Winter can be a nightmare when you do not prepare for it as it comes with rain, snow, ice, and cold weather. Winterizing your home when temperatures are dropping is never a good idea. So, you better prepare a winterize your home checklist during fall in preparation for the cold season. A good winterization plan involves checking your HVAC system and other mechanical and structural components to ensure that they are in great shape. For this, you might need the help of home remodel contractors who will take care of these more complicated things. But how else can you prepare for winter? With these winterize your home tips, you will only get to enjoy winter and the festivities that come during this season.
Make use of a real estate and rental property calculator
Winterizing is a costly affair therefore you need to have some funds set aside for it. Therefore, when buying or leasing a home, you need to use a real estate and rental property calculator to find out whether the cost of winterizing the property you are interested in is factored into the overall cost of procuring the house. If not, you may want to identify ways to raise money to fund this essential activity.
Outline things to consider when buying a house with tenants
You need to familiarize yourself with tenant rights, your obligations as a landlord, and the procedures involved in changing or terminating a tenant’s lease. When you buy a new property with tenants, you need to know that the terms of tenant leases do not change. A tenant lease is an agreement that binds them to the land where the property occupies and not the owner. So, you cannot legally raise the rent, kick any tenant out, or modify the lease agreement. However, when a tenant has a month-to-month lease, you have the liberty to raise the rent at the end of the month if you feel like it. Additionally, you must ensure that your tenants stay in a habitable environment.
The law requires you to perform all the necessary maintenance activities to ensure that your house is at acceptable standards. For instance, you should ensure that the HVAC systems, plumbing, and electricals are well maintained. You also need to check the structural elements such as floors, walls, elevators, and stairs to ensure that they are in good condition. You wouldn’t want your tenants having a hard time during harsh seasons like winter or summer! You also have to ensure that your tenants have access to running water, heat, and hot water at reasonable amounts. Lastly, you need to manage environmental hazards such as asbestos and lead paint dust so that your tenants are safe.
Familiarize with depreciation rules for rental properties
Depreciation allows you to reduce the costs of improving the property over its useful life which in turn tends to reduce your taxable income in the long run. This process begins at the moment when a property is availed for use as a rental. In the United States, rental property has a depreciation rate of 3.636% for 27.5 years. While you can depreciate the value of buildings, you cannot do the same for the land it occupies!
Take care of the outdoors
Winter can ruin your outdoor furniture and equipment such as gills greatly. Thus, you need to get movable pieces into the building. If you lack sufficient space, you can get covers to protect these elements so that they are still functional come the next season. While at it, you can get a snow blower to inspect them regularly as the snow falls to ensure that your covers are working properly.
Save your energy bills
You can call your power company to get them to perform energy saving assessments on your property. Often, this service is rendered for free. The assessing representative will inspect your house to see areas that need improvement to make your property energy efficient. Most of the time, they recommend the use of LED light bulbs and water heater blankets to lower the utility bills.
Have the gutters cleaned
The best time to have the gutters cleaned is immediately after the fall of the last autumn leaves. Clearing out the gutters from dirt and debris often prevent them from clogging. It also facilitates the melting of the snow to prevent your roof from damage.
Prepping up for winter requires that you do everything that you can to protect your property from ice and snow and make it live-in friendly for people. Therefore, make use of these winterization tips to avert costly repairs and lower your energy bills!