It’s that time of year again when the weather outside gets frightful but the holiday cheer is delightful. You’ve probably got a lot on your mind during these busy winter months, but make sure that you don’t neglect the roof of your home.
Taking care of your roof is an important part of home maintenance and you don’t want to suffer a leak or any other problem during the cold months.
So how can you make sure that Santa and his sleigh have a solid and well-maintained landing pad when they touch down at your house this year? Here are some tips that every homeowner should know:
Check Out Your Gutters
Your gutters are an important part of your roof, because they allow water to flow away from the roof surface before it causes rot and damage. During the winter, your gutters will be more likely to get clogged with fallen leaves, snow and ice and can get blocked if they are not cleared out.
Get yourself a ladder and a friend to hold it for you and clean any leaves, debris and dirt from the gutters. Flush the gutters out with a hose afterward to ensure they are clean. If your gutters have become damaged or leaky, you can use gutter sealant or fibreglass resin to patch up the hole.
Trim Back The Trees
If you have a lot of trees and vegetation overhanging above your roof, it’s a good idea to trim it back before the winter months. At the moment, it might not be touching your roof – but once it is weighted down with snow or blown around by the wind it might do some damage.
When hiring a tree trimming service, get a few different quotes from a range of contractors so that you can be sure that you are getting the right price.
Inspect Your Roof For Weak Spots
A roof inspection can save you from a lot of roof damage, which could get even more serious when the weather gets colder and wetter. Start by performing a visual inspection of the inside and outside of your roof.
Look around for any missing tiles and make sure that the gutters are allowing the water to drain freely from the roof. This can be done while walking around your property with binoculars.
If you spot something that looks suspicious, you can hire a professional roofer to take a closer look. They will be experienced and will know what to look for, so that they can find the weak spot and fit it right away. A roof inspection will cost you, but it is a lot cheaper than paying for a new roof!
These are just a few important maintenance tasks that you can perform in order to ensure that your roof is in tip top shape to welcome the winter season – and a sleigh pulled by eight tiny reindeer! For more handy tips and info about your home, contact your trusted real estate professional today.
Few questions are more important this time of year than which Christmas tree you should buy for your home. There are some things to keep in mind when looking for the perfect Christmas tree.
Here are just a few:
Real Or Artificial Tree?
Real Christmas trees require some care; if you’re planning to travel this holiday season, you may not want a live tree. You must water the tree to make sure that it doesn’t lose its needles before Christmas day.
The live trees are not fire resistant, the dried out pine needles can get too hot from the lights and may burst into flame.
On the other hand, there isn’t any up-keep with an artificial Christmas tree, and many look quite realistic. The plastic Christmas trees have an added bonus of being flame retardant.
Then, there’s the convenience of not having to go out in the cold weather to pick the tree out.
For those of you who can’t imagine Christmas without the pine needle smell, you can buy air fresheners that mimic the smell of fresh cut pine. For some, an artificial tree is the best of both worlds.
How Big Is Too Much Tree?
Now that you’ve decided what kind of Christmas tree to buy, you have to find out how big a tree you can fit in your home. It could be that the only thing limiting the size of your Christmas tree is your budget; in that case, your decision is easy.
However, if you’re limited on space, you’ll need to decide the best place to put your tree first.
Try to think of how the area will “frame” your Christmas tree. Consider how much traffic goes by the area and whether there will be enough room for the presents to stay safe.
Break out the measuring tape so you don’t have to guess when you’re on the Christmas tree lot; trees look deceptively small on the lot. Or, if you opted for the fake Christmas tree, you’ll know exactly which box to pick out; just look for the right size.
Want to buy a home that has space for a bigger tree? I can help. Give your trusted real estate professional a call today.
Putting your home on the market during the holiday season might seem like you’re just inviting stress and frustration to come knocking on your door. However, December is a great time to sell because there are few homes on the market, buyers are serious and your house will be decorated to look nice and cozy.
With the tips below, you can get your home ready to sell and ensure important family time by having the kids help out.
Hire A Real Estate Agent
Employing a professional will allow you to unload the worries that come along with selling a home. Your real estate agent will burden the pressure — and work — of finding the perfect buyer for your home. This will free up your time to enjoy the season with your family.
Get The Kids Involved
With your house up for sale, you don’t want to go too crazy with decorations. Make a day out of decorating and have the kids help you put up your more tasteful trimmings.
Then you’ll be creating family memories and making your house festive for the season. Avoid any overly religious decorations and try to go for a winter theme.
Shoot A Video
Have your teenager be the cameraman while you narrate. Or, for an even more adorable virtual tour of your home, have your child describe each room. Then post the video on your home’s website for buyers to view.
Not only will buyers get a feel for your home, but you’ll have great memento of where you lived once you move.
Create A Cozy Retreat
Use low lighting, build a fire, play classical music and turn up the thermostat to create a snug environment that buyers and your family will enjoy. You’ll make potential buyers want to linger in your inviting home. And, your family will have fond, homely memories of their last holiday season in this house.
