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!
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!
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!
Love is in the air and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! What are you going to do for your sweetie this year? Whether you want to get them something special or do something special, there’s lots of options. We’re here to help make your day exceptional.
Avoid The Same Old Same Old
Do you tend to get your special someone the same thing each and every year? Maybe some roses and a box of chocolates? This is the year to break that trend and avoid the ordinary!! Check out these great gift ideas that are better than flowers and candy. It’s guaranteed to surprise the one you love:
This personalized gift is a great way to look back on your relationship. From the day you met, first date, got married, and the birth of your children.
What better way to capture each and every moment as they happen? You can treasure those moments forever. Stick them on your fridge, in a photo album or scrapbook.
Bring the spa to her! With several different scent options, you can treat your love from the comfort of their own home.
Switch up the usual with this date night bucket list. Lots of creative date night ideas, both fun and intellectual. Avoid the dreaded “What do you want to do tonight?” question.
Remember your special day in this unique way. Pick the best line from your vows and put them on display.
Satisfy their sweet tooth with a twist. So gorgeous they’ll never want to eat it… if they can resist.
You Know Them Best
When it comes right down to it, you know your love the best. This is an excuse to treat them… maybe spoil them with a spa day. Keep them grilling with a BBQ Set. Make them laugh with a silly mug. Keep them cozy with a new blanket & pillow or PJ set. Get them a little buzzed with their favorite wine. Keep things smelling fresh with a candle. Help them feel pretty with personalized jewelry. Even if it’s the classic flowers & chocolates, get them what they want.
A Night on The Town
Want to take your sweetie out on the town? Beautiful Coeur d’Alene and the surrounding area is never short on events, even for the day of love. And also some great date night ideas you could do on Valentine’s Day or any other.
The Chocolate Affair – On February 8th at the Resort Plaza Shops from 5-8pm
Valentines Bazaar – On February 9th at Garden Plaza in Post Falls from 11am-3pm
Love on the Lake Dinner and Cruises – On February 14th boarding at The Boardwalk Marina at 5pm or 7:30pm
Valentine’s Chocolate Fountain Buffet – On February 14th at the Coeur d’Alene Resort at 4pm
Valentine’s Day Acoustic Dinner – On February 15th at Cruisers Bar & Grill from 7-11pm
Sweetheart’s Ball – On February 15th at The Best Western from 5:30-9:30pm
Ice Skating at River Front Park in Spokane – Make an entire night of it and have dinner at an elegant restaurant downtown, catch a movie, go ice skating, and then stay at a nice hotel.
Pinot’s Palette Date Night – You paint half a picture on a canvas and your partner paints the other half, making one giant gorgeous picture. Don’t forget the drinks.
Ski/Snowboard Day – Enjoy the slopes at any one of the great resorts near us!
A getaway with the one you love is needed every now and then. And what better time than Valentine’s Day? Celebrate your love together and enjoy a small vacation. You’ll still be close to home, yet in a world of your own.
Located in gorgeous Sandpoint Idaho, this is a must stay. Visitors get to enjoy astounding views of the surrounding mountain ranges and beautifully constructed log cabins. Don’t forget the horseback riding, outdoor activities, and all the history that comes with it.
The Blackwell Hotel is located in Downtown Coeur d’Alene. It’s full of elegance, history, and many unique touches. First built in 1904, it still has the original artwork. A very romantic place, a must see!
Located on the North Shore of Coeur d’Alene Lake, it’s become a top place to stay for visitors. At the resort you will never be bored with accommodations like golfing, spa, pool, restaurants, nightlife and more! Check out their lake front rooms today.
This is a one of a kind experience! Dinner & a movie, then dessert & drinks after the credits roll. Don’t forget the gambling & luxury rooms to stay in. Everything you need in one place.
Located in Downtown Spokane, Historic Davenport Hotel is right in the center of everything. With gorgeous city views, a romantic design, a spa, and even jetted tubs and fireplaces in some rooms you’ll never want to leave! Great balance of modern amenities and a historic charm.
This little bed & breakfast is located just 10 minutes from downtown. Close but away from all the crows. Very peaceful and quite location which makes it perfect for a romantic getaway.
No matter how you choose to spend your Valentine’s Day, make it memorable and celebrate your love!!
Coeur d’Alene never ceases to amaze us. Not only do we get to enjoy the obvious beauty and all the lovely people who live here, but our Lake City offers so many other benefits! Like Theater!! But not just any Theater… Aspire Community Theatre.
Great Local Entertainment
Aspire Community Theatre (ACT) is unlike any other. How, you may ask? To start, they are a completely non-profit run organization with experienced theatrical artists in charge. It’s a community theater, staffed 100% by volunteers, yet working at a professional level. As a result, you can count on exceptional and entertaining performances each and every time.
Aspire was founded because many parents of children in theater were unable to find other options once their children graduated. Their only other option was acting at a professional level. Creating this theater was a way they could continue to learn and expand their acting abilities right here at home. Aspire is a conservatory theatre, which means, the students will learning through out each production because they are involved in each aspect of the production. Aspire incorporates a wide a wide range of groups and ages to keep things lively. Plus, they “not only develop artists, but theater enthusiasts through education and exposure”.
Aspire’s mission “is to enrich, entertain and educate our community through exceptional live theater which inspires the imagination and provokes contemplation of truth. Our goal is to honor, reflect and collaborate with the greater community we serve, creating leaders for the future, as we form partnerships today.” And they do just that!
Courtesy of the Coeur d’Alene Press
A Gift To The Community
Theater is a gift – for both the audience and artists and with 600 season ticket holders it seems like our community agrees. Bringing together experienced theatrical artists combined with young talent and community leaders; Aspire is determined to improve the lives of not only the artists and productions but this community. They provide a venue “For the next generation of characters”. Because of their local success, they are the only theater in the pacific northwest playing Mama Mia! First show is February 8th.
John and Tracey Chime In
“Our first Aspire experience was for “Catch Me If You Can”. We were intrigued when they said it would be a MUSICAL! We loved the movie and were so interested in seeing how it could be made as a musical. Aspire took that movie to a whole new level as a musical play. We loved it! Above all, it was so creative and a throughly enjoyable performance. We laughed and enjoyed every minute of it. Aspire offers a diverse and multi-faceted mixture of talent we have not seen in community theater. If you are looking for a great entertaining evening, go to a performance. Finally, Mamma Mia would make a wonderful treat for your Valentine!
John and Tracey Tindall
Contact us for special ticket discounts!!
Happening in February
Contact us for special ticket discounts!!
Contact us for special ticket discounts!!
Visit Aspire here! Check out the upcoming shows and learn organization, donate, sponsor and volunteer.
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 email@example.com
Tracey Tindall: 208-818-2365 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com 208-818-2456 Tracey firstname.lastname@example.org Website www.johnandtracey.com