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Ask Adam: Being a Proactive Homeowner

Ask Adam header This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Adam Gallegos of Arlington-based real estate firm Arbour Realty, voted one of Arlington Magazine’s Best Realtors of 2013 & 2014. Please submit your questions via email.

Q. What can we do keep in mind as new homeowners to maintain the value of the property? Are there things we should be thinking about twice? I’m just trying to be proactive now rather than looking back and wishing I had done XYZ, if you know what I mean?

Maintenance is the No. 1 thing that comes to mind. As a homeowner, you are tasked with a myriad of new responsibilities. Keeping up with these tasks will extend the useful life of systems and materials in your home. It will also help you avoid expensive surprises.  Below are the Top 10 maintenance items I often see get neglected:

  1. Once or twice yearly servicing of heating and air-conditioning systems
  2. Replacing HVAC filters as directed by the filter manufactures
  3. Cleaning and staining of deck
  4. Regular painting of all exterior trim
  5. Regular painting or staining of wood exterior doors and wood garage doors
  6. Sealing of granite or other natural stone countertops
  7. Winterization of outdoor hose bibs
  8. As-needed cleaning of gutters
  9. As-needed trimming of trees and shrubs around the home
  10. Maintaining proper water diversion away from home and retaining walls

Be sure to keep all your receipts so you can show potential homebuyers how well you have maintained the home. If you decide to make improvements to your home, I highly recommend working with contractors licensed to do the work you need them to perform.

You’ll also want to make sure that they are pulling and completing any permits required by Arlington County. Again, keep all of the paperwork for your records. If you are thinking about upgrading your home, I recommend doing so in time for you to enjoy it.  Not just to sell the home.  Even though the return on investment may justify the cost to upgrade, part of the value is your ability to enjoy it.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of

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