The purchase of a home will likely be the biggest invest anybody will make in their life. Our homes are the centers of our lives because they hold everything and everyone important to us. Our top priorities are taking care of that invest. Winter is a harsh season here in North Idaho as a result it can cause some damage to our homes, properties, our loved ones, or even our wallets! It can be avoided if we take extra steps this fall or start of winter to prepare.
The next question is where do I start? Not knowing can be overwhelming and stressful. Below is just a small list of some important home maintenance ideas. Included is the reason you should do them. It can make a huge difference on your home and property this year.
- Windows & Doors ~Install cool weather storm windows & doors, repair and/or replace loose or damaged window or door frames and insert weather stripping or caulking around windows & doors. This will all keep your house better insulated through winter.
- Heating Systems ~ Replace the filter in your furnace and clean your ducts to help your furnace’s efficiency and help save money
- Plumbing ~ Be sure your pipes are well insulated to help avoid freezing. You’ll also want to know where the water shut off valve is in case your pipes do freeze. Be sure to remove hoses from hose bibs on your home in colder weather so that your bibs and frost fee bibs don’t freeze in the low temperatures, causing leaks in the warmer months.
- Ventilation ~ Check the eave vents to be sure it’s clear of insulation and other debris to prevent mold. Clean out your dryer vents to protect from possible ignition. Close your foundation vents durning the fall and winter to keep pipes in your crawl space from freezing.
- Safety Devices ~ Now is a good time of year to check all your safety devices to be sure you can make it through winter. Check the expiration date on your fire extinguishers, test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors (changing the batteries if necessary) and test your home for radon.
- Gutters & Downspouts ~ Clean our your gutters and downspouts of debris to put a stop to any possible rot and to keep your gutters in proper working order
Chimney & Fireplace ~ Have a professional inspect & clean your chimney to help avoid chimney fires. Test your fireplace flue for a tight seal when it’s closed to prevent water getting into your chimney.
- Landscaping & Outside Work ~ Trim any limbs that are close to power lines, cover or store your patio furniture, check your walkways, stairs and driveway for easier winter navigation. To help promote yard growth, you could fertilize and reseed your lawn as well as prune your trees and shrubs.
- Air Conditioners ~ If you have a window AC unit, be sure to remove it and store in a dry play before winter. Or cover your AC unit with a piece of plywood held down by bricks. This will help protect the unit from falling debris but also continue to allow airflow. You don’t want to put a waterproof cover over it during winter because it creates a warm environment which attracts unwanted guests.
Many enjoy Labor Day as a day off from work and the last bit of fun before summer ends. Many forget what it is we are celebrating… it was first created by the labor movement and is dedicated to the contributions and achievements of American workers. That day is set aside for the American worker to have a day of rest and to remember the importance of worker’s rights.
During the Industrial Revolution, many people were required to work 12 hour work days for 7 days a week just to make ends meet. In the late 1800’s, labor unions then became more active. They began organizing strikes and rallies to protest the unfair wages, work environment and hours.
September 5th 1882 was the first Labor Day celebration. Many workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City. 12 years later, on June 26th 1994, the American Railroad Union called to boycott all Pullman Railway cars. This caused a crippling of railroad traffic nationwide. To break this strike, the government sent troops to Chicago. This only caused a wave of riots and deaths of many workers. In an attempt to repair ties with the American workers, congress passed the act to make Labor Day a legal holiday. And on June 28th 1994, President Cleveland signed it into law.
Even after all this time, it is still unclear who the founder of the holiday is. Many credit Peter J. McGuire, the co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, as the first to suggest it. But, many believe that Matthew Maguire, a secretary of the Central Labor Union, was the first to propose the holiday.
Labor Day Celebrations & Traditions
The Labor Day celebration has transformed a bit over the years. When it was first celebrated, the focus was on a parade. This was meant to show to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” and then a festival to follow. As time went on, speeches by prominent people were introduced.
In recent years, the celebrations have really began to change. As parades have become ever more difficult in city centers, the day has focused more on relaxing and having fun before summer is over and kids are back to school.
A common Labor Day celebration in North Idaho is Fall Fest! at Schweitzer Mountain Resort. It’s a weekend filled with beer, wine, cider, live music, and a soda tent for the kids.
