Home Maintenance Tips for Winter

Home in WinterWe are in the new year now  and definitely in winter because it’s cold outside!  For many parts of the country, very cold.  So with all that cold, we need to remember to take care of our homes to avoid damage and loss of heat while we try to stay warm. Here is a quick list of some home maintenance tips for winter that may help you or maybe just remind you to check on.  I’ve written about winter home maintenance tips in the past (linked to an older post on the topic) but we’ve had a few bouts of extreme temperatures that I thought I would update it.

Roof and gutters – The first of the home maintenance tips for winter begins outside and is very important.  When there is snow on the roof, that may be the best time to take a look around and make sure there is no ice dams forming in areas there with some overhang and shade.  Once the ice builds up and stays, it has the potential to cause some real damage to the roof and gutters.  If you notice areas like this on your roof, try to keep them clear in the future if possible to allow melting and draining.  There are several reasons why ice dams form and  many ways to handle them.  In some cases, you may need a pro to help.   Also, walk around and take a look at the gutters.  Are there areas that don’t flow, or maybe leak or overflow causing a frozen surface to slip on below?  When the weather permits, have them evaluated and repaired.

Sprinkler systems and hoses – The second of the home maintenance tips for winter is pretty obvious but can get missed.  This is something that you probably took care of in the fall, but in case you didn’t, make sure you do now. Drain out the sprinkler system of all the water and if you can, cover and wrap the exterior pipes to help prevent freezing.  I see a lot of hoses still attached to the spigot, or hose bib, all winter long.  This can definitely lead to freezing and cracking of those pipes.  Just disconnect the hose and with most of the spigots nowadays that is all you really need to do.  You don’t need any problems or costly repairs for a simple fix!

 Shovel – Gas/Oil mix – Ice Melt – Another of the home maintenance tips for winter that seem obvious but often forgotten is simply having the equipment on hand to tackle the snow and ice.  Many first time homeowners may not even be thinking of these things because they just haven’t needed to before.  First, have a snow shovel.  I would recommend a strong plastic one without metal.  This way, you can handle the walks but you won’t gauge up your deck if you’re out shoveling it!  If you have a snowblower, make sure you have the oil mix for the gas to run the machine.  Also, in case you do have some leaky gutters, you’ll want some ice melt to keep from slipping outside the door.

Caulking/Seals – This almost goes without saying.  Make sure to caulk around windows and door frames when the weather permits so you don’t lose valuable heat.  Of course, this helps in the summer too.  Drafts and air leaks are a major factor in energy consumption.

Furnace- Inside this winter feels so toasty and warm…ah but don’t forget the work horse that provides all that heat. Make sure to change the filters monthly and it would be a good idea to have a furnace service performed by a professional if you haven’t for awhile.  With the home all closed up it is important to know there are no gas leaks or carbon monoxide leaks.  

Fireplace – If you have a fireplace in your home, it can be a great source of heat and of course, wonderful ambiance in the home.  But the fireplace can be dangerous if it isn’t working properly.  If you have a gas fireplace, have it serviced every few years to make sure it is burning right, not gas leaks and safe.  If you have a wood burning fireplace, make sure the flue or chimney are clear and working fine.  Again, a professional can take care of this to make sure al is well for you this winter.

Garage Fridge – Ok, this is one of those bonus home maintenance tips for winter that I’m going to give you.  If you have a fridge out in the garage, like I do, and it isn’t specifically made for outdoors, like mine, then when it gets really, really cold out there you may want to check it.  Often the temperature in the garage can get much colder than the fridge is built for and the food inside can start to warm up and melt.  I know that I have had my garage fridge do this a few times when it gets that cold.  Of course, a good solution for those frozen foods is to just take them out and have them stay frozen outside!   😀

I hope some of these simple tips can help you stay mindful of the little things that can help prevent bigger problems for you at home this winter.  As always, if you need help with your next move please get in touch.

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Buying a Home During The Holidays

There are many things that we can agree can be stressful.  For many people, the holidays are a time of year that can be very busy and exciting at the same time. Same is true for buying a home.  Weather it is a first home, move up or investment.  Buying a home is a huge purchase and can be one of the most stressful events in one’s life.  So, what about buying a home during the holidays?  Can it get any more difficult than that?

