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Bought a Real Estate in Ann Arbor, Michigan? 8 Tips for Improving the Property

Updated on April 3, 2016

Ann Arbor, MI

Congratulations for making one of the best real estate purchases in your life! Welcome to Ann Arbor!

Tell people you live in Ann Arbor and they’ll probably think you’re a geek. That’s because Ann Arbor is known to be the Top 1 Most Educated City in the United States for the year 2015, and a consistent contender for the previous years.

It is one of those cities that offer first class IT education (thus the term geek), and it is also the motherland of the University of Michigan, which is said to be one of the finest universities and premier medical schools in the world.

Aside from it being an education center, it is also voted as one of the best and most livable cities in the United States. Although inhabited by highly tech savvy students and professionals, it is also appealing to singles and families because of the unique blend of technology and simplicity (charming feature of small, relaxed, quaint towns).

The adrenaline rush caused by buying a real property at Ann Arbor isn’t the end of the excitement. It is just the beginning of many things to do, and one of the first to take into account is improving the asset. Not only is it satisfying to live in a new abode, it is also self-fulfilling to be able to introduce changes that are based on your own personal preference and personality.

1. Hire professionals.

Improving your property can be either DIY or professionally-done. Ponder carefully about how you’re going to do this. If home improvement isn’t your thing but you want to go DIY because of costs, contemplate on this again. Most DIYs end up as disasters because of the lack of planning and lack of looking at a bigger picture. The advantage of professionals tinkering with your building is warranty, insurance, and maintenance (after service). Demand these from your contractors.


2. Work up your landscaping, garden, lawn.

Livening up your landscape with both nature and a little bit of technology greatly perks up the aesthetic appearance of your newly acquired asset. Usually when we talk about landscaping, we think about plants, flowers, grass, but considering that you live in Ann Arbor, it could be worthwhile including some non-living, techy elements too, like solar-powered LED lamps to have the flowers/plants look attractive at night.

You can also put solar-powered fake animals (birds, gnomes) and the like to enliven the site. If you are a fan of sci-fi movies, you can also implement a theme in your garden/lawn. If you don’t have the time to do it, look for a landscape professional who can transform your garden into something that fits your preferences and/or your personality.


3. Fence the property.

The main purpose of fencing is supposedly for security and privacy, but the aesthetics of the exterior of your structure should not suffer. Having your fence installed by the skilled workers is usually the most advisable approach. Not only does it ensure the durability of the structure; it also includes consulting and warranty.

The most common, basic, and appealing in neighborhoods in Arbor is aluminum. It is apt for any time of season, however it might not give you as much security (because of its malleability) and stability during severe weather. Ann Arbor is not frequented by damaging weather elements so this isn’t something to worry about. Other types of fencing applicable to Ann Arbor are wood, PVC, wrought iron, and vinyl.


4. Apply and/or assess the siding of your dwelling.

This is usually one of those not well thought about by property owners. A siding is the most external part of the building; it is not the wall. The siding is the “double wall”, the one that’s meant to protect, and insulate the external walls against the effects of sun and water, and other damaging elements.

Sidings only differ in the materials used. If you are the environmentalist type, wooden sidings are perfect. If you are looking for something metallic, then go for metal. There are also plastic sidings available. And if ever you can’t decide, combining these different materials will work too. But of course, if you want everything to be on point, find a siding company in Ann Arbor, Michigan to help you out.


5. Do external painting and/or washing.

Oh yes you read that right – you need to wash the face/exterior walls, roofs, windows, and fences, whether or not you’re giving it a fresh paint job or not. It’s a simple set of a bucket of soapy water and brush that’s needed to remove the dirt off the exteriors.

And if you do decide on repainting it, consider matching the existing paint, or colors that are pleasing to the eyes and colors that do not destroy the theme of the community. While it’s good to DIY, professional cleaners and painters might do a better job at this because they have the proper equipment to get the painting done.


6. Consider renovating for leasing or rental purposes.

Since Ann Arbor is an education hub, you might mull over adding another room in or redesigning your crib to be able to accommodate students who need to rent bed spaces, long term or short term. Some parents might also want to consider visiting their studying kids and will need a place to stay.

Advertise your space in online websites like airbnb. You’ll end up having more friends, and additional income too. If having other people living with you in your household is something that does not appeal to you, you might want to transform a part of your land into a small café with internet, coffee, and pastries to serve as hang-out places for students taking short breaks in between classes.


7. Inspect and maintain your building.

You don’t just renovate to make your estate beautiful! Consider safety, function, and endurance. Make a checklist of the different major parts of the house and conduct a thorough inspection to identify which ones need repair and/or replacement.

The most common items to check are sagging gutters, broken bricks, cracked cement, broken windows, loose door knobs, and loose wall panels. There are also professionals who specialize in such tasks. Remember I talked about maintenance in the early parts of the article? If you have professionals complete the renovation for you, you can always call them to upkeep your domicile in a year or two.


8. Glam up your address plaque and mailbox.

Oh, basic it is! These two are oftentimes the most neglected parts of the land. Though external, they are very much a part of your domain. Aside from their functionality, these can actually make your house stand out!

Your home depots or hardware stores offer a set of both plaque and mailbox and they don’t have to look like the traditional brassy type. You can choose a set that matches your landscaping and/or the overall appearance of your exteriors, or make it the only two things that are different in your site’s motif. It all depends on your character and your preference.



Home improvement is a daunting task. If you have other people living in the house, it is actually worthwhile collaborating and planning together so that everyone has his or her own tasks or assignments. Remember that the first and most important step is planning for what needs to be worked on.

Don’t bother with the details first. After making a list of your to-do’s, go and pick each other’s brains on the smaller bits and pieces, and agree on each specification – the colors, the materials, the motif, and all else – because after all, living in a property with happy folks is the best thing about a home.

Discover more home improvement tips here!

When buying a real property for investment, what improvements do you usually do?

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