Many of us here in North Idaho use this last weekend of summer for family camping trips out in the National Forest. More about our National Forests
Boating on the lake is a special favorite of ours on this last weekend. Taking in all the sunshine we can and enjoying live on the lake before kids go back to school and we prepare for fall. More about Lake Coeur d’Alene
Others like to take advantage of all of the downtown events to choose from or just a weekend of shopping! Downtown CDA
No matter how you choose to celebrate Labor Day, enjoy your day off!
Buying your first home is a BIG DEAL. But it may not be as “scary” as you thought!
We have helped tons of first time home buyers get into their first homes. Time and time again, the concerns, misconceptions and fears we discuss are the same.
Here are just 3 we hear all the time and often the reasons buyers decide they need to wait or that it “just wont for for them”.
We are here to tell you, its not as hard you think and when you work with someone like us, we will get all of the questions answered and guide you through the process each step of the way. Believe us, whatever you worried about or are afraid to ask, we have dealt with it before and can help you too!
If you are curious about buying and want to know more, let’s connect! We are here to help you Make Awesome Happen.
Also be sure to watch our First Time Buyer Play List on YouTube for more helpful information about buying your first home.
As fire season continues, it’s good to take a moment and review some fire safety tips for both in the home and while outdoors. Having the basic knowledge may help prevent a home fire or a wildfire.
Below are 3 steps to follow when you have a fire outdoors:
- Picking Your Campfire Spot: Be sure you follow any rules or regulations if planning to build a pit in a campground. Ensure you pick a level spot and you are approximately 10-15 feet away from anything that could catch fire. This includes low hanging branches, trees/shrubs, and your own gear. Take the weather into account as well, for example if there will be high wind and which direction it’s going in. Make sure rocks line the pit so your fire stays within the boarder.
- While You Maintain Your Fire: Once your fire is going, do not add dangerous items such as aerosol cans, pressurized containers or aluminum cans. This items could explode, cause harmful fumes or shatter. Keep your fire at a manageable size. If it gets too large it could easily become out of hand with no way to put it out on your own. Also, always watch it. This is especially true if there are pets or children nearby. As a safety precaution, always have water close by.
- Extinguishing Your Fire: If possible, let you fire burn down to ash. Then, pour water over all the embers, not just the red ones, until the hissing sounds spots. You could also put dirt or sand over the fire, if water isn’t available. Continue adding the water or dirt/sand, stirring around with a shovel, until everything is cool. Never walk away or go to bed when your fire is still warm.
General Safety Tips to Help Prevent a Wildfire:
- Be careful while camping and using & fueling fueling lanterns, stoves, and heaters. Make sure it’s cool before refueling. Do your best not to spill flammable liquids and store appropriately.
- Do not dispose of your cigarettes, matches or any smoking material out of a moving vehicle or anywhere near an area that could catch fire. Always put your cigarette out before disposing of it.
- When burning yard waste, avoid burning in windy conditions. Have a shovel, water and fire retardant nearby and avoid all flammable materials from your yard. Follow all fire rules, such as not letting the fire get out of hand, ALWAYS keep an eye on it and put it out completely before walking away.
- If you notice an unattended or out of control fire, contact your local fire department or 9-1-1.
- If using fireworks, consider wetting down the grass and surrounding areas before lighting them. Always have a bucket of water, garden hose or fire extinguisher ready nearby. Avoid lighting fireworks on a windy night.
Below is 6 ways to prevent a fire in your home and help to avoid injury:
- Smoke Alarms: Be sure you have the correct number of smoke alarms installed in your home. Test them once a month to ensure they are still is working order. Have spare batteries in your home so if the batteries die, you can replace them right away. Replace them at least once a year. Learn more about smoke alarms by clicking here, such as how many and where to install in your home.
- Fire Extinguishers: They are a good idea to have to put out a small fire in your home or garage. Go over the 5 different types of fire extinguishers to be sure you have the correct one. Be sure your fire extinguisher is checked and tested regularly by a professional. Also, make sure you know how to use the fire extinguisher by following the P.A.S.S. rule below:
- Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.
- Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
- Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.
