A Fall Checklist of 10 Things You Have To Do Before Winter Sets In

It’s quite a chilly fall day in the Greenbrier Valley! Over the weekend, we welcomed the Fall season. Love it or hate it, it’s here! The weather and time of year got us thinking about preparing for cooler temperatures. So, we have found a great checklist and wanted to share it with you. It’s time to tackle a few simple chores that’ll make winter more pleasant and prevent some nasty surprises next spring.

This fall checklist helps:

#1 Clean and Stow Your Mower

If you’re not familiar with fuel stabilizer, get to know it. If your mower sits for months with gas in its tank, the gas will slowly deteriorate, which can damage internal engine parts. Fuel stabilizer ($10 for a 10-ounce bottle) prevents gas from degrading.Add stabilizer to your gasoline can to keep spare gas in good condition over the winter, and top off your mower tank with stabilized gas before you put it away for the winter. Run the mower for five minutes to make sure the stabilizer reaches the carburetor.

garden grass meadow green

#2 Remove Garden Hoses From Faucets

Remove garden hoses from outdoor faucets. Leaving hoses attached can cause water to back up in the faucets and in the plumbing pipes just inside your exterior walls. If freezing temps hit, that water could freeze, expand, and crack the faucet or pipes. Make this an early fall priority so a sudden cold snap doesn’t sneak up and cause damage.

Turn off any shutoff valves on water supply lines that lead to exterior faucets. That way, you’ll guard against minor leaks that may let water enter the faucet.

While you’re at it, drain garden hoses and store them in a shed or garage.

#3 Drain Your Sprinkler System

Time to drain your irrigation system. Even buried irrigation lines can freeze, leading to busted pipes and broken sprinkler heads.

  1. Turn off the water to the system at the main valve.
  2. Shut off the automatic controller.
  3. Open drain valves to remove water from the system.
  4. Remove any above-ground sprinkler heads and shake the water out of them, then replace.

If you don’t have drain valves, then hire an irrigation pro to blow out the systems pipes with compressed air. A pro is worth the $75 to $150 charge to make sure the job is done right, and to ensure you don’t have busted pipes and sprinkler head repairs to make in the spring.

#4 Seal Air Leaks

Grab a couple of tubes of color-matched exterior caulk ($5 for a 12-ounce tube) and make a journey around  your home’s exterior, sealing up cracks between trim and siding, around window and door frames, and where pipes and wires enter your house. Preventing moisture from getting inside your walls is one of the least expensive — and most important — of your fall maintenance jobs. You’ll also seal air leaks that waste energy.

Pick a nice day when temps are above 50 degrees so caulk flows easily.

#5 De-Gunk Your Gutters

Clogged rain gutters can cause ice dams, which can lead to expensive repairs. After the leaves have fallen, clean your gutters to remove leaves, twigs, and gunk. Make sure gutters aren’t sagging and trapping water; tighten gutter hangers and downspout brackets. Replace any worn or damaged gutters and downspouts.

If you find colored grit from asphalt roof shingles in your gutters, beware. That sand-like grit helps protect shingles from the damaging ultraviolet rays of the sun. Look closely for other signs of roof damage (#5, below); it may be time for a roofing replacement.

Your downspouts should extend at least 5 feet away from your house to prevent foundation problems. If they don’t, add downspout extensions; $10 to $20 each.

#6 Eyeball Your Roof

If you have a steep roof or a multistory house, stay safe and use binoculars to inspect your roof from the ground.

Look for warning signs: Shingles that are buckled, cracked, or missing; rust spots on flashing. Any loose, damaged, or missing shingles should be replaced immediately.

Image result for roof shingles

Black algae stains are just cosmetic, but masses of moss and lichen could signal roofing that’s decayed underneath. Call in a pro roofer for a $50 to $100 eval.

A plumbing vent stack usually is flashed with a rubber collar — called a boot — that may crack or loosen over time. They’ll wear out before your roof does, so make sure they’re in good shape. A pro roofer will charge $75 to $150 to replace a boot, depending on how steep your roof is.

#7 Direct Your Drainage

Take a close look at the soil around your foundation and make sure it slopes away from your house at least 6 vertical inches over 10 feet. That way, you’ll keep water from soaking the soils around your foundation, which could lead to cracks and leaks.

Be sure soