Protecting Your Home Investment

The largest single investment most people make in a lifetime probably will be the home they buy.

As an investment, it has the potential to grow in value with each passing year. Nationwide, for example, the median price of the average existing single-family home has risen steadily each year for the past several years.

The extent to which a home appreciates depends in large measure upon the upkeep put into it. Blight or deterioration, if allowed to take hold, can greatly reduce its value. Making your home a showplace will encourage neighbors to maintain their properties as well, with the net result that all the investments in your neighborhood will be protected.

Some evidence of blight includes:

Deteriorating foundations

Fireplace chimneys that bulge or settle because of defective material or deterioration

Broken, rotted, split or buckled exterior walls or roof coverings

Broken windows, railings, steps and outside light fixtures

Chipped, peeling or dirty paint

Poorly maintained lawns, shrubs and trees

Improper disposal of waste, litter and debris

Faulty or missing gutters and downspouts

Cracked or missing segments of sidewalk


The list is by no means exhaustive.

Maintaining and repairing your property can be an expensive undertaking, but the failure to maintain your neighborhood can be more costly. Let your financial situation guide you determining which repairs to make, and which to delay until you are better able to afford them.

Home repair and improvement financing is available and comes in many forms. Be sure to check which are available in your area, and shop for the best terms. In general, short-term improvement loans usually are best for financing most home repairs.

A long-term loan or mortgage should be considered when financing a major home improvement, such as a room addition. Also look into the possibility of extending or refinancing your present mortgage for this purpose.

A local financial institution can assist you with advice and information regarding a home improvement loan.

Your property and your neighborhood are far too valuable to be allowed to deteriorate for any reason. So make a start -- no matter how small -- to protect that investment today!

Illinois Association of REALTORS? National Association of REALTORS? Realtor MLS Equal Opp