- Teach Your Children the Basics: Don’t let them play with matches, candles or fire and teach them that it can be dangerous. Show your child what the smoke alarm sounds like and what to do when one goes off. If your child is old enough teach them not to touch a door knob if it’s hot, how to stop drop & roll, to crawl on the ground when they see smoke, and not to hide under a bed or in a closet if there is a fire. And if you have the opportunity, go to a fire station and have them meet a firefighter so they can be familiar with what they do and their gear.
- Create A Fire Escape Plan: Draw your home’s floor plan that shows all the windows & doors. Make a plan of escape and go over it with your family, be sure there are at least 2 ways to get out of ever room, if possible. Have a spot you meet your family once outside. And be sure to practice the plan at least twice a year. Click here for a printable sheet to draw out your escape.
- Create A Family Emergency Communication Plan: Be sure every family member knows who to contact in case they can not find one another. This goes for any type of emergency, not just a fire. Also, be sure everybody know how to properly use 9-1-1.
- Stay Safe When Grilling: Do not use your grill unless it’s away from siding, decking or anything that could catch fire. Make sure your children and pets remain at least 3 feet away from the grill when it’s in use. Always stay with your grill when using it and clean it regularly.
Although it’s impossible to guarantee a fire will never get started in your home or your camp fire never gets out of hand, taking the precautions and steps above can help avoid it from happening. Always stay safe!
How is our local Real Estate Market? What can we expect for our market for the rest of the year? WHat are the indicators to watch ?
Windermere’s Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner shares his insights in the Gardner Report.
Following a trend that started last fall, job growth in Idaho continues to moderate. The addition of 18,400 new jobs year-over-year represents an annual growth rate of 2.5%. This is to be expected at this point in the economic cycle, but it’s worth noting that the current rate of job growth remains well above the national average of 1.6%.
In May, the state unemployment rate was 2.8%, marginally lower than the 2.9% rate of a year ago. The state remains at full employment, though it is interesting to note that the employment rate remained below 3% even as the labor force rose 2%, suggesting that the economy remains very robust as there are still job openings to accommodate new workers.
One thing you can almost be sure of is at some point you will find yourself on a boat during the summer here in North Idaho. With the numerous amount of lakes and rivers, it’s near impossible not to enjoy boat life, even if it’s only for a day. Whether you’re an avid boater, only enjoy it every now and then or are just getting into boating, it’s always a good idea to know the basics of boating safety before leaving the dock.
1. Check the Weather Before You Leave
Be sure to check the weather of your route and destination, including the water conditions, before you depart. You can’t always tell a storm will roll in just by looking outside.
2. Have the Proper Gear Onboard
You never know if or when you’ll have an emergency. Being sure you have all the proper gear onboard will help avoid additional issues and will ensure you’re prepared for every type of situation. Check out a full checklist here!
3. Be Aware of Carbon Monoxide
Always maintain fresh air circulation in your boat and be sure you and others on the boat are aware of carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms. Click here to learn more about CO & CO poisoning.
4. Take a Boat Safety Course & Know the Rules
There are several different courses you can take online for boat safety that you can receive certification for them. Check out the list here.
Knowing your rules will ensure you and other boaters safety. Check out the navigation rules here.
5. Get your Boat Checked
You can receive a free boat check! The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S. Power Squadrons both offer that service. These checks make sure you have the proper safety equipment and that they are in the proper condition per state and federal regulations. Find out how to get your check scheduled by clicking here.
6. Use Common Sense
Many of the rules on the water are consistent with the rules on the road. Stay alert, operate at a safe speed, make sure passengers are following safety measures, avoid alcohol use when driving and stay clear of the engine are examples of just a few.
7. Follow Proper Procedures
Knowing and following proper docking & anchoring procedures are an important part of boating. Depending on the type or boat you have and the weather conditions, the procedures you need to follow could be different. Be sure you know what to do.
Who doesn’t LOVE live music? You’d be surprise by the amount of concerts in the area. With multiple venues and a wide range of artists scheduled to play, there is something for everybody. Here’s a few of the area venues & special events, a bit about them, and their headlining shows. Check it out and enjoy the music this summer!
The setting in the Spokane location is one unlike any around. Very intimate venue, it makes it feel like you could reach out and touch the artist on stage and that they’re performing just for you. With a large bar there is little to no standing in line for your drink.
