Is your home ready for fall? Here are some helpful cool weather maintenance ideas, along with seasonal tips for houseplants and gardens.
Brooks Beaupain
206-778-4663 Direct
Fall Home and Garden Ideas

1. Service the heating system.
Beat the early winter rush! Many heating systems need to be serviced annually, and in a month or two heating contractors are far more likely to be swamped with calls.

Tip: Forced air furnaces should typically be cleaned once a year, and filters may need to be changed or cleaned every month or so during cold weather.

2. Replace smoke and CO alarm batteries.
Time flies... do you remember when your smoke and carbon monoxide alarm batteries were last replaced? The end of Daylight Saving Time, coming up on November 4, is a good milestone to use as a reminder.

3. Take a peek into the attic.

Sure, it's no one's favorite place, but checking the attic even just once a year helps prevent unpleasant surprises such as mold or pests. Look for:

- Detached ductwork sending moist air into the attic space instead of outside.
- Signs of rodents, such as stained insulation.
- Access points for pests, such as torn vent screens.

Tip: Attics need good ventilation, which is why keeping vent openings unblocked by insulation is very important. Home inspectors often say they actually like to feel a slight breeze up there.

4. Check the fireplace.
Are you planning to cozy up to a fire this winter? If the fireplace and chimney haven't been cleaned for a while, now might be a good time to do it. (Gas fireplaces are much lower maintenance than wood fireplaces, but they still collect dust and need to be serviced occasionally.)

5. Clean out gutters and downspouts.
This is also a good opportunity to make sure that water from downspouts is channeled away from the home via a drainage system or splash blocks. (Downspouts should never deposit water directly next to the foundation.)

6. Drain gasoline from powered appliances.
Experts write passionate blog posts about gummy deposits and possible engine death that can result from letting gasoline go stale in a lawn mower.

7. Don't prune anything!
Pruning in the fall stimulates new growth just when plants are about to go dormant, according to Rodale's Organic Life. They and other experts recommend waiting until mid-winter or spring to prune plants, shrubs, and trees.

8. Plant spring-blooming bulbs.
Fall is the time to plant daffodils, tulips, lilies, and hyacinths.

9. Put houseplants on a winter plan.
Dry winter air is hard on houseplants, while at the same time they typically require less water. Hume Seeds has a good article about how to keep houseplants happy until springtime.

10. Do something "for the birds".
Many birds migrate for hundreds or thousands of miles in the fall, and can really benefit from oil-rich food such as Black Oil Sunflower Seeds and suet.

Recent Market Highlights
Market chart icon

- U.S. home prices rose 5.9 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 is around 4 percent.

The August Pending Home Sales Index dropped 2.6 percent year-to-year, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
Note:  Housing statistics based on closed sales typically reflect market conditions of two or three months ago.  To find out what's going on right now in your local market, please contact me directly.

Contact Me 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 me at 206-778-4663.
Links that Make Life Easier

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

9 Awesome Facts About Bird Migration
Did you know that the average Arctic Tern completes the equivalent of three trips to the moon and back during its lifetime?

The 15 Easiest Houseplants that Won't Die On You
A helpful list of hardy plants for the not-so-green of thumb.

Honey Lime Tofu Stir Fry
Honey, lime, and ginger make for a tasty vegetable stir fry. (The 'Crispy Unfried Tofu' link in the recipe is a good preparation tip and actually works.)

The Lighter Side

Pro tennis player Jack Sock's stellar sportsmanship created a stir when he challenged an umpire's call - in favor of his opponent! Instant replay proved him right, and although he ended up losing the match, he won the hearts of spectators worldwide. Click here or on the image above to watch the video.

Your Resource for Real Estate
I welcome the opportunity to serve you, your friends and associates. Please give me a call today or simply reply to this email if I can be of assistance!

Brooks Beaupain, REALTOR®, ASP, GRI, CNE
Windermere Real Estate/East, Inc. | 206-778-4663

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