Millions of people became new homeowners in 2020, with Homelight’s Q2 2021 survey showing that home purchases by new homeowners rose 14% from 2019 to 2020.

If you’re one of those folks, you probably want to make sure that your home retains its value and grows as an asset over time. To do that, real estate agents would recommend that you take the cool but not frigid temps of the fall as a great time to assess what your home needs and line up assistance for any tasks you can’t DIY. Welcome to homeownership - getting to know your home early is the best way to save cash going forward.

Do an Assessment of the Exterior Wood, Siding, and Roof

Any excellent real estate agent would tell you that the biggest source of damage and cost in homes is from neglected or deferred maintenance, often to the outside of the home. If you fix a small issue with a roof, that roof might last for years and years; if you neglect it, the resulting water damage in the interior attic could cost thousands to fix.

Start this fall by getting an estimate on repairs to any visible roof damage or wood damage on the outside of your house. If you get those repairs done, boost your curb appeal by renting or borrowing a power washer and really cleaning the mildew and dirt from your siding. Make sure you use low pressure, stay at least six inches away, and aim for a 40-degree angle on any siding materials that could be easily damaged, like wood or stucco.

Analyze and Fix Any Drainage Concerns

Out in the yard, one of the biggest things you can do to protect your home is to analyze the landscape with your home’s foundation in mind. Landscaping grades shouldn’t slope toward the house, funnelling rainwater down to the pool around your foundation. Rather, work on creating slopes that move water through the vegetation areas of your yard, keeping them hydrated, while also routing the rain out and away.

You can also improve drainage by raking leaves frequently! Too many leaves can clog up normal drainage routes and make it hard for the water to reach the natural paths out of your yard.

Mulch Beds and Prepare Lawns for Winter and Next Year

Many areas of the United States reach temperatures that can threaten perennial plants if a particularly brutal cold snap rolls through. Protect your plants’ delicate roots with strong mulching. Mulch also keeps the weeds at bay for next year. As for lawn prep, aerating and reseeding a thin lawn are all good moves to make during the fall before the next spring season to make sure that you’re living in green pastures in the Spring.

As a new homeowner, the many systems you’re now maintaining on your home may seem overwhelming. However, a few basic checks and a couple of trusted professionals on speed dial can help you maintain your home in its best condition so that it serves you well for many years to come and you can sell it easily in the far future.