Although the arena hosts a multitude of different events, it‘s also known for it’s concerts. With 12,500 seats in the facility, many different food vendors and plenty of alcoholic beverage options you’re sure to enjoy any show you attend.
Newly renovated to enhance the experience, including new seats. Not to mention, a lounge available for you to sit and enjoy a drink or a bite to eat before the show. Other bars are located throughout the facility for you to grab some beer, wine, or coffee.
The most one of a kind place you could ever see a show, where mother nature crafted the perfect concert location. It’s not about what this venue has, but rather what it doesn’t have. There’s camping (or Glamping if you prefer), food, drinks, views and more!
Enjoy the summer and live music at this outdoor concert venue. It has been newly expanded with a luxury grandstand, bring the seating to 5,000. Unique venue you can enjoy concerts under the stars, not to mention with free parking. Stay and play after the show.
Local Shows You Can’t Miss
Two week event in Sandpoint Idaho which has the goal to make great music accessible to the area. All types of artists are scheduled to play, from genres such as country, jazz, blues, folk, world, rock & pop. Live music with dancing, food and more. Located at War Memorial Field, this is one concert series you have to see.
A Few Headliners:
This year at the Spokane County Fair concert series, there’s two days dedicated to country and two days dedicated to rock! After a day full of fair fun, be sure and join the music festivities at one of the 4 concerts!
Weekly concert held at McEuen Park in Coeur d’Alene every Wednesday throughout June, July & August. This is a great family event with beautiful views of the lake.
A Few Headliners:
Free weekly concerts at Riverstone in Coeur d’Alene every Thursday throughout June, July & August. Going into their 13th year of concerts and with high quality audio sound, it’s sure to amaze every time.
A Few Headliners:
North Point Jazz
The Talbott Brothers
Want to browse all the area shows, take a look at the list of all the concerts coming up by clicking here!
All fathers deserve the best! But sometimes they might be a little difficult to shop for, so maybe treating them to an experience would be more ideal. There are loads of fun activities you can do with your dad this Father’s Day! Check out some ideas and events happening below. And if worst comes to worst, there’s also some out of box gift ideas, which are all below $100.
Take advantage of our local lakes and rivers. Rent a boat and enjoy the water. Maybe fishing or just cruising around. Click here for a list of area lakes & rivers plus some boat launches.
Head out to a brewery. There are a ton of great breweries in our area. If beer is your dad’s thing, check out a list of local breweries by clicking here.
Hike or Bike. Maybe being active is something your dad enjoys. We’re in North Idaho, so there are plenty of places to hike or bike. Check out a great list we put together bu clicking here.
Take him to a live show. Everybody loves music! There are some concerts happening this weekend in the area, check it out here.
Check out some classic cars. You’re in luck! This weekend is the annual Car d’Alene in beautiful downtown. Check out the details here.
Take him to the golf course. Hit a few balls at a local golf course. Click here for a list of the ones in the area.
Just lay low. Keep it simple and make your dad a nice home cooked meal. Or take him to a nice restaurant in the area and have others doing the cooking for you.
Father’s Day Cocktail Class – On June 16th you and your dad can make two signature cocktails at Up North Distillery in Post Falls, plus get 20% off all merchandise.
Father’s Day Buffet – On June 16th at the Coeur d’Alene Casino, dad’s can enjoy a yummy buffet and $3 Manmosas!
Car D’Alene – June 14th and 15th in Downtown Coeur d’Alene, check out some classic cars with your dad.
Out of the Box Gift Ideas
If your dad is a spice lover, this great gift he help can create his own brand of spice.
Personalized Spatula – $24.95
Nothing shows your dad you love him more than your name on an item he uses frequently. He’ll think of you every time he uses it.
BeerLoft – $30
Save some room in your dad’s fridge with this beer loft. Now he’ll have more space for his snacks.
Whisky Wedge and Glass – $18
Help minimize the water dilution in your dad’s whisky but also keeping it chilled. That way it’ll be good to the last drop.
Beer Jelly – $30
Now your dad can eat his favorite beers straight from the tap with jelly infused with craft beers.
Personalized Engraved Glass Decanter – $29.99
Engrave one side or two sides of a glass decanter for your dad and help them savor whisky the way it was supposed to be.
Bottle Opener Slot Game – $70
Make your dad’s house the place to drink with this slot game. Who knew drinking could become even more fun?
