Happy (Re)New Year!

What makes New Year so magical? How can the dropping of a ball at the stroke of midnight instantly conjure hope and possibility? Spellbound by reflection and resolution, many snatch their clean slate and list goals believing, "This is the year!" Maybe this is your year. PL plug. 

I don't know why, but I get it. We want to be better versions of ourselves. We want to be happier, smarter, richer, more in love and–most importantly–look good doing it. "Working out" annually claims the top resolution spot. It's no wonder that gyms are blanketed by a blizzard of people in January only to thaw out by March.

Before the wave of foaming champaign confidence crashes into a beach body infomercial, I have one question. What kind of shape is your house in? The truth is houses age, too. While the rest of the country focuses on abs, is your home able to handle a few crunches?  

Here are few tips when it comes to "property fitness".

  • budget for repairs

Don't get caught empty handed when your furnace goes on the fritz. Anticipate repairs and maintenance and assign some dollars to those future tasks. Think of it as a kind of monthly  membership gym fee. Being proactive can save you money. Ever try to bargain during an emergency? It's tough. Venders can smell desperation. With enough time and prep, your may be able to do-it-yourself. Whatever the case, having that cash handy will alleviate some stress. 


You remember the home inspection report, right? It was a $300 stack of paper that put the fear of God in your home buying process...until you got the keys, moved in and everything was all better. Besides, you've been in the house a whole year (or two) and everything is fine (or not). It can't hurt to dust off the report and see what's been out of sight and out of mind. Bonus points if you have already addressed the issues; if not, make a list. If you never had one, get one. Your house needs to be checked for high blood pressure and hernias, stat!

  • Get rid of some $#!%

Fact: everyone poops. There's even a book about it. Unfortunately, houses cannot poop and depend on occupants to eliminate its excess and waste. Over time accumulation can obstruct access points, hide problem areas in need of attention and–worst case–become a fire hazard. A lean, clean home is easier to repair and leaves more time and space for making fond memories. 

This year, let's make more of an effort to renew our mind, body and shelter.