The first of January marks more than the beginning of a new year. If you’ve been meaning to get around to something, putting off some necessary changes, or just want to start the year with a clean slate, January is the perfect time for homeowners to overturn your schedule and kick off the year with a strong beginning.
Your January can set the tone for the rest of your year, so try to spend this month making productive decisions. (Touch base with your real estate agent if necessary.) Here are a few ideas that can help you get off on the right foot:
- Get ahead on mortgage payments. It’s never too early to get ahead. If you have leftover money from Christmas and end-of-year bonuses, put it back towards your house. This can help you get a handle on the year, and you can focus your energies (and funds) on other things after the important business is taken care of.
- Request a new home valuation. Your home value changes every year, especially if you’ve spent time doing home renovations and upgrades over the last year. The new year is prime time to request a valuation, so you know exactly how much you’re putting into the exact home value as you start new projects. This is a good way to determine which home projects you want to take on for the new year as well.
- Review your home insurance policy. Home insurance policies should be reviewed yearly, and it’s a good idea to seek new quotes once every few years, to ensure you are getting the most competitive rates. The new year resolution is the perfect excuse to sit down and evaluate how you’re protected and what is covered under your current policy, in the event you want to add or subtract something from the policy. Do you need to adjust your coverage? Can you save money by switching to a different policy? Are you adequately protected by your current insurance? Ask the hard questions, and start the year off feeling safe. It’s better to know what you are and aren’t covered for now before you need the coverage and it’s not there.
- Cut costs by evaluating energy use, water consumption and other utility bills. Want to save some money this year? Evaluate the things you’re already spending money on. You might be able to skim some money off the top of your electric and utility bills. Establish new rules about energy use, look into upgrades for your appliances, and evaluate what you need and don’t need in order to cut costs where you can. It’s always a good idea to review where money is being spent, in order to save where you can. Reviewing your home insurance policy is another great area where you can save some big bucks, just by calling around and getting a few new quotes.
- Declutter your space. Don’t wait for springtime cleaning! If your space is messy, it can make it hard to focus and give you a case of hay-fever. Pick a day to clean up your house and office, and try to throw out as much paper, junk, and useless clutter as possible. While it may be tempting to buy new stationary for the New Year, try to locate all the stuff you bought last year. You might be surprised by how many post-its you’ve hoarded over the past year! Organizing on a budget can be made easy with a few simple adjustments, as mentioned in our blog organization on a budget!
- Choose one home improvement project to complete this year. No new year is complete without goals. One of your goals should always be home improvement. Fixing and improving your house can raise its base home value, make it more appealing to potential home buyers, and make it more comfortable in the meantime. If there’s a porch you’ve been meaning to replace, start putting back money to replace it this spring. Need a new water heater? Save up and opt for a more energy-efficient option by the end of the winter. These top five home renovation tips will increase the home value of your real estate immensely!
Don’t hesitate to set high expectations for the new year resolutions. While you should aim reasonably, pushing yourself to do better is always a good idea. Draft some projects, develop the most important ones, and try to allocate your funds in the most productive way possible. You have twelve whole months to achieve your goals!
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