Here in beautiful North Idaho we are lucky to have 4 very distinct seasons. Everybody loves the warmth of Summer, the freshness of Spring, the colors of Fall, and the coziness of Winter.
With winter comes SNOW and that can mean snow storms! Driving in the snow and knowing how to be prepared for winter driving can be a bit stressful.
Knowing what to do or even where to start preparation can be one of the biggest hurdles. There are simple preparations that can be done to your vehicle and with your family to get through the longest and coldest season. Check out the below tips to help avoid winter from sneaking up on you and those you love.
Preparation Tips for Successfully Surviving the Winter:
Get a Vehicle Winter Maintenance Check-up Before Winter Hits:
~ Don’t wait to check your battery, belts, hoses, radiator, lights, brakes, heater/defroster and wipers ~
~ Tire shops and mechanics are busiest just before and during winter storms, so get your check-up scheduled NOW ~
Keep a Basic Winter Survival Kit in Your Vehicle:
~ Flashlight ~ Batteries ~ Blanket ~ Snacks ~
Water ~ Gloves ~ Boots ~ First-aid kit ~
Load Your Car with Basic Travel Gear:
~ Tire chains ~ Ice scraper/snowbrush ~ Jumper cables ~ Road flares ~
Keep Your Fuel Tank Full:
~ Don’t let it fall below half a tank ~
Plan With Your Family
~ Create a plan that works well with your family ~
~ Practice it each year before the snow falls ~
~ Be sure to find your local station for traffic reports and emergency messages ~
~ Know the weather approaching so you are prepared for its arrival ~
Check Your Tires:
~ Make sure your chains fit before the first winter storm ~
~ Check tire pressure during cold weather ~
Click on the Checklists Below for More Information:
AND REMEMBER TO ALWAYS BE SAFE OUT THERE!!
Washington State Dept of Transportation https://www.wsdot.com/winter/emergencykit.htm
Take the Winter by Storm https://takewinterbystorm.org/
When buying a home for the first time you most likely want to save money any chance you get. It can seem like an overwhelming and never ending drain on your bank account. When you finally close on your new home you probably won’t want to even think about any more paperwork or transactions, but a quick trip to the County Assessor’s office to file a homeowner’s exemption will save you so much money each year in property tax.
What is it ?
An exemption that reduces the taxable value of your home up to a maximum of $100,000 in value.
Why do I need it?
By reducing the taxable value of your home, your taxes are much LESS and you SAVE! If you have a mortgage, this savings will likely reduce your total monthly mortgage payment.
If you live in your home at least 6 months out of the year as your primary residence, you qualify!
When do I need to file?
You must file by the 15th of April in 2018!
Where do I file?
The county assessors office for the county in which you reside.
Remember: Idaho is a non-disclosure state and this means that you do not have to share the value of your home with the county when you apply (what you paid for it)
If you are not sure about your home owner exemption status, give us a call and we would be happy to help you! We are here to help!
If you’ve been outside anytime during the last week, you no doubt noticed the smoke. It’s fire season again in the Pacific Northwest. Before we talk about the multitude ways to help keep your investment safe from fire, I want to give a heartfelt thank you to all of those firefighters away from their families. Thank You! On to business.
When you decided to purchase a house and make the emotional commitment of being a home owner, I truly doubt you ever thought that a fire could happen to you. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, in 2015 there were 501,500 structure fires in the U.S. resulting in just over 10 billion dollars in damages and 2,685 deaths. No one wants to be a part of this statistic.
Smoke alarms probably seem like a no-brainer, but there maybe you forgot to test them or check the batteries. It is recommended that you test them monthly and replace the batteries every six months when you change the clocks for daylight savings time. Another thing to remember when putting in new alarms, smoke rises. Smoke is less dense than air so it rises, which is why smoke alarms are on the ceiling or no further than 6 inches from the ceiling on the wall.
typically associated with businesses, schools and hospitals but fire extinguishers are recommended for the home as well. The best places to keep your home extinguishers are anyplace that you would expect something to combust. Obviously the kitchen, but also in places like the garage or down in the basement by the furnace. You, the homeowner are also encouraged to have a fire extinguisher for every floor. You don’t want to be in a situation where you have to run upstairs to get the fire extinguisher.
Know your types of extinguishers!
There isn’t one fire extinguisher that works on all types of fires. And speaking of types of fires, there are 6. SIX! with 5 different types of extinguishers, the location of the fire will most likely dictate the type of fire. I am not going to go in depth with all of the types and appropriate applications. But for the sake of the homeowner, you’ll need to determine which one is right for the different areas of your home. It is worth noting that the dry powder type of extinguisher (also known as the ABC type) is not recommended for small spaces such as homes and offices. If inhaled, it can be very damaging.