Christmas treeMoving and house hunting are never easy. However, there are plenty of good reasons for buying a home during the holidays.  For starters, taxes.  Many sellers may need to sell by the end of the year for a tax benefit and same is true for buyers.  If you find that you can benefit with your tax situation by buying before the end of the year, then buying a home during the holidays is just going to be part of your celebration!

Competition is another good reason for buying a home during the holidays.  Or, maybe a lack of competition is a better way to look at it.  We all know that the Spring market is the busiest season for most areas when it comes to real estate.  Demand seems greater, and the number of buyers out there competing for the few listings make it tougher to negotiate  with sellers or even get an accepted offer! So buying a home during the holidays can be far less competitive and possibly a better situation to negotiate with sellers.

Mortgages.  If you are in the market to buy a home, you need to definitely meet with a mortgage advisor and get pre-approved before heading out to look.  But once you do, buying a home during the holidays can likely speed up the approval process in getting your loan done.  With fewer buyers in the market at this time of year, the mortgage process is less bogged down, and your loan can move much faster towards final approval!

Of course, fewer homes typically tend to be on the market during the holiday season. With that in mind, you may not find the perfect home but it shouldn’t stop you from looking if you are in the market.  Unless you must buy before the end of the year then you can just keep looking.  Many sellers understand the advantage of listing their home at this time of year, and so they put their home on the market now, and it may be the right home for you.  Looking for your next home and possibly buying a home during the holiday season may be the best time of year for you.

We all get busy this time of year, and many folks take time off during the holidays.  I am available if you would like to take advantage of the market.  Besides, it’s always fun to see the homes decorated and the faces of my customers when they find the right home to add to their holiday cheer!  Let me know if I can help you this year.

 

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Moving in the Winter? Denver Real Estate Tips

Denver Winter Living

We’ve had our first real snow of the season now this week and while I thought it would warm up today, that hasn’t been the case.  If you are thinking ofHighlands Ranch Redstone Parkputting your home on the market, here are some tips from past posts that will help you sell you Denver real estate and protect your home in the winter months.

Showing Your Home in Bad Weather – Weather you live in Highlands Ranch, Denver, Lone Tree – wherever, this week was the first in the Denver area where you has to make considerations on showing your home in bad weather.

Preparing Your Denver Home For Winter – It isn’t too late for some winter prep for your home and yard

Freezing Pipes Prevention & What to do When it Happens – This is not a fun one. This weeks cold shouldn’t be bad enough to cause this, but you want to read this before it gets any colder.

Denver Relocation Information – Winter Weather – Many of my Denver relocation clients ask me about typical Denver weather in the winter.

What other tips do you have for selling Denver real estate in the winter?

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The Snow Flakes Fly In Denver This October

Living in Denver: Well Hello Snow!

The weather this year has been nothing but full of extremes in Colorado. And while today’s snow in october highlands ranch cofirst snow may seem like an extreme it really isn’t. In fact I can remember many Septembers when the first flakes have flown.  Personally I could have waited another week or two to fully enjoy the changing leaves before they fall on their own. This snow will speed that along in the foothills and the mountains.

The beauty of living in Denver is that by later this weekend, the grey sky will be a memory, this light dusting will be gone and sunshine and blue skies will accompany the Colorado outdoor lifestyle. So the good news s, my hike in the foothills this weekend will be a go and I will still be able to enjoy the beautiful fall foliage our our changing aspens. But if you wait much longer, it will be too late.

Shhhhh, don’t tell anyone that sometimes we have 4 seasons in a week. Then they will want to live in Denver too.

 

Photo courtesy of my wife Laura from her office window this morning.

Denver Area Water Restrictions

Living in Colorado with a Drought: Denver Area Water Restrictions

Aerated Lawn prepared for water restrictions

The Denver area water restrictions will remain be enforced this year due to a significant shortage of moisture this season.  Reservoirs that rely on snow melt to provide water to the Denver metro area were down last year and will be down substantially this year causing drought conditions.

So, when there is a drought that typically means Denver area water restrictions will take place.  Many folks are wondering if they will have restrictions and what and how much that means?  Denver Water has declared a Stage 2 drought and restrictions are in place beginning April 1, 2013 through September 30, 2013.  If your water is provided by Denver Water then these restrictions apply to you.

