Home ownership is a wonderful thing. To have the ability to invest your hard-earned dollars into something that potentially will pay you a premium in the future is fantastic. The tax advantages that homeownership has to offer are also amazing. We’ll save this for another time. But along with this terrific opportunity comes the massive responsibility of home maintenance.
Having been in real estate sales forever (over 24 years), there is one really solid piece of advice that I can give to you and every homeowner out there. Stay on top of your home maintenance. Here in the Pacific NW there are specific things that really should be done each year and the fall is the time to make sure these things get done so that winter doesn’t become a downer.
First and foremost, get your furnace serviced. This should be done each year without exception. It helps your heating system run much more efficiently and can cut down on your heating bills. Can you think of anything worse than having a snowy cold day outside and not having a furnace to heat your home inside? It happens every winter to people throughout Whatcom County and it’s a really uncomfortable place to be. Servicing a furnace usually runs around $100 and is well worth the investment. And while they are there, have the company service any gas fireplaces you have in your home. It can cost you much more if you wait until something goes wrong.
Get your roof treated. Yes, we north westerners always joke about us getting so much rain that moss grows on our heads. Maybe that’s not entirely true, but there is no doubt that it grows on our roofs and can cause major damage. If left untreated, as it grows the moss will edge roof shingles upward allowing for water intrusion and roof compromise. I am by no means promoting that you yourself get up on your roof and treat the roof yourself. Falling off of your roof can be extremely harmful – even deadly. Hire a licensed professional to come out and apply the necessary treatment. Again, maintenance is much cheaper than replacing a roof long before its advertised lifespan.
And lastly don’t forget to cover your exposed pipes, hose bibs and foundation vents. Avoid burst pipes and the damage that comes with them from those cold northeastern winds that we experience in Whatcom County each winter. Inexpensive foam piping sleeves and Styrofoam vent & hose bib covers can be purchased at your local home improvement stores. A burst pipe can cause thousands of dollars of damage if left unnoticed. Don’t make this mistake.
Staying on top of your home maintenance will make life easier while living in your home or when you get ready to sell your home. There is enough already to worry about when you are going to sell your home. And if you’re ready to sell, you know to who to call – ME!
A local treasure nestled on the outskirts of Everson by the name of Stoney Ridge Farms closed for the fall harvest season this past weekend. We discovered this wonderful family focused destination ten years ago when a school field trip took the class of our older boy out to explore their great pumpkin patch. Since then, it has become our family tradition year after year.
So many things bring us back each year, but I feel that the main reason is the overall joy of being together as a family. When the boys were young, the mini animal farm amazed them with cuddly little creatures from lop-eared bunnies to baby goats. The resident donkey always brings a smile to their faces. The king of the show each year is the goat that walks along high rising planks to reach a platform overlooking the farm where patrons deliver yummy treats to him via a can/rope system. He will stand up on that small platform high in the sky for hours it seems, or at least as long as the snacks continue arriving.
Then as the boys got older it was for the tasty homemade treats that called to us – warm pumpkin donuts, piping hot apple pie and the flavorful apple cider. But at the end of the day, they really do have some terrific pumpkins and gourds to choose from. You can either stroll through the pumpkin fields yourself with a wheel barrel that is provided or stop in their market on the way out to pick out a polished pumpkin. Either way these pumpkins have been adorning our doorstep for the past ten years.
Although it is too late this season for the pumpkin patch, they do open again for the Christmas season. They offer Christmas trees, homemade wreaths, local crafts and again their famous pies. Watch their website for opening day and begin making this YOUR family tradition. http://stoneyridgefarm.com/index.html
You know when summer is coming to a close in Whatcom County because the wild blackberry fruit starts to shrivel, mornings are misty and the giant maple leaves begin to turn color & fall gracefully to the ground. It’s such a wonderful time of the year for many reasons – we each have our own opinion. I think for me it is the vibrant exchange of color from the gorgeous fiery sunsets to the change of color among the various plants.
This time of year also means it’s time to get our yards ready for winter. It’s important to give your lawn a fighting chance to make it through what can be tough winters in the NW with our massive rainfall and sometimes heavy snow. Taking some time this fall to get your lawn in shape with the steps below will pay you dividends in the spring with a much healthier lawn and less work to do in your yard. (Especially if you plan on listing your home for sale in the spring.)
4. Leaf & Debris Clean Up
For a full description of why each of these are important, take a look at the website at www.mainstreamlm.com/winterizing-your-lawn-in-the-pacific-northwest.
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