How To Protect Your Real Estate Investment

Whether you're purchasing a home because you're looking to settle down or you're doing so as a real estate investor, there are a few things you should know. Real estate can be one of the best investments you'll ever make, or it can put you off of investing altogether. If you want more information on how to protect your investment, here are a few things you should do.

1. Buy the Right Insurance

Think about your lifestyle and how you are going to be using the property. Many people go straight for the insurance policy that costs them the least, but these policies can fail to provide adequate coverage. For example, did you know that some breeds of dogs may not be covered on your policy? If you are a dog lover and don't want to have our coverage cancelled because you or your tenant has the wrong type of pet, shop around for the right insurance policy.

2. Don't Slack on Routine Maintenance

It might be really tempting to skip cleaning out the gutters. Maybe your house doesn't sit under trees, so you think it's safe to neglect them. Maybe you're terrified of heights and can't stand the thought of climbing around up there. No matter your excuse, ditch it, because failing to perform necessary routine maintenance on your property like cleaning out the gutters can result in the need for major repairs. Damages like cracked foundations, rotting wood, leaky roofs, and flooding basements can all be caused by not cleaning out your gutters.

Other routine maintenance includes changing out the furnace filters and having it cleaned and serviced regularly, draining and cleaning the water heater, and thoroughly cleaning any chimneys. These may seem like big chores, but completing them will help protect the value of your investment.

3. To Repair or Upgrade? That is the Question

After a few years with your home, you may start to notice non-emergency repairs that need done. Maybe you have some cracking linoleum, some worn counter tops or that old swamp cooler just isn't cutting it any more. Instead of repairing what's already there, it may be worth it to invest in an upgrade. Tile or hardwood floors are more popular and valuable than linoleum, granite counter tops are expected in many neighborhoods now, and central air conditioning increases the resale value of your house. These types of cosmetic repairs are inevitable, but can give you an opportunity to improve your house and keep its value high.

 4. Don't Underestimate Curb Appeal

Not only does adding curb appeal make your house the envy of the neighborhood, it also increases its value. Putting in a little sweat equity to improve the way your house looks from the outside makes a great first impression, gets people to slow down and want to take a peek inside. Some items that are becoming expected in homes today are sprinkler systems, privacy fencing in the back yard, paved parking areas, and a yard that has some visual appeal. That doesn't mean you have to install a lawn. If you don't want to water grass all the time, at least put some effort into xeriscaping the yard to make it functional and visually attractive. 

There is a lot you can do to prevent depreciation of your property. Real estate is one investment that you can have an unusual amount of control over. If your asset isn't performing as you like you can take steps to correct it and get the most out of it, such as those steps listed here. So what are you going to do to protect your investment today?