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Is your DC Home Ready for Spring?

Regardless of whether you live in a single-family home in the suburbs or a sweet urban condo, there are still some basic must-do tasks that should be in your Spring Cleaning checklist. Regular upkeep helps you ensure your home (and your finances!) stay in good working order.

Time for a Deep Cleaning

The traditional spring-cleaning always involves a deep clean of every nook and cranny of your home. Make yourself a list of what you need to do, room-by-room, to make sure you don’t forget anything. Steam clean carpets, clean out dryer vents and under the refrigerator, clean ceiling fan blades and window blinds…pay attention to all the things that may get overlooked in your regular weekly sweep.

In addition to cleaning, it’s a great time to de-clutter! Clean out closets and get rid of any items you don’t need or no longer wear. Dispose of expired medicines properly, and get rid of expired food in your pantry. Donate clothes, furniture, and decor items that just sit and collect dust.

Schedule HVAC Maintenance

Your furnace has been running strong for a few months, but it’s likely time to replace or clean the air filter. As warm weather approaches, you also want to make sure your A/C is in good working order. An HVAC tune-up is recommended twice per year, when you transition from heating to cooling and vice versa. You can also turn the unit on, then listen carefully for any sounds that may be an indication that your unit may need service. Squealing or rattling is a strong indicator that you may have a part about to give out. Better to repair it before it causes more extensive damage to your system!

Cultivate Your Green Thumb

If you are lucky enough to have a lawn, whether a small patch or a large yard, you want to take care of it. Now is the time to rake up any debris that may have fallen over the winter, get rid of any dead vegetation in your flower beds, and apply fertilizer and weedkiller. Pull weeds in the flower beds, and add a fresh layer of mulch.

If you don’t have a yard, your patio garden will still need some attention. Discard any dead vegetation in your pots and planters, and prepare the soil for fresh plantings. You may need to discard some or all of the soil in the pots and apply new soil, since last year’s plants likely sucked most of the nutrients out of the potting mix. If you don’t have a patio garden, now is a great time to start one!

Clean Your Outdoor Furniture and Grill

If you want to be able to fully enjoy your outdoor space, you need to make sure that your outdoor seating and grill equipment is in good working order. Thoroughly clean your furniture with a warm soapy water and rinse clean. For your grill, follow these instructions to clean your grill and ensure that it’s functioning properly

Audit your Energy Consumption

Increasing the energy efficiency of your home is a great way to help control energy costs, no matter what the time of year. You can hire a contractor to conduct a professional energy audit of your home, which is a great idea if you are planning some major upgrades or updates to your home. However, Energy.gov offers a DIY guide that will help you identify potential energy drains in your home yourself. A properly functioning and well-maintained HVAC system is part of the equation, but you will also be looking for potential leaks around windows and doors, insufficient or failing insulation, unused appliance that stay plugged in at all times, and other common areas where homes lose energy. You can also replace all your light bulbs with LED or energy efficient bulbs, and install a programmable thermostat.

Finding the energy losses are just the first step, though. You also have to commit to fixing the things your find. Your local utility company may offer resources, such as rebates, low income assistance, and other resources, to help you make necessary improvements and repairs. There may also be tax incentives for certain upgrades.

Spring Clean Your Finances

This time of year, many companies are doing annual bonuses and salary increases. When was the last time you increased your retirement contributions or re-balanced your retirement portfolio? When was the last time you reviewed your budget and adjusted for changing needs? Spring is a great time time to tackle this project! If you are saving for a home, a wedding, or a car, or paying down student loans, clearing out the “clutter” in your finances will go a long way toward reaching your goal. Go through your expenses, and see what you can cut, to free up resources to save more or pay down debt. For instance, cutting cable is a great way to save money, but if you have subscribed to multiple services, such as Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, etc., then you may not really be saving all that much. Evaluate your needs and make adjustments to help you save more.  Could you save more by switching cell phone carriers? Do you eat out too much? Take stock now, and you’ll have all year to reap the rewards.

When it is time to sell or buy a home, having a local team you can rely on will make the process a smooth one. Call the Realtors® who love where they live and understand the local real estate market. ADMC Realty Group happily serves the communities in and around the Washington DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia areas. From start to finish, we’re here to help with all your Real estate needs. Give us a call at (202)596-8101 or email us at [email protected].

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