes in temperature by contracting or expanding. This can lead to cracks in walls which should be inspected by a professional who can determine whether they have any impact on the structure.
- Flat roofs are a common and valued feature in New Mexico. Be extra vigilant about inspections and quickly address leaks to prevent water damage to the interior of your home.
- HVAC systems may need to work harder in well-insulated adobe homes. Consider quarterly inspection plans with a qualified and well-reviewed local HVAC specialist to maintain the integrity of your system.
- Adobe homes are often built on foundations of adobe or brick which may settle or shift over time or in reaction to the weather, including seismic activity. Keep an eye out for signs of cracking or shifting and act promptly to repair any defects.
- Coyote fencing, a favorite of New Mexico homeowners, should be inspected regularly for broken poles and loose wiring. Use a soft-bristled brush and a mild detergent and rinse with a hose or pressure washer. Apply a weatherproofing sealant suitable for cedar to protect it from elements and to expand its lifespan.
- Add a layer of mulch to your desert landscape to help retain moisture in the soil and prevent the growth of weeds. Use a slow-release fertilizer according to manufacturer instructions to give your plants a boost of nutrients. When choosing what to plant, consider tried and true options like cacti, succulents, and wildflowers to also add color and variety to your garden.
Looking for ideas to have fun outside your home? Check out our guide to Low Cost Summer Trips & Activities To Do In Northern Mexico.
Let DNCU help you finance your next home improvement project!
An ongoing commitment to your home’s upkeep will improve both the look and condition of your abode, contributing to your property value and neighborhood aesthetic. Schedule a consultation with a Del Norte mortgage lender to learn more about how HELOCs and Home Equity Loans can finance your home improvement projects today!
We are a member-owned and community-focused credit union dedicated to improving the lives of our members in New Mexico with competitive products and an unmatched commitment to member service. Check out our full range of products and services on our website at dncu.com.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. For advice regarding your specific financial situation, please consult a financial planner or a trusted financial professional.