* Keep all animals confined to kennels or contained within one room when possible.
* Children should be kept with parents at all times.
* Generally speaking fresh paint, updated flooring, updated kitchens including appliances, updated bathrooms, exterior siding, updated roofing/ shingles, decking, cleanliness and curb appeal are all ideal areas to improve for an appraisal.
* Landscapes and lawns that are maintained well have more "curb appeal", which may assist in a good appraisal. However, homeowners that have went "over the top" in landscaping may find they appraise lower than expected.
* Clean your gutters. When the gutters are full of debris, it can cause water buildup. When the water freezes, it can back up under the shingles and cause damage.
* Maintain your pipes. Check your pipes for any cracks or leaks and have them repaired immediately. If the pipes freeze and burst it can result in major water damage to your home, appliances, and personal property. Also, keep your house warm-approximately 65 degrees - in order to lessen the chance of pipes freezing.
* Steps, handrails, and walkways should be well maintained. See to it that steps and walkways are clear of ice and snow and that handrails are firmly secured to prevent injuries. ALso, use salt free chemicals as much as possible to save new concrete and asphalt from damage.
* Property (interior/exterior) should be well-kept and tidy for inspection purposes.
* Homeowners need not be present for inspection.
* Know when you can remove PMI or Private Mortgage Insurance from your mortgage.