From Dennis and Jane Guertin | Guertin Family Realty | (952) 442-1300 |
Do you feel ready for fall? Here are some important home maintenance reminders to help you stay on track, along with timely tips for yards and gardens.
By the way, if you or anyone you know has a real estate need, please contact us today. We'll always provide first-class service!
Dennis and Jane Guertin
(952) 442-1300 Direct

Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Use the tips below to help prevent expensive problems and ensure a safe and healthy home throughout the winter.

Interior Projects

1. Have the heating system serviced and cleaned, including any fireplaces.

2. Check windows and doors for leaks and drafts.

** Wetting your hand before placing it near potential draft points makes it easier to detect air currents. Silicone caulk products often work well for sealing.

3. Change batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

4. Check fire extinguishers to make sure they are in working order.

** The Fire Extinguisher 101 website is a great guide to choosing and operating fire extinguishers.

5. Check the attic for signs of mold, pest entry points such as damaged vent screens, and poor ventilation.

** Attic air should not feel moist. Home inspectors generally prefer to feel a very slight breeze indicating sufficient air movement and ventilation.

Exterior Projects

6. Make sure gutters and downspouts are clear of debris.

** Downspouts should discharge water well away from the home perimeter. Extensions and splash blocks are sold at many hardware stores.

7. Inspect the roof for loose shingles, worn material, and loss of integrity to flashings around skylights and vents.

** Even if you can't actually walk the roof, using a ladder and/or binoculars to get a better look is helpful.

8. Drain exterior faucets and buy insulating faucet covers if necessary.

Yard and Garden Projects

9. Plant spring flowering bulbs, and remove dry or dead annuals.

10. Consider mowing leaves into the lawn.

** A Michigan State University study found that mowing leaves into small pieces and leaving them on the grass resulted in lawns that were greener, had fewer weeds, and required less fertilizer. (This needs to be done in the fall, before leaves decompose.)

11. Drain gasoline from gas-powered appliances that will not be used.

Note: Please reply to this email or give a call for a recommendation before hiring a contractor based on an online directory or a coupon, even if it's a widely-trusted source like Angie's List. There are good and not-so-good contractors listed on every service, and nothing beats a known track record of excellent performance.

When Is a Good Time to Take Down the Hummingbird Feeder?

Over-wintering hummingbirds are a common occurrence in many cold areas, and although some experts say that the urge to migrate is entirely triggered by day length, others find it hard to imagine that the birds would stay on if there weren't a food source readily available. A safe bet is to either take it down in the fall in order to encourage them to migrate, or commit to maintaining the feeder throughout the entire winter. (This includes keeping it warm enough for the food to stay liquid.)

When hummingbird feeders are allowed to freeze solid or are removed mid-winter, the birds can end up essentially stranded, with few or no insects to prey upon, no natural sources of nectar, and not enough stored energy to migrate to a warmer climate.

People have come up with all kinds of ingenious ways to keep their hummingbird feeders warm in cold weather. Here are some DIY options (scroll to the bottom of the page), or a pre-made version for under $30 is the Hummers Heated Delight, which the maker says works down to 1 degree Fahrenheit.

A Message from the Drain Lines:
5 Things to NOT Put Down a Garbage Disposal

This isn't a seasonal tip, but it could still save you some headaches this fall! Here's a surprising list of things some experts say should not go into the garbage disposal:

1. Potato peels: The starch in the potatoes can create a gummy buildup.
2. Rice and pasta: They swell up when wet, which can lead to clogs.
3. Fat and oils: OK, most people know this one. If you do put something fatty into the disposal, use cold water rather than hot to flush it so that the fat hardens and can be ground up.
4. Fibrous materials: Foods such as celery and onion skins can be hard on the unit.
5. Egg shells: Many people disagree with this, but Angie's List says the membrane inside of the shell can bind up the mechanism, and egg shell powder can accumulate in pipes to create blockages.

Which leads to the obvious question: What can you safely put down the disposal? :) Most people use it for all of the above without incident, but it doesn't hurt to know which items might be the culprits if your disposal is having problems.

Recent Market Highlights
Market chart icon

- U.S. home prices rose 4.7 percent year-to-year in July, according to a recent S&P/Case-Shiller report. They rose 6.9 percent year-to-year in August, according to CoreLogic, a data and analytics company.

- The national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate has remained close to 4 percent.

The August Pending Home Sales Index rose 6.1 percent year-to-year, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
Contact Us for Market Information
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.
View Our Featured Home Listings
Links that Make Life Easier

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

Two-Car Garage Becomes Chic New Home
An Oregon couple found freedom from the daily grind by transforming their garage into a trendy living space for themselves and renting out the main house.

11 Smart Ways to Organize Your Winter Footwear
Some efficient and creative winter footwear storage ideas from Bob Vila's website.

Autumn Gardening Planner
HGTV's list of fall projects that will help you prepare for a great spring yard and garden.

Router Passwords Guide
If you've ever had to re-set your wireless network using the default router password, you know how hard it can be to find it when you need it! This site lists the default usernames and passwords for many router brands. for Gift Ideas
A good place to find gift ideas for people based on their personality type. (It's geared towards 'twenty-something' recipients, but many items would work for other age brackets.)

The Lighter Side

Some of us handle surprises with cool composure, and, well, some of us don't. :) This baby emu who sees a dog for the first time is so taken aback that it appears to not know what to do with its feet - but the resulting moves are impressive!

Click here or on the image to watch the video.

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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®, CRS, SFR, CBR, e-PRO, GRI
Guertin Family Realty

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