Home Values have risen dramatically over the last months. According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors puts the annual increase in the median existing
Winter Is Coming
As the days get shorter and the nights get longer, we look forward to the changing colors of fall. With that comes the fun times of raking leaves and getting our homes ready for another winter.
Although we do it every year, well for some this may be their first year. We can always use a checklist to make sure we don't forget anything that would be a disaster in the cold months to come or a disappointment comes next spring.
I recall a hose that became a sprinkler one year, a client that had an outdoor spigot which became an indoor fountain at the worst possible time.
So with no claim to having the most complete list, here are a few things you may want to address soon so that you can go into the holiday season with reduced stress:
Clean the yard. Give the grass a good winter root building fertilizer, trim trees and bushes as needed, rake leaves a bit at a time so it doesn't become too much at one time. Cover and drain any water features that will not be heated during the winter.
Check out the gutters and downspouts-Fall is a time of year when we tend to receive a lot of rain. Make sure the gutters are clean of debris and secure so that the water can run through them as intended. Water running over a gutter can cause damage to the fascia board and cause wood rot.
Furnace/Heat Pump Check- Now is the time to have a certified HVAC tech check out the heating system. A tune up can make your system run more efficient and identify any problems before the rush for service calls start during those first cold days.
Fireplace/Chimney- Have it cleaned and inspected by a Chimney Sweep. Animals can find your chimney a nice place to build a home or a nest.
Hose bibs-Most newer and even some older homes have a cut off somewhere in the basement, crawlspace, or somewhere near the main water line to the house where the water supply to the hose bibs can be turned off. Close the water supply and drain the water from the water line leading outside.
Insulation- Every house has a place where cables, HVAC lines, Gas, and water lines enter the house. Check those areas for gaps and fill with spray expanding foam insulation. It will help keep the cold air out along with unwanted visitors looking for a warm place.
Doors and Windows-Check that they close properly and that they don't have air gaps. Caulk any leaks so air and water cannot penetrate. Check the sweep on the bottom of doors that lead to the exterior for proper fit.
Underground Sprinkler System- Unless you plan to make your own snow, set up the appointment for the sprinkler company to service and winterize the system and check the back-flow valve if you have one installed.
Outdoor Tools- Service your outdoor tools like the lawnmower, trimmer, blower, etc, and yes the snow blower if you have one. You will be ready to go next spring, and you want to make sure the snow blower will start when you most need it!
Now that you are ready, enjoy yourself! Go ahead and pour your favorite drink and amuse yourself watching your neighbors that did not read this. Or better yet, share this info with them so you can share that drink together and enjoy the coming months knowing you are ready for Mother Nature. Cheers!
Jorge and Joby are residents of the Northern VA/ Fredericksburg region, with over 25 years of Excellence in Customer and Client Satisfaction. As a Professional, bi-lingual, full-time Realtor, Jorge....