From Dennis and Jane and Lee Guertin | Guertin Family Realty | (952) 442-1300 |

Are you ready for fall? Here's how to get your home prepared for cooler weather and create a wildlife-friendly outdoor environment at the same time.

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Dennis and Jane and Lee Guertin
(952) 451-4989 Dennis
(952) 451-5217 Jane

Fall Home Maintenance and Wildlife-Friendly Garden Ideas

Interior Fall Projects


1. Have the heating system serviced and cleaned.

This includes fireplaces. The filter on a furnace should be changed at least once a year, and many providers recommend replacing it every month or two when the furnace is being used.

2. Change batteries in smoke alarms.

The end of Daylight Saving Time (on November 1 this year) is a good reminder to replace the batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

3. Check fire extinguishers.

The Fire Extinguisher 101 website has a great guide that explains how to choose and operate a fire extinguisher.

Exterior Fall Projects

 Clear debris out of gutters and downspouts.

Make sure downspouts are directing water away from the home perimeter, not depositing it next to the foundation. (This can create major basement and crawl space problems.) Most hardware stores sell extensions and splash blocks.

5. Inspect the roof.

Look for loose shingles, worn material, and loss of integrity to flashings around skylights and vents. (Binoculars can do the trick if the roof is difficult to access.)

6. Drain exterior faucets.

Install insulating covers if there's any chance faucets might freeze.

Wildlife-Friendly Fall Yard and Garden Tips

7. Don't leave painted or bleach-treated pumpkins outside. 

(This includes compost heaps.) Wild animals could be harmed by eating them if they contain chemicals.

8. Don't till gourd beds too deeply.

This can disrupt the larvae of the little-known but mighty squash bee, an important pollinator of squashes and zucchini.

9. Leave a pile of branches in the yard.

Instead of burning or chipping old branches, consider leaving them stacked in an unobtrusive area of the yard. Piles like these create fall and winter shelter for birds, insects, and amphibians.

10. Consider mowing leaves into the lawn.

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.

11. Make a winter plan for the hummingbird feeder. 

Some hummingbird species over-winter in cold areas and can be left stranded without food if feeders are allowed to freeze.

Many experts say to either take the feeder down while the birds still have food sources along their migration route, or else commit to keeping it stocked and unfrozen throughout the entire winter.

12. Leave flowers with seed heads standing.

Seed heads can provide food throughout the winter for various bird species. Studies have shown that good winter nutrition significantly improves nesting success in the spring.

13. Try to avoid removing dead leaves on plants.

Some species of butterflies and moths use the undersides of leaves to overwinter in chrysalis form.

Fall Yard Tips

14. Plant spring flowering bulbs.

Daffodils, crocus, and tulips are good options. Here's a great 'Fall Planted Bulbs' chart from the Farmer's Almanac.

15. Set up a fall container garden.

This handy Better Homes and Garden article explains exactly which combinations of attractive plants thrive in the fall, even in small spaces such as balconies and patios.

16. Don't prune anything! 

Garden gurus say that homeowners tend to go into pruning mode in the fall, but the best strategy is actually to hold off on pruning anything until at least late winter.

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

- U.S. home prices rose 4.8 percent year-to-year in July, according to a recent S&P/Case-Shiller report.  They rose 3.6 percent year-to-year in August, according to CoreLogic, a data and analytics company.

- The national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is under 3 percent.

The August Pending Home Sales Index rose 24.2% percent year-to-year, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
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Links that Make Life Easier

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

11 Affordable and Cute Front Porch Decorating Ideas
Creative and versatile porch decorating ideas for fall from The Spruce website.

ExcelJet Excel Training
Quick, to-the-point training on how to make life easier by doing virtually anything with Excel spreadsheets.

Apple-Cinnamon Layer Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting
A stylish and delicious 3-layer apple cake that's still relatively simple to make.

The Lighter Side


(Screenshot courtesy of and Christina Weaver.)

"Be a number 50 in someone's life" is a great tagline for this heartwarming video of a youth basketball game in West Virginia. :)

Third grader Austin Jenkins has cerebral palsy, but that hasn't stopped him from playing basketball at his elementary school for years. During this game his teammate Greyson, player number 50, first helps him nearly make a basket, then sets up another shot so that Austin successfully scores on the second try.

Click here or on the image above to watch the clip on the oddly titled but family-friendly 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 and Lee Guertin
Broker/Owner, REALTOR®, SFR, CBR, e-PRO, GRI, BA
Guertin Family Realty
Dennis:  (952) 451-4989
Jane: (952) 451-5217

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