From Dennis and Jane and Lee Guertin | Guertin Family Realty | (952) 442-1300 |
Fall is officially here! Is your home ready?  Here are five "top" home maintenance tips you can use to make sure your home is safe and prepared for cooler weather.

(And don't miss the quick fall housing market update.)
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Dennis and Jane and Lee Guertin
(952) 451-4989 Dennis
(952) 451-5217 Jane

Top 5 Fall Home Maintenance Tips

1. Check Fire Extinguishers

With the holiday guest and cooking season approaching, it's a good time to make sure your fire extinguishers are up to date and placed where you want them. The FireExtinguisher101 website has great information if you need pointers.

Tip: Have you heard of fire extinguisher balls? These self-activating balls can be rolled or thrown onto a fire, making them very easy for anyone to use in a hurry.

Some are even decorative, like the colorful styles pictured above for sale on Amazon. (Plain versions that cost much less are also available.)

2. Get the Heating System Serviced

Now's the time! If you haven't already had your heating system serviced, try to schedule it before technicians get too busy with emergency repairs and replacements.

Tip: Are you replacing or cleaning your furnace filter regularly? Some fiberglass versions may need to be replaced after just one month, while higher end pleated filters can last up to six months.

3. Clean Gutters and Downspouts

Overflowing gutters can damage your home's exterior and create roof problems by allowing ice dams to form in cold weather. This is why making sure gutters and downspouts are running freely can save a lot of money and hassle over time.

Tip: Is downspout water being channeled away from your home's foundation? A simple $5 to $10 splash block can accomplish this easily.

4. Replace Smoke and CO Detector Batteries

Experts say we should replace smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries at least once a year. A good reminder is to time it with the approach of the end of Daylight Saving Time (November 2 this year).

Tip: Do you know how old your detectors are? The U.S. Fire Administration recommends switching them out for new ones 10 years after the manufacture date.

5. Check the Attic Ventilation

Poor attic ventilation is a surprisingly common home inspection "fail"! The reason is that moisture in your attic can lead to a mold problem when condensation accumulates on sheathing.

(This happens to many homes during the winter, when warm, moist air rises from interior rooms and hits cold attic surfaces.)


What to look for:

- Ventilation:
Check for good air flow in the attic space. If you see any mold on wood surfaces, have an expert investigate the ventilation more thoroughly.

- Proper Ducting: Make sure any ducts carrying living space air through the attic connect to the outside. (A common culprit is a detached dryer or bathroom duct filling the attic with moist air.)

Tip:  Has your roof been replaced recently? Surprisingly, it's still important to check the attic space because some new ridge vents don't function as well as they should, and roofers occasionally leave behind material that blocks ventilation points.

Quick Fall Market Update 

Pending Home Sales Are Up:

Some real estate market watchers were surprised by signs that the late summer market was stronger than expected.

Pending home sales in August were up 1.6% month-to-month, and up 2.5% compared to the same time last year. Gains were strongest in the West, where pending sales were up 8% since August of 2018.

Home Prices Are Expected to Rise:

CoreLogic, a data and analytics company, expects home prices to increase by 5.8% year-to-year by August of 2020. Zillow is predicting a 2.2% increase during that time.

Mortgage Rates May Get Lower:

Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored entity that backs consumer mortgages, expects the annual average 30-year fixed mortgage rate to average 3.9% in 2019 before dropping to 3.7% in 2020. 


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 3.2 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 in the high 3-percent range.

The August Pending Home Sales Index increased 2.5 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:

7 Reasons Not to Clean Up Your Fall Garden
Here's a different take on seasonal garden maintenance that might leave a little more time for enjoying fall colors.

20 Indoor Plants for Low Light
A photo gallery of plants that thrive in rooms with little natural sunlight. 

29 Best Fall Desserts
This list of amazing fall dessert recipes has so many winners it's hard to pick just one. (But the Cinnamon-Apple Cheesecake might be a great place to start. :)

The Lighter Side


(Screenshot courtesy of Melissa Baker and

Bertha, a chicken in England, made the news recently with her athletic (and remarkably cute) attempts to pick an apple from her owner's tree. It's easy to picture this footage being used in a motivational seminar someday. :)

Click here or on the image above to watch the video on the family-friendly SunnySkyz 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