As the days shorten, you can mitigate many mid-winter headaches with some preemptive prep. Proper weatherizing can help protect your home from preventable damage, save money on energy costs, and, most importantly, keep you and your loved ones safe and warm throughout the winter season. Here is a useful checklist to manage your weatherization project. Setting aside some time on a couple of weekend days should be more than enough to knock this out:
Cracks & Leaks
Examine your entire house for any cracks and leaks, from your roof to your baseboards, to your basement and foundation. With unpredictable winter weather, these cracks and leaks are how the outside gets in, causing cold drafts and water damage.
Luckily, most cracks don’t require a professional to handle it. Depending on your house type and age, it’s likely you’ll be able to do it yourself with supplies from your local hardware store.
Windows & Doors:
Gaps and breaks in windows and doors is another way to let the winter in your home, and they can let heat escape, raising your heat bill throughout the season.
Make sure seals are tight and no leaks exist. If you have storm windows, make sure you put them on before the cold season begins. Additionally, add weather-strips and or a door sweep to prevent drafts and keep the heat in.
Clean your rain gutters of any debris. In colder climates, the buildup will cause gutters to freeze with ice, crack and then leak.
Once you have removed the residue from the drains, test them by running hose water to make sure cracks and leaks have not already formed. Even in warmer locales, the buildup can put undue stress on your roof and home.
Protecting your pipes from freezing should be your number one priority this winter. A burst pipe can quickly become a disaster in any home.
Remember to turn off your exterior water source and take in your hose. Internally, wrapping your pipes is a recommended precaution to take.
Annual checks are vital in avoiding dangers such as house fires. Replace filters if you use a furnace and clear out any vents and ducts that carry heat through them. If you have baseboard heat, wipe them of dust and remove any debris that might catch fire.
Fireplace & Wood Burning Stoves:
Make sure to have chimneys and air vents cleaned early in the season if you are planning on warming your home with a wood-burning source. When your fireplace is not in use make sure to close the damper, some resources estimate an open damper can increase energy consumption by as much as 30%, increasing your bill about $200.
Sprinkler Irrigation System:
As temperatures start to drop, it’s time to shut down your lawn irrigation systems and prepare for winter’s bitter cold. Sprinkler pipes and other components are at risk of freezing and breaking when temperatures drop below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bring your patio furniture inside or cover it for the winter. Don’t forget other, smaller items such as your tools, including the hose and planting pots. Clear out any piles around the side of your house, checking for cracks and holes in your home and foundation as you go so to avoid providing shelter for unwelcome guests over the cold season.
If your property has large trees check for loose branches and call someone to trim back any limbs that may fall in your yard, on your roof or even damage a window.
Lastly, make sure your emergency kit is up to date with provisions, batteries, fresh water, food for animals, entertainment for kids – especially if you live in an area prone to power outages.
The annual trek to Park City, Utah has already begun for the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, which runs Jan. 19 until Jan. 29. If you’re planning to partake in the festivities, this guide will help you get around and enjoy the 10 creative, inspiring, hectic, and fun days.
If you were like a lot of the people here in Utah and missed your opportunity to buy the local’s passes, you still have your chance at buying a few tickets that haven’t sold out. You can find a list of the showings here.
Parties & Events
We all know that with the Sundance Film Festival comes the party scene of Hollywood. If you’re interested in getting in on the drinks, celebrity sitings, and food, then here are a few of the most anticipated events:
Thursday, Jan. 19
Après Ski Festival Kick-off Rooftop Party – 4 to 8 p.m.
The lodge is open to members as well as other invited press and industry execs for a fun Apres Ski party at the Main Street lodge.
An Artist at the Table – 8 p.m.
The annual benefit kicks off the first day of the festival with the director, Jeff Orlowski, set as the keynote speaker. The private cocktail reception and dinner follow the premiere of 45th Vice President Al Gore‘s “An Inconvenient Sequel” at the Eccles Theatre.
Friday, Jan. 20
Tao Park City – 11 p.m. to 4 a.m.
The stars bring a little Hollywood with them with the annual Tao Park City nightclub pop-up. A surprise performance or two also keeps the early morning party going at this star-studded club scene.
Saturday, Jan. 21
The IndieWire Filmmaker Party Presented By Coca-Cola And Regal Films – 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Mix and mingle with Coca-Cola, Regal, Red and film industry execs and editors at Indiewire over a bottle of Coke!
“Mudbound” After-Party – 9 p.m. to midnight
Macro and Zeal toast to the film’s Sundance arrival with stars from the film Mary J. Blige, Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke and Garrett Hedlund at the Stella Artois Filmmaker Lounge.
Sunday, Jan. 22
A Cocktail Evening To Champion Change – 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Geena Davis and the Bentonville Film Festival host a panel discussing women and diverse voices in media with industry notables, including Jill Soloway and Michaela Watkins, at Rock & Reilly’s.
Monday, Jan. 23
“Brigsby Bear” Cocktail Reception – 5:30 p.m.
Filmmaker Dave McCary and stars Mark Hamill, Claire Danes, Andy Samberg, Greg Kinnear, Jane Adams, Matt Walsh, and Kyle Mooney kick off the night with a reception in celebration of their film at the Kia Supper Suite.
Wednesday, Jan. 25
BMI’s 15th annual Snowball – 8 p.m.