Remember, water providers serve cities and neighborhoods that are not always within the city limits.  So, make sure of who provides your water and check to see if any restrictions are in place.  Aurora water is also on restrictions.  Aurora water has declared a Stage 1 drought, and if your water is provided by Aurora water then these restrictions apply to you.  If you happen to live in Highlands Ranch or an area with water provided by Centennial Water, there are no restrictions placed on you at this time.  However, there are suggested water use, and of course, they have already implemented water budgeting per household so make sure to stay within you budget.  The overuse can get expensive.

We all need to do our part in conserving water, especially in drought conditions.  Here are some tips to help with your lawn and, if you live within the Centennial Water district, more information on the water budget program.  I hope this can help answer questions about the Denver area water restrictions.

Spring Outdoor Home Maintenance Tips

Green GrassLiving in Denver – Home Maintenance

We are almost there! Spring.  The weather outside already is beginning to feel like it, and I can see new growth starting in the flower beds.  This is a great time of year to begin to shake off the winter and get active outside at our homes.  Maybe you like to garden and enjoy the outdoors or maybe you want someone else to take care of things.  Either way, I’ve put together a short list of Spring outdoor home maintenance tips that can get you started towards a beautiful home and yard this season!

Paint

Look around your house.  Does it need to be painted?  Maybe just touched up?  If you have kids that like sports like I do, maybe just the garage door needs some attention.  All those balls and pucks hitting it all the time. Yikes. In any case, exterior paint can make a world of difference in the appearance of your home and the joy you get every time you come home.  Spring is a perfect time to get this project done and enjoy the results for the rest of the season!

Aeration

These spring outdoor home maintenance tips wouldn’t be complete without mentioning an aeration. We live in Colorado and the soil just needs it! Aeration early in the spring can make a huge positive difference in the health and appearance of your lawn.  Not to mention, we may be on water restrictions this year so all the more reason to get this done.  If you’re like me, you are already getting those ads hung on the door. Call and make the appointment.

Mulch

Putting down fresh mulch can always make an immediate and dramatic difference in the look and feel of your landscape. If you have old mulch that looks weathered and just dirty, then it is time to freshen that up.  Mulch comes in a variety of colors and textures and will definitely enhance the look of your yard this spring.  Don’t forget to prep the ground before adding the mulch.  Make sure to put a good weed barrier down before so you don’t have the ugly mulch with weeds in a few weeks!

Trimming

Your spring outdoor home maintenance tips need to include trimming for sure.  By trimming, I mean beginning to prepare the bushes, ornamentals, trees and such by pruning them back so they have a better chance to grow and blossom fully this season.  Also, as you prepare your lawn, make a point to trim the edge along the sidewalk and driveways for a clean, tidy look.

Fertilization

What an important part of any spring outdoor home maintenance tips list. Don’t forget or neglect to do this.  Your lawn will thank you for it soon, and you’ll be happy as well when it turns up lush, green and weed free.  Especially if you did an aeration then fertilizing will really help the lawn.  Again, if there are water restrictions, you’ll be happy that you took care of this in the spring.  Make sure to fertilize your trees and bushes some as well.  It makes a big difference.

Approval

If you live in a covenant controlled community like I do in Highlands Ranch, it would be a very smart idea to seek approval of your plans for painting and other larger projects before you start.  The last thing you want is a surprise after you’ve invested time and money to find out the Home Owners Association doesn’t agree with your taste and makes you change it. Ouch!

So there you have it.  A very short list of spring outdoor home maintenance tips that may help inspire you to get busy and spruce up your home for you to enjoy.  Look around while you are out there in the yard, I’m sure you can spot other tasks to take care of that will add to the beauty of your home.  Of course, if you are considering selling your home there are certain tips you may want to follow to help make the house attractive to buyers.  If you or someone you know may need professional help with the sale, please get in touch.  I would love to talk and see if we would be a good fit to work together.

 

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Time Lapse Video of the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs

Here is an amazing time lapse video that was released by photographer and student Steve Moraco just yesterday I believe of the Waldo Canyon Fire.  It is 15 minutes long but worth watching.  It is highly emotional, that is for sure.

Turn your speakers on and watch it full screen.


The fire is further contained right now as I type this than his last report at the end of the video, but not out yet.  As Steve writes at the end of the video, “Let us not loose hope!”

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