Keeping your home immaculately organized and clean can be exhausting. Remember that this time of year is all about family. So relax and enjoy yours! If you don’t end up selling your home this December, then there’s always next year — which is fortunately only a few days away.
Don’t let the holiday rush intimidate you when it comes to selling your home. By getting your kids involved, you’ll sell your house and make lasting memories of the final festive season in that home.
It’s getting cold, and that means you’re at risk for blizzards or ice storms. Depending on where you live, these winter storms can knock out the power for weeks. With these easy tips, you can be prepared for and even enjoy these storms.
Losing power means losing heat, and that can be a pain. But trust me, you can live comfortably for a long time with no heat. The first step is to dress warm. Lots of light layers keep you warmer than one big coat, so layer up. Wear a hat or a hood as well.
Your body loses most of its heat through your head. It’s also important to insulate your house. Put extra weather stripping or towels under the door and windows. You don’t want any drafts getting in.
Keep Your Water Running
Pipes might freeze during a winter storm as well. It’s important to keep the water running. The water in the pipes will freeze much faster if it isn’t moving. So go to each faucet and tap and turn them on just a little bit, so that they’re barely dripping. That way the water won’t sit still in the pipes and freeze.
Stay In The Loop
Your regular sources of information may be obsolete without electricity. Your computer and cell phone will die quickly, and your television will be dead as well. Keep a battery-powered radio on hand.
It seems old-fashioned, but it’s much more comforting when you know when the power is expected to come back on. Remember that most news like this is on the AM stations.
Check On Your Neighbors
Remember you’re not the only one without power. Put on your snow boots and go see how your neighbors are fairing in the winter storm. Even if they’re the kind of neighbors with an obnoxious barking dog, it’s worth checking in on them. You might bring an extra blanket or two as well.
When it comes to winter storms, it’s better to be over prepared, than not prepared enough. Keep some extra water and canned foods stored in the house. Keep extra flashlights, candles, matches, a camping stove, and maybe some extra gasoline for the car, or generator.
Like a boy scout always be prepared. Most storms won’t be a matter of life and death, but your preparedness will make the storm much more comfortable.
Winter storms can be a pain in the neck, but a little preparation goes a long way. When the power goes out, it’s nice to know that you have everything you need to get by.
Just remember to stock up on supplies, keep your water running, stay up to date, and check on your neighbors.
Last week brought several indicators of a strengthening economy. New home sales, private and federal employment and mortgage rates rose.
The Department of Commerce released construction spending numbers for October with mixed results. Although public projects fueled an 0.80 percent increase in month-to-month construction spending, residential construction fell by 0.60 percent.
Analysts had expected an increase of 0.50 percent and also noted that the negative effect of the government shutdown was a “blip.” October’s reading for construction spending was the highest since 2004.
CoreLogic released data that home prices rose by 0.20 percent, which represents a year-over-year growth rate of 12.50 percent for home prices. Pending home sales were suggested that November sales are expected to hold steady as compared to October, and projected year-over-year sales for November at 12.20 percent.
Slower growth in home prices was attributed to higher mortgage rates and a fear of a housing bubble in the West, where demand for homes far exceeds the number of available homes.
Not wanting to buy at the top of the current housing market, some potential buyers may be waiting for the talk of another housing bubble to subside before buying. Robert Shiller, co-author of the Case-Shiller Housing Market Index, noted that home buyers may not be “psychologically ready” for another housing bubble.
New home sales for October were higher than expectations of 419,000 homes sold on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis. October’s reading of 444,000 new home sales was 21.60 percent higher than September’s reading of 354,000 new homes sold. The national median home price fell by 4.50 percent to $245,800 in October; this was the lowest month-to-month reading since November 2012.
The number of available homes fell to a 4.90 month supply in October. This may cause buyers to put their home searches on hold as they wait out the winter months and hope for supplies of available homes to increase.
U.S. Employment Improving, Mortgage Rates Rise
ADP a private-sector provider of payroll services reported 215,000 new jobs added in November as compared to October’s reading of 184,000 jobs added. Weekly jobless claims supported the ADP reading as new jobless claims fell to 298,000 against expectations of 325,000 new claims and a prior reading of 321,000 new claims.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics brought more good news with its Non-Farm Payrolls report and Unemployment Rate for November. Non-Farm payrolls added 203,000 jobs in November against expectations of 180,000 jobs added and October’s reading of 200,000 jobs added.
The National Unemployment rate dipped to 7.00 percent in November against expectations of a 7.20 percent reading and October’s reading of 7.30 percent. The Federal Reserve has set a benchmark unemployment rate of 6.50 percent as an indicator of economic recovery.
Last week’s strong economic news boosted mortgage rates; Freddie Mac reported that the average rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage rose by 17 basis points to 4.46 percent with discount points lower at 0.50 percent.
The average rate for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage also gained 17 basis points at 3.47 percent with discount points at 0.40 percent. The average rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage rose by 5 basis points to 2.99 percent with discount points at 0.4 percent.
What’s Coming Up
This week’s scheduled economic news includes Retail Sales, Weekly Jobless Claims and Freddie Mac’s report of average mortgage rates.