A lineup of BMI singers and songwriters headline the annual gala at Festival Base Camp. Talent includes Angela McCluskey, Rachel Crow, the Hearings and more.
If the wild events of Sundance don’t entice you to join, perhaps one of these great bands will. Head on over to Main St. for some dinner then get your dancing shoes on for the shows at any of these Utah venues.
As always, Sundance is more than just a Hollywood away from home. It’s a time where creative artists come together and produce magic. There are films of all genres, parties of different kinds, and people from all over the world. Turn a film into a date night and remember, you don’t need to go to Main Street to participate. The festivities are happening in Park City, Salt Lake City, Sundance and Provo.
The big holidays are right around the corner. Along with the eggnog, holiday shopping, and countdown to the new year, comes the predictions of the housing market for 2017. Luckily for you, Windermere’s Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, has been giving his annual forecast to a variety of real estate and financial organizations. It’s always difficult to predict the future, but based on what we do know today, here are some thoughts on the current market and what you can expect in the new year.
Housing Affordability: This continues to remain a big concern for many west coast cities, as some markets have seen home prices escalating above income growth. We all know that this is unsustainable over the long term, so, luckily, it is believed the rate of growth will begin to slow and price appreciation will soften.
Housing Supply: In 2016, home prices and sales rose while listings remained the same. Hopefully, in 2017, there will be an increase in the number of homes for sale, hopefully, relieving pressure.
First-Time Home Buyers: First time home buyers should be abundant come 2017, and it’s a good thing. First-time home buyers are mandatory to achieving a more balanced housing market. While rising home prices and competition will act as an obstacle to some first timers, the increase in housing inventory should help alleviate some of the challenges.
Interest Rates: Although interest rates remain remarkably low, they have begun to increase since the election, and they will continue to increase through 2017. Matthew Gardner believes the 30-year fixed rate to increase to about 4.5 percent by year’s end. Yes, this is well above where interest rates are currently, but it’s still very low.
Alas, it is continually heard that there are concerns about an impending housing bubble. While price growth should grow in certain areas, the floor should not fall on housing prices. There should be a slight shift towards a more balanced market in the year ahead. So, all in all, 2017 shall provide yet another good real estate market.
Spring and summer usually get the most attention for home buyers and sellers. It’s no wonder why. It’s hot, the kids are out for summer, and what better way to spend your Sunday than walking around to open houses? So, it might come as a surprise to you that fall may actually be the best season to buy a home. Let me tell you why.
- Not as much competition. Like I just stated, people love to buy homes in the spring and summer because the temperature is great! What that means for you? Fall will bring you less competition, AKA less bidding wars for you to lose your favorite home to. So, stay strong my friends. There may not be as many homes, but patience and perseverance will pay off.
- Seller’s are easier to negotiate with. Imagine you’re a seller trying to get someone to buy your home before the colder months hit. If you’ve had your home on the market all summer, then chances are you are going to be pretty desperate come fall. Now, imagine you’re a buyer. You see a home that’s been on the market for three months, you will most likely give an offer lower than asking price and chances are you’ll come to an agreement in your favor.
- Fall comes with lower home prices. According to RealtyTrac’s analysis of more than 32 million home sales over 15 years, October is the best month to buy a home. Their data showed that during this month, buyer’s paid 2.6 percent below the estimated value of the home. Talk about a switch from spring and summer where sellers are getting asking price or more.
- The holidays are creeping up. Use this pre-holiday window to give fast closings and make your offer look appealing to the seller. How can someone think of presents when they have a home to sell?
- Those things called taxes. Most people won’t accept an offer just for this reason, but selling a home during the end of a fiscal year does have some added benefits. A seller you may be able to take some nice tax deductions, including closing costs, property tax, and mortgage interest, to offset their taxable earnings.
- Black Friday. If you buy a new home in the fall, you will be spoiled with the deals of Black Friday and other holiday sales. Think brand spankin’ new refrigerator for a great price.
Well, folks, if that doesn’t convince you that fall is the best season to buy, then I am not sure what does. Contact me so we can start viewing homes! Get a head start by browsing our active listings here.
Maybe it all started when I was a kid and would watch my mom rearrange our house for the 20th time to make the interior design just perfect. Or, perhaps it started when my aunt and uncle jumped into the world of real estate and their lives lit up. Either way, I knew for a long time that real estate was an adventure I wanted to tackle.
And here I am — a Realtor for Windermere. It might be coincidence that my aunt is also an agent for Windermere in California, or it may just be that we are attracted to great companies. That said, I made it, and I am excited to partake on this journey with you. Whether it be finding your dream home, selling your home to move into your dream home, or finding that investment property to make your wallet proud, I am officially your girl. You can look to me for any of your real estate needs and I promise I will deliver.
I get it. You don't want to hire a girl you don't know, so let me tell you a little bit about myself. I grew up in California, moved to Boulder, CO for college, traveled Central and South America and Southeast Asia for two years, met my husband in Peru, then moved to Utah to start my career and get married. How was that for one sentence? All in all, I love to travel (especially around Utah), drink coffee, take photos, meet strangers, talk to friends and family and work hard. But, what I really love most is making you happy. I will work my hardest to make sure you are happy and get what you want. So, let's meet — get coffee (or tea) — and talk about your needs. I can't wait.