Check out full lists of great ideas by following the links below:
One of the things Coeur d’Alene does best is coffee. For a smaller town, we boast an impressive lineup of roasters and coffee shops. If you’ve been following us on Instagram at all, you know that one of our favorite sayings is “coffee is for closers.” Because we love it so much, we thought we’d make a list of our favorite places in town to grab a cup! Whether you’re a resident, visitor, or looking to move here, this list should give you a great start!
Evans Brothers Coffee Roasters
Conveniently located in downtown Coeur d’Alene, Evan’s Brothers truly shines as one of the best coffee shops in town. The quality of their coffee beans not only contributes to incredible pour-over quality, but also gives their espresso and lattes a unique and pleasant flavor. They are true coffee enthusiasts. However, their expertise doesn’t stop a coffee roasting. They have created some of the most refreshing summer drinks available, as well as the best turmeric chai latte one could dream of. Their location downtown makes it easy to grab a drink and find a bench at McEuen Park (just a two minute walk away!) to soak up the sun. We love this spot for business meetings or just an environment to get our creative juices flowing. With their pleasant staff, meticulous attention to detail with their coffee, and overall low-key environment, Evans Brothers is one of the best in class. Also visit their dog-friendly Sandpoint location!
Terre Coffee & Bakery
Despite the large amount of coffee chains in Coeur d’Alene, Terre has managed to stand out of the bunch as perhaps the best multi-location shop in town. They have three locations spread throughout Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls, making it very convenient to grab a cup wherever you are around the area. There is ample parking at each of their locations, setting them apart from some of the coffee shops downtown. No matter the location, they have a great system that tracks customer loyalty without the hassle of a punch card or loyalty card. Their friendly staff will serve you with a smile inside the shop, or in their speedy drive through. If their amazing coffee wasn’t enough, they also provide perhaps the best pastry and breakfast options for any coffee shop around. My favorite here is their americano with steamed cream and breakfast bagel sandwich. If you’re looking for something sweet, try their gigantic cinnamon roll and honey maple latte for a great treat!
Coeur d’Alene Coffee Company
Located inside one of downtown’s coolest buildings, CDA Coffee Company has mastered the art of creating a pleasant and productive environment. Within the spacious Innovation Den, CDA Coffee Company is an open and comfortable place to grab a coffee with friends, read a book, or get some work done. Along with the wonderful feel of their shop, they also have an innovative and unique seasonal drink menu, complimented by their in-house coffee roasting. We love their vanilla lattes and fresh-daily pastries (especially their muffins.) They are also conveniently located near some great restaurants, shops, and parks. Whether you’re warming up by the fire place in the winter, or soaking in the sun on their patio in the summer, CDA Coffee Company is a must-visit!
Lean Bean Coffee
In a town filled with espresso stands, it’s tough to stand out. By their incredible consistency and friendly staff, Lean Bean has done just that. We love this place for a quick drive through that has everything you need. It’s our go-to for buying coffee for the office. Not only do they deliver great drinks at breakneck speed, but they also provide delicious breakfast options if you’re having a busy morning and need to grab something fast. They have everything: from zipfizz to granitas to coffee, and number of delicious sandwich options. Our favorite is their Cali Bagel on a jalapeno bagel + bacon. Whenever I need to grab a quick breakfast, it’s my first choice. Their loyalty program is also one of the best around, as they have loyalty cards that track points, rather than punching cards and forgetting or losing them all the time. This place has it all. Catch their happy hour every day from 4-6pm!
How does Idaho compare nationally and what can we expect for the rest of this year?
If you are wondering about the market, you are at the right spot! Because we spend a lot of time digging into the information that will give good insight into our market and how it may effect Real Estate we thought you would find this interesting too!
Did you know Idaho continues to outperform the nation in terms of economic vitality and will continue to do so for the balance of the year?
Also our job growth rate continues to remain moderate. And unemployment remains incredibly low….
All great pieces of information and good news to us! Want to dig into the information a little deeper and find out more about housing. How we are performing in relationship to last year and the counties who are showing growth?
Take a look at what Windermere’s Chief Economist has to say about Idaho. Matthew Gardner shares a lot of great information about our state, here in the Gardner Report.