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High Country Real Estate 

Spring springs next week and the clocks sprang forward this past Sunday.

Did you change the battery or batteries in your smoke detector or smoke detectors? If not, stop reading, go grab a ladder and some batteries and change them. 

You back? 

OK. Good.

A lot of real estate columns and blogs will give you tips and tricks and advice on the best improvements to make to your home to “add value” to your investment. Likely, this column will too, eventually.

But, first let’s talk about a few things that are not nearly as glamorous as heated floors in the primary bathroom or an outdoor kitchen on your newly installed veranda.

Instead, let’s talk about things that are not nearly as “sexy” but are far more important to your investment. Not to mention the health and safety of you and your family.

Things like keeping it from burning down. 

Like…keeping batteries fresh in the smoke detector. There are some systems where the smoke detectors are hard wired; those are great! But in case of electrical failure, keep a battery back-up as well. Traditionally, the time to check those has been encouraged at the time change, which used to be roughly every six months, but now occurs at four and eight month intervals. There has also been discussion of eliminating the time change all together. Perhaps, after today, adopt the 4th of July and New Years Day as your new days to check your batteries?

While you’re at it, test your CO2 detectors. That doesn’t impact home maintenance, but is very important for your family’s health.

Fire is fast. It can do a lot of damage quickly. But the most destructive force on earth is water. It can do a lot of damage quickly, in floods. Or a lot of damage over time in small amounts consistently. Regularly check the caulking around tubs, showers, sinks, and toilets. If there are cracks, fill them. If there are plumbing leaks, fix them immediately. Small leaks lead to big problems.

You probably have a set route you enter and exit your house. You go out on the porch to have your coffee in the morning. You go out the front door to get those coveted Amazon boxes. You go out the side door to get to your car to go to the grocery store. But when was the last time you walked the complete perimeter of your home? Try to do this at least once a month. Look for any standing water, any change to the grading, any change to the foundation. 

Spend a little more and get the high quality multi-month furnace filter. Change it per the manufacturers recommendations. A little more frequently if you have pets. If it is a good quality filter and used properly, it will make a difference in your energy consumption. Not only that, your Heating and Cooling system is one of the most expensive components in your home and clean filters help it keep running smoother longer.

These are just a few small, easy things you can do now that can help keep your home happy and your investment happy without a lot of money or energy. Take small measures before you need big solutions!