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Property Maintenance Versus Improvement

Photo by Kookkai_nak and FreeDigitalPhotos.netProperty Maintenance Versus Improvement...what's the difference?

A common question that homesellers will ask when they're getting ready to sell is "What types of things should we do in order to get our house ready to put on the market. What will give us "more bang for our buck". For many, the response is surprising as we bring clarity to what is considered "home maintenance" versus "home improvement". Home maintence items don't increase your house's value, where home improvements will.

Home maintenance are things done around the house, that must be done, that don't add any value. When we think maintenance we often think about chores like recaulking the tub, cleaning the gutters, washing the windows. Many sellers are often surprised to learn that home maintenence also includes replacing the roof, the septic, or resurfacing the driveway. These are the weekly, monthly, annual maintenance items that come with home ownership. Like caulking the tub, replacing the septic doesn't inherently add any value to your home.

If the maintenance around the house isn't complete, you stand to see the house lose value. If there are two competing houses in the same neighborhood with everything equal except that one has a new septic and roof, and another doesn't, the house that hasn't had the maintenance is worth less than the house that has. When you put your home on the market you're competing with other like homes for the buyer's interest. The expectation would be that the roof would be done and that they wouldn't be moving into a leaky house.You lose money on lack of maintenance, you do not gain on maintenance.

An improvement done to your home would include projects like remodeling the kitchen or the bathroom. Let's go back to our theoretical neighborhood again. Take the maintaned house from above, and another house that has had the same maintenance AND has also had the improvements of kitchens and baths done. Which house has an increased value? The house with the maintenance AND the improvements.

If you don't do the ongoing maintenance to your home your house stands to lose value. Take care of those maintenance items along the way and you'll be in a better position (with better value and asking price) when it comes time to sell.

Melissa Rolland is a licensed Connecticut Realtor. She lives in Tolland, along with her husband Todd, a licensed Broker. Together they manage the Rolland Realty Group at Keller Williams Realty and can be reached at

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Todd and Melissa Rolland

REB.0758600 Office: (866) 408-8059

Rolland Realty Group @ eXp Realty

265 Grahaber Rd
Tolland, CT 06084
(866) 408-8059