People and Housing

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Getting Your House Ready For Winter

The yellowing lawn, changing of the thermostat, and the holiday card from the relative that wants to get everything “Holiday” out of the way super early; are all reminders that you need to think about getting your house ready for winter.

It’s time to put the lawn furniture away and make sure the grill is moved closer to the back door, after all, grilling is year-round.

Try to tackle the leaves in stages as they fall. This will reduce the risk of tick exposure as well as a possible confrontation with that meticulous neighbor who has issues with your leaves blowing on his/her property. For some, raking can be “Zen”… others in a rush to clean up that yard, reach for the leaf blower. Finally, there are those who prefer to fire up the lawn mower one last time, put on the grass catcher and mulch the leaves. These shredded leaves fit more efficiently into the trash bags and can be added to the compost pile or used to feed next year’s garden.

Don’t’ forget to clean the gutters once the leaves have all fallen. This helps prevent home damage by trapped water if it can’t flow properly away from the structure.

While the lawn and outdoor landscaping offered enjoyment during the spring and summer, now is the time to start getting them ready for the next growing season by preparing your plants and grass for the winter. Be sure to cover bushes that are prone to winter damage with burlap or another type of suitable landscape cover. Remove any fallen branches or other debris that has accumulated. Remove any weeds in the lawn that compete for nutrients and water, fertilize, aerate, and seed.

You are going to be spending more time indoors now. Time to make sure the house is “winter-ready”. Take a look around. Now is a great time to de-clutter the house. Make those tough decisions regarding what can/can’t be tossed and move things that are used only sporadically to less trafficked areas (think garage or basement). It’s also a good time to make sure the house is safe.

Run a check on the CO2 and smoke alarms, make sure they are working, and use that free check-up the boiler company offers once a year. Also, chimney sweeps are still an active profession. You might not get Dick Van Dyke on the phone but call one and have them check out your chimney to make sure there are no bird’s nests, or anything else, that could catch fire once you get the fireplace roaring.

It won’t be long before the holidays arrive. Are those decorations from last year still in the attic or do you have to go out and get new ones? While November might be a bit too early for Christmas lights, there are decorations that offer a rustic touch that brings us back to our Thanksgiving roots while also igniting that Holiday spirit. A wreath on the front door offers a warm greeting and a reminder that the season is upon us. Inside the house, decorations like pinecone ornaments or a woven basket twinned with some greenery offer cozy touches without overdoing.

Lastly, fall is the perfect time for a no- obligation mortgage check-up. Rates are at an all-time low and now is the perfect time to wrap up those mortgage savings for years to come!