Know how to use the extinguisher
Having an extinguisher is just half the battle. If you want to be effective in stopping fires before they do real damage, you need to know how to use them. remember the acronym PASS. P-pull pin A-aim at the base S- squeeze the trigger S- sweep back and forth. Here is a short video illustrating the proper technique.
Emergency Escape Route
I remember when I was young, I always thought it was silly to do a fire drill at home. It wasn’t until I grew up and had babies of my own and realized that you absolutely need to practice. If you live in a home with multiple stories, get a window ladder. You wont always be able to use the stairs. Some advice I would like to pass on. If there is a fire in your home. Do not get dressed. Don’t try to find valuables. Don’t search for pets. Just get your children and leave the house. Most likely the animals will find a way out on their own. They have instincts that guide them away from fire. Your valuables are worthless if you do not have someone to share them with. Keep your family safe.
Keep combustibles away from outlets and other electronics.
It makes sense when you think about it retrospectively. But how often do we push furniture up against outlets or not think about the power strip we have had around since the 90’s. Sure it might work just fine. But newer electronics like power strips are being made safer and besides, after years of use (or maybe abuse) it’s not exactly as safe as it used to be. Outlets, extension cords, open or lose wiring. Check them. As for your electronics, I’m sure you’ve noticed that after using tv’s or laptops they get warm (maybe hot) to the touch. With the right combinations of factors, you could have a fire on your hands. Keep electronics off when they’re not being used. While the electronics are in use, keep them away from combustibles.
Keep the dead and dry stuff away from the house
Not all fires start from inside the home, some start from your yard or property. As homeowners, you are advised to trim back or remove completely, any dead trees or shrubs, or any dried up debris. These types of organic materials serve as kindling in wildfires, and they pose a threat to your home as well!
If we forgot something or you know a good way to keep your home safe, please say so in the comments! We love hearing from you. Stay safe out there in the heat and smoke!
Let’s Make Awesome Happen
Independence Day is just around the corner and we’ve come up with some tips, tricks and design ideas to help you be the BBQ champion. Some of my favorite childhood memories were any given summer outside, circled around the grill with friends and family. Here’s to you and yours. Here’s to turning those summer days in to wonderful memories.
Clean your Grill!
The key to having almost anything ready to use, is cleaning it up after you use it. But if you are like me, sometimes the food coma sets in and cleaning up is out of the question. Here are some ways to keep your grill ready for a cookout at a moments notice.
- Leave your grill on for a few minutes with the hood closed. This is a super easy, coma-friendly way to burn off any excess foods and fats left on the grill.
- Give your grill a good scrub with something abrasive. Grill brushes, tin foil, abrasive sponge. Put a minute of elbow grease in to it to remove any charred junk.
- To ensure a non-sticking grill when you fire it up the next time, spray on some non-stick spray or a bit of vegetable oil. I’ve even heard that rubbing a 1/2 onion on the grate can do the trick.
- That’s it. These easy steps will have your grill laying in wait, ready to pounce at any moment to help you keep your throne of Grill King- or Queen!
If you hate following instructions like me, here is the video version from diy network: How to clean your grill in 15 minutes
Here are a few hacks to make serving, eating and cleaning up after your festivities easy as pie!
Here are some recipes that we either love or want to make this summer. And I may be a bit biased for bourbon. Not sorry. Photos and titles are linked.
Yes. All of those!
These look amazing. I cant wait to make these. Ribs are such a guilty pleasure of mine. They’re messy, they’re not exactly on the skinny menu, but Lord they are delicious.
You read that correctly. Made these last year for a family gathering. I wish I had made more, there wasn’t nearly enough to go around twice.
This is another recipe I am looking forward to using this Independence day. I hope it has as much kick as they say.
BBQ Grill Station Ideas
Maybe this summer your mind is set on remodeling or updating your back yard. Here are some BBQ stations that are functional and add to your back yard setting.
These concrete counter tops have plenty of room for prepping. I really like the clean and fucntional design, as well as the low cost of concrete.
This one is really great too, I think the portable design is perfect for a more laid back yard. And having a sink nearby is such a smart idea. You handle tons of raw meat when you grill, and being able to wash your hands is an obvious way to prevent food-born illnesses. It even has a built in chopping block…. ok, ok. It’s a cutting board. A girl can dream right?
If putting together a large permanent station isn’t something that your bank account will allow, this might be a good solution. You can set up a semi-permanent station by using cinderblocks and paver stones to accomplish a similar built-in feel. This way you won’t spend a fortune and you will still have all that work and prep space.
We hope you enjoy these tips and tricks. If you’re feeling motivated, we’d love to see how your projects are coming along. And feedback on the recipes is always encouraged. Enjoy!
From our family to yours, We hope you have a wonderful and proud Independence Day!
God Bless America!
If you’re like me, when you started the buying process you might have wondered why some houses are so outrageously priced and others are not. There are many factors that come in to play such as mortgage rates and availability, economic growth and personal demographics. But when prospective buyers are shopping their market, the one factor they may overlook is inventory shortage.
Real estate inventory is the quantity of houses that are available for purchase in any given market. When I’m out showing people properties, clients always amazed at how few mid-range homes there are. Clients also can’t believe how quickly they go.
The only time that inventory is a problem for home buyers is when the inventory is low. Basic economics. High demand and low supply yields high price tags for buyers. However, if you’re looking to sell, this is great news for you. The fewer homes available, the higher the price tag on your home.
In our current market in the Pacific Northwest, there has been an inventory shortage for several years. Due to the shortage, people are staying in their homes longer and moving less. Contractors are also in a bind because of the inventory shortages are causing prices to shoot through the room. Contractors don’t get paid for homes that sell for less than their cost for production, making them less inclined to build for fear of not making a profit.
In this quick video Matthew Gardner, Windermere’s chief Economist, breaks down the inventory shortage and it’s side effects. He also gives us a forecast for what might be to come.
Now that it is nearly summer in Northern Idaho, you can almost hear a collective sigh of relief across the Panhandle. The sun is out, flowers are blooming and we can finally head downtown to Coeur d’Alene’s wonderful farmers market! John and I have always felt personal conviction to buy local and to support our community and what better way than going out to meet the faces behind all the hard work?
Just a short trip down town to 5th street and you’ll find dozens of tents full of color and aromas that will make you soar. Last year we bought some rare herbs for the garden at one of the local vendors and I was relieved to find that they are back again this year.
You’re also likely to find one or two dairies, some fresh made stone-fired pizza and handmade soaps and countless other crafts but my Granddaughter’s favorite is the strawberry ice cream that Sweet Peaks is selling. Sweet Peaks has been doing the farmers market for a while now, but are just opening up a food truck on 4th & Best Ave. They make all of their ice cream right on the spot with liquid nitrogen. It was really nice finally having ice cream that tasted like both cream and strawberries (real ones).
We hope you get out to the next one and make your own adventure like we did!
Downtown: Wednesdays 4pm-7
5th & Sherman
Hayden: Saturdays 9am-1:30
Hwy 95 & Prairie
Tax time again and a mound of documents and not sure what to do with it all?
Hopefully you made it through another tax season and found all of your documents needed to file your return. Now, what documents do you need to keep and which ones should you toss? Here’s a little guideline which will help you with clearing out the old paperwork, but not throwing away anything that you might need later.
What to keep and what to toss?
John and Tracey Tindall
208-818-2365 or 2456
Thinking of selling and want to spruce up your home before hitting the market? Surprisingly you should think small when making renovations and updates for the best ROI.
If you are like most of our clients you may have a laundry list of things you believe you need to your home before you sell it. Some of the things may be costly and in the end will not improve the sale-ability of your home or even provide a good return on your investment investment. Here are some tips to consider:
If you are thinking of selling , lets meet up and we can work with you to develop a plan for success. The right improvements to increase the sale-ability of your home while being kind to your finances.
How to contact John and Tracey
John Tindall: 208-818-2456 firstname.lastname@example.org
Tracey Tindall: 208-818-2365 email@example.com
Click here to learn: More about us!
Is this a good time to sell?
Here is your housing snapshot for January 2017 showing an increase of 10% in median home prices and time on market down 5% in Kootenai County. If you are a seller who is on the fence about putting your home on the market, this snapshot is a good indication that this might be a very good time for you to sell your home.
A market offering higher median home prices, shorter closing time frames and less inventory will give sellers who decide to list now have some real advantages especially this time of year.
Listing your home before the masses who wait for better weather in April and May can give you the edge for success. Low inventory combined with a large number of qualified buyers creates competition for your listing. Many buyers have already lost out on another home and these buyers are ready to pounce once your listing hits the MLS. Homes that are show ready and priced right are garnering multiple offers at full price and often offers over full price!
If you would like to be kept up to date on the market or know more about selling your home or the value of your home, contact us and we will be happy to provide you with a customized market analysis.
John and Tracey Your Professional Agents 208-818-2365 John firstname.lastname@example.org 208-818-2456 Tracey email@example.com Website www.johnandtracey.com