When it comes to your financial portfolio, few assets matter more than real estate. While you obviously need to be diversified with the stock market, insurance, and other financial products, it’s your home that makes up a large percentage of your net worth. Are you treating it like the investment it is?
Protect Your House as an Investment
If you want to know how important homeownership is in the grand scheme of personal finance and wealth building, look no further than a recent New York Times report that states the average homeowner in the U.S. has a net worth of $195,400. By comparison, the average American renter has a net worth of just $5,400 – 1/36 of the typical homeowner.
There are multiple reasons for why homeowners have a larger average net worth than renters, but the most basic explanation is that they own an asset that historically appreciates over time. In virtually every market within the United States, real estate values appreciate over every 10-year period. In thriving cities and suburbs, homes can double or triple in value in just a matter of years.
But in order to make sure your home is a strong investment, you need to protect it. This means taking care of its major systems, protecting it from disrepair, and keeping it up to date with evolving styles and standards.
Here are some of the specific actions you should be taking to protect your investment in the years to come:
- Protect the Foundation and Roof
You could argue that no two elements are more important to the value of your house than the foundation and roof. Not only do both of these elements cost a lot to repair or replace, but any issues with them can cause thousands of dollars of damage to other systems inside your home.
If you have a crawlspace, it’s important that you regularly inspect your home’s foundation for any signs of damage. If you notice issues, immediately call in a professional for an inspection.
The same goes for your roof. At least once or twice per year, make it a point to visually inspect for signs of damage. Look for buckling of shingles, soft spots in the roof, mold, mildew, and other signs that something is out of place.
- Have Your HVAC System Maintained
Your home’s HVAC system is important on multiple levels. In addition to keeping you cool in the summer and warm in the winter, it also has a direct impact on your home’s indoor air quality. In this sense, it can significantly hurt or help your family’s health and wellness.
To keep your HVAC system functioning properly, invest in regular maintenance. While there are certain tasks you can do on your own – such as replacing air filters – other tasks will need to be handled by professionals.
- Keep the Kitchen Updated
No room has a greater impact on your home’s value than the kitchen. It’s the gathering spot in the house and one of the first rooms prospective buyers go to. If you want to maximize the value of your home, make sure you stay up on the latest styles. Modernizing your kitchen every few years will help you keep your home up to date.
Give Your House the Attention it Deserves
Whether you’re a handy homeowner, or you don’t know which end of a hammer to swing, you need to commit to protecting your home as an investment. By paying attention to key systems and elements of your house, you can maximize your net worth and pave the way for a brighter, more promising tomorrow.