• Where do YOU Want to Live? How do YOU Want to Live?

8 am to 8 pm

Throughout The Week

DeDe Forwood - REALTOR® e-PRO®

HomeSmart 5225 N Central Ave #104 Phoenix, AZ 85012



Compare Listings

4 New Year’s Resolutions To Improve Your Home

4 New Year’s Resolutions To Improve Your Home

Whether you enjoy making New Year’s resolutions or scoff at the idea, there’s something inherently motivating about seeing a fresh page on the calendar. If you don’t want to join the masses who hit the gym or vow to go on a digital diet, you may want to resolve to set some goals on behalf of improving your home.

Chances are, you spend a lot of time in your home, so why not make sure it’s as energy-efficient, safe, and comfortable as possible? If you’re a homeowner, making some New Year’s resolutions—and then following through—may pay dividends all year long.

Take a look at four improvements that are easy to implement and won’t break the bank. In fact, some may even put money back in your pocket.

1. Conserve energy

If you’re not quite ready to install solar panels on your roof, you can still save energy (and money) by conducting your own energy audit.

Are lights often left on in rooms nobody is in? Is electricity powering things that aren’t even in use? Commit to turning off lights in rooms you’re not using and unplugging gadgets that aren’t being used or charged. According to Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC.org), Americans waste approximately $19 billion on inactive electronics or devices every year. From your coffee maker to your laptop computer, you may be squandering energy and dollars. Give a quick look around and see where you can conserve and save.

Moving on to larger items, be sure to properly maintain your heating and cooling systems so they’re operating optimally. If you have an older model unit, you may want to consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient system to save money and enjoy a more comfortable environment.

Also, look for leaks around your windows and doors. If you find any, caulk the drafty areas or consider installing new energy-efficient windows and doors, which will help you keep heat or air-conditioning in your home where it belongs.

Installing low-flow showerheads also allows you to cut water costs at the same time you’re conserving this precious resource.

2. Do a safety check

Knowing your home is safe and secure offers priceless peace of mind. If you didn’t change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in the fall, now is the time to do it. It’s also worth noting that smoke alarms have a lifespan of seven to 10 years, while carbon monoxide detectors last between five and seven years. If you’ve had yours for longer than these timeframes, it’s wise to replace them as soon as possible.

A seldom discussed, but just as real hazard, is your dryer’s lint trap. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, highly-combustible lint, which builds up in your dryer’s trap, accounts for more than 15,000 building fires per year. So make sure those are cleaned out.

But, just in case of an emergency, you’ll want to have an escape plan with two exit routes in place. If you haven’t worked those out, make it a priority in the new year.

Do an outdoor inspection and make sure all your stairs and railings are secure. Installing motion-sensing flood lights above your garage or in your backyard can make entering and exiting your home a bit safer for you, while at the same time deterring would-be burglars.

3. Deep clean and declutter

It’s not all about safety and savings, though! Making a resolution to love where you live can make your year more enjoyable, and a good way to do that is to give it a serious cleaning.

You can check this one off your list by simply hiring a house cleaner to do it for you. But if you want to save the money, just pick a room and get going. Work in manageable increments so you don’t feel overwhelmed. If you do, take a break but don’t give up. From washing bedding and windows to deep-cleaning your appliances and even your gutters, you’ll love the results that go hand-in-hand with freshly-scrubbed spaces.

To keep your place spic and span over the course of the entire year, set some small goals that ultimately make a big difference. For example, vow to put away all your clothing at the end of each day, deal with your junk mail the day it arrives, keep an ongoing donation box handy so you’re not holding on to items you no longer need or want.

4. Plan for the coming years

The new year is a great time to take stock of what needs to be fixed or improved in the future.

Could you benefit from a landscaping upgrade, new roofing, decking, or patio? How about painting or replacing furniture? If you’re outgrowing your current home, are you considering an addition?

If so, you may not be able to knock all of them off the list in the next year, but just resolving to do them and forming a plan can be worthwhile goal and achievement.

Once you have a list of what you want and need to get done, you can begin budgeting for these. From nice-to-have to the absolute necessities, prioritize your upcoming expenses so you can either start saving or looking into a home equity loan or line of credit.

Are you thinking about moving? If so, you’ll want to tackle those projects a buyer will notice, or a home inspector will surely catch sooner or later, so your home shines and fetches top dollar.

You don’t have to entirely renovate or remodel to enjoy home improvements. Start with these four resolutions, and by the end of the year, your home will be a better place to live.


DeDe Forwood

My name is DeDe Forwood, I am a Phoenix Real Estate Agent with HomeSmart. I traveled for 20 years in the entertainment industry as a Project Manager/ video engineer in major event operations.. After being on the road for so long, becoming a Phoenix Realtor® seemed like the perfect fit for my experience, attention to detail, love of helping people, and my passion for Phoenix! My background in project management and event operations is actually an amazing fit with Phoenix real estate. I'm someone who is both organized AND passionate about all things buying and selling homes in Phoenix.  My area of expertise is the Phoenix historic neighborhood districts, midtown, downtown and the central corridor. LISTING WITH ME, you get the passion of someone who is all about the digital age in real estate. With the tech-savvy experience of a digital marketer,  I offer my clients the cutting edge of technology that changes constantly, attention to detail, professionalism, fairness, honesty, integrity, and enthusiasm. BUYING WITH ME as your buyer's agent, you get every digital advantage to find listings quickly, the energy to go see them quickly. I've got the passion that only a customer service nerd can have, a love of all things real estate in Phoenix, the project management, and engineer's brain, and the tech-savvy-ness of a digital marketer.  Let's get you HOME!!

Related posts

Stuck at Home? Spruce Up Your Walls With These Paint Trends

With everything going on with the coronavirus pandemic, it’s looking like many Americans are about to be spending a lot more time at home. And as you spend more time at home, you’re also going to be spending more time looking at your walls—and you might decide they need a fresh coat of paint.

Continue reading
by DeDe Forwood

A Room-By-Room Guide to Organizing Your Home

f you face a daily struggle with finding your belt or that one shoe that always goes missing, straightening up your bedroom (including that cluttered closet and those overflowing drawers) can help you save precious minutes in the morning and look your best at the same time.

Continue reading
by DeDe Forwood

6 Ways to Protect Your Home (& Trick-or-Treaters) This Halloween

From spooky decor to candy galore, the Halloween season is meant to be a fun and festive time for...

Continue reading
by DeDe Forwood

Join The Discussion