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Fall Home Maintenance

by Tucker Robbins

Fall is the perfect time of year to take care of your home. The days are still long enough to get plenty accomplished, and the cooler weather makes it less taxing than on those sweltering Summer days.  Getting things ready for the cold days ahead will be easy with these tips:

Trees and Leaves

  • Rake or vacuum fallen leaves as they come down.  Deciduous trees drop their leaves at different times, making it easier on you, but it’s great exercise.
  • Mulch the leaves, or bag them for your local waste management to compost, if such a program is available. 
  • Check trees for dead or diseased branches and trim them back.  Trees are going dormant this time of year, and there’s less chance for the diseases to spread after trimming. Call an arborist if the job is too daunting.
  • Fall is the best time of year to plant new trees! The roots don’t have to compete with the heat, they get plenty of water from the Autumn rain, and can settle in and get established.
  • Clean those gutters.  This can be a dreaded task, so hire a handy person or have the family pitch in to finish as quickly as possible.
  • Been thinking about changing the exterior color? Fall is a great time to paint, thanks to cooler temperatures.

General Outdoors

  • Bring in any outdoor furniture, or protect it with covers  made specifically for handling cold weather. 
  • Firewood needs to be covered with a tarp to minimize moisture from snow and rain. Lift the cover occasionally to let any trapped moisture escape.
  • Check all of your outdoor lighting, and replace any bulbs or fixtures.
  • Walk around all of the walkways and driveways, looking for cracks, and seal them with approved sealant.  Snow and ice can cause the surfaces to bulge and cause a falling hazard.
  • Clean the windows, inside and out, and replace screens with storm windows.
  • Service and store the mower, string trimmer, and any other lawn tools you may use.
  • Drain water hoses and store them where they can’t freeze. If you have a sprinkler system, drain it and turn it off.
  • Check your outdoor fireplace or fire pit to make sure it’s safe for the upcoming cool evenings around the fire.

Inside The House

  • Service the furnace. It’s easy to make sure filters are changed and ready to go, but a call to a heat and air contractor is the best way to make sure the heater is ready for Winter.  Sometimes a maintenance contract can save you money.  Ask your provider if they offer this service.
  • Check doors and windows for drafts, and seal with caulking or insulation strips.
  • See that your chimney is free of creosote to prevent fires.  A licensed chimney sweep would be the best for making sure your home and family are safe from chimney fires.
  • Make certain that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order, and replace batteries if necessary.
  • Go in the attic and look for any insulation issues, and replace or repair, if needed.  Be sure that pests can’t get inside and spend the winter in your attic!
  • Change the rotation on ceiling fans.  It should be going in a clockwise direction to help distribute heat away from the ceiling.
  • Wash and/or air out heavy blankets and quilts to get them freshened up for use.
  • If you have a basement in your home, check for cracks in the walls, and if there’s a sump pump, make sure it’s in working order.
  • Clean out closets and storage areas and have a tag sale with unwanted items that are still in great condition.

Be ready for a relaxing, warm Winter inside your home.  Home maintenance--indoors as well as outdoors--is critical for keeping your home’s value up, as well as for our own comfort.  

Courtesy of New Castle County DE Realtors Tucker Robbins and Carol Arnott Robbins.   

Photo credit: http://blog.leviton.com/fall-cleanup-101

New Castle County DE Real Estate Market Watch For August 2017

by Tucker Robbins

New Castle County DE listings decreased from 818 new listings in August 2016 down to 774 in August 2017. The average sales price increased to $256,570, while days on market dropped by 8 days.

Courtesy of New Castle County DE Realtors Tucker Robbins and Carol Arnott Robbins.   

Fun Rainy Day Things to Do Inside Your Home

by Tucker Robbins

Don’t get bored being stuck inside; below is a list of a few rainy day things you can do inside your home.  If you have small children you know all too well how easily they can get bored when they are stuck inside due to bad weather.  Get them and read this list together to get started on some fun! 

 

  1. 1. One fun indoor activity you can do with your small children is to have an indoor scavenger hunt.  Write down some clues to where you have hidden items in your house and set your children out on an indoor hunt to find them!  This can be fun for you as well as you watch your kids trying their best to find what you have hidden. 

  1. 2. Another fun rainy day thing to-do inside your home  with your family is to go camping inside!  Get your tent out and set it up right in the middle of your family room.  You and your family can sleep in the tent together all night long!  If everyone doesn’t fit you can use sleeping bags to make it a full fledge family event.  A super fun way to make your indoor camping event even more real is to make smores in the microwave!   

  1. 3. Yet another fun rainy day thing to do inside is to gather all of your board games and get the entire family involved in playing them together!  If you don’t have any board games you can likely find some type of game for all to play online.   

  1. 4. If you don’t want to have to create something fun to do with your family, why not bake some cookies together!  It is always fun to get your little ones together in the kitchen to bake.  Have each child create their own cookie with the ingredients you have available, then let the rest of the family be judges to give the best cookie award! 

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These are a few fun rainy day things you can do inside your home that is sure to make everyone have an enjoyable time even if they can’t go outside!   

 

Courtesy of New Castle County DE Realtors Tucker Robbins and Carol Arnott Robbins.   

Hoarding Habits and How to Stop Them

by Tucker Robbins

Most of us have seen the television show by the name of Hoarders. The reality of the lives these people struggle with is terrifying.  Have you ever given any thought to the fact that perhaps you are a hoarder yourself?  Maybe even just on a smaller scale?  There are a few items that even normal people tend to hoard.  Below is a list of a few items that you might be hoarding in your home and how to stop doing it.  

 

  1. 1. In this day and time most of us have all of our photos either saved to our social media pages or saved on our cell phones.  However, some of us have boxes of photos from the past that we keep just in case we want to look at them some day.  There is nothing wrong with having some photos in a box to look at but if the boxes of photos are overtaking your closet space there might be a problem.  The best way to stop this hoarding problem   is to go through the pictures you have stored in boxes a little a time and pick out those you simply cannot live without.  Once you do this, use these photos to make a small scrapbook that can easily be stored in a bookshelf that is easily accessible to anyone whenever they want to take a trip down memory lane with photos.   

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  1. 2. Another typical thing that many folks tend to hoard is magazines.  If you have a subscription to a magazine then you are getting these delivered in your mailbox once a month.  If you have more than one subscription it won’t take long before these magazines can begin to overtake your house.  The best way to stop hoarding  magazines is to throw them out as soon as you look through them.  There is no reason to keep holding on to magazines once the month has passed because no one wants to look at old outdated news.

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  1. 3. If you have children then you are likely hoarding some of their artwork somewhere in your home.  If you have more than one child you probably have a lot of it.  The best way to stop this kind of hoarding is to go through the art work and pick out your favorites.  Put your favorites into a small container that can easily be stored and looked at anytime you feel like it.  No need for hundreds of art projects lying all over the house. 

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These are just a few tips for you to get rid of items you might be hoarding in your home.  There are many others you may need to work on as well.   

 

Courtesy of New Castle County DE Realtors Tucker Robbins and Carol Arnott Robbins.   

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

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Photo of Tucker Robbins Real Estate
Tucker Robbins
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
3838 Kennett Pike
Wilmington DE 19807
(302) 777-7744 (direct)