From Dennis and Jane Guertin | Guertin Family Realty | (952) 442-1300 |
Do you have summer travel plans? Here are some helpful tips to keep your home safe and sound while you're gone, even if it's just for a quick weekend getaway.

(Don't miss the printable Travel Checklist at the end of the article.)
Dennis and Jane Guertin
(952) 442-1300 Direct

5 'Must-Do' Projects Before You Go On Vacation

1. Inspect water hoses and fittings.

When water is under pressure it only takes a few minutes for a broken connection to create a big mess. (Just imagine what could happen over the span of a few days!) 

Check the clothes washer, sinks, and toilets:
  • Replace any rubber or plastic hoses with ones made of braided nylon, such as the one pictured below. (This is important.)
  • Inspect fittings to make sure they are fastened tightly.
  • Look for rust on metal items that could indicate impending failure.
Tip: Consider installing an auto shut-off device at the clothes washer (the biggest culprit when it comes to water damage). Here are two options:

-> The Floodstop:  A water sensor detects the leak and turns off water to the washing machine. Currently around $185 on Amazon.

->  The Timeout Automatic Shutoff: This device cuts off the water to your washer unless you pull a lever, which opens up the water supply for 1 to 2.5 hours while you do laundry. Currently around $45 at Home Depot. (Read the reviews for installation tips.)

2. Clear debris from the roof, gutters, and downspouts.

A heavy downpour while you're gone could result in debris blocking downspouts, causing water to overflow and seep behind exterior siding. (Over the long term this also causes decay at soffits and eaves.)
  • Check gutters and downspouts to make sure they are clear of debris.
  • If water is not already diverted away from the home, install splash blocks so that moisture doesn't accumulate near the foundation.


3. Check for fire hazards.

Many electrical fires start because of problems that are easy to detect. With that in mind, be sure to do the following:
  • Look for frayed electrical cords.
  • Make sure outlets are not overloaded.
  • Do not use regular extension cords for air conditioners. (Air conditioners use so much energy that they can cause standard extension cords to overheat.)
Tip:  Did you know that keeping piles of moist lawn clippings too close to your home is also a fire hazard? Large quantities of moist grass in stacks or bags can create a chemical reaction that produces enough heat to eventually start a fire.

4. Don't forget old-fashioned home security.

Regardless of whether or not you have a high-tech security system, you can make your home less of a target to criminals by keeping your absence "under the radar".
  • Arrange with a friend or neighbor to pick up packages left at your door.
  • Ask someone to move your garbage bins away from the curb after collection day.
  • Put your newspaper subscription and mail on hold.
  • Set the timing for interior lights so that they are on during the evening.
  • Make sure valuable items are not easily visible from windows.
  • Ask a neighbor to park a car in your driveway occasionally.
  • Arrange to have the lawn mowed while you are gone.
  • Remove spare keys that may be hidden outside. (Most burglars know where to look.)

5. Do a last-minute sweep.

These final items will help ensure that you have a pleasant return.
  • Discard any perishables in the refrigerator.
  • Take out all trash and run the garbage disposal.
  • Check that all windows and doors are securely locked, including the door leading from the garage to the home.
  • Unplug appliances such as the toaster, coffee maker, and dryer.
  • Turn off the main water supply. (If you need to keep it on, turn off individual supplies at the washer, sinks, and toilets.)
Tip: When you turn the main water supply back on, open up one or two faucets first. This prevents too much pressure from building up in the system.

Print out this handy checklist!

All of the information above (and a packing list of often-forgotten items) is contained in the 2-page checklist linked to below.


Just click here or on the image to open up the printable pdf version.

What the lawyers make us say: The information here is not presented as expert legal or financial advice. Please use your best judgment and consult professionals when necessary.
Recent Market Highlights
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- U.S. home prices rose 6.4 percent year-to-year in April, according to a recent S&P/Case-Shiller report.  They rose 7.1 percent year-to-year in May,  according to CoreLogic, a data and analytics company.

- The national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is in the mid-4-percent range.

The May Pending Home Sales Index decreased 2.2 percent year-to-year, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
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Are you curious about your home's current market value, or do you have a question about home buying? Just reply to this email, or call us at 952-442-1300.
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Links that Make Life Easier

Sometimes real estate-related, sometimes not... these are assorted links that come in handy:

Pet-Friendly Hotels and Vacation Rentals
Find pet-friendly hotels, vacation rentals, and travel destinations.

How to Avoid Wire Fraud
Wire fraud during home purchases is becoming increasingly common. This article provides tips (about halfway down the page) on how to avoid it.

Summer Squash and Basil Pasta
An easy-to-make summer recipe that works for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.

The Lighter Side


At one point or another haven't we all had "that friend" - the one who makes themselves stand out no matter what? Here's a funny compilation from the canine world showing that dogs are no exception.  Click here or on the image above to see the slideshow on the BarkPost website.

Your Resource for Real Estate
Are you thinking of buying or selling a home in the next year, or could you use some remodeling advice? Even if you just need the name of a good service provider, please remember that we're always here to help you. We welcome the opportunity to serve you, your friends and associates with our expertise and recommendations.

Please give us a call today at (952) 442-1300 if we can be of assistance!
Have a great day,

Dennis and Jane Guertin
Broker/Owner, REALTOR®, SFR, CBR, e-PRO, GRI, BA
Guertin Family Realty

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Guertin Family Realty | 71 Point Drive | Waconia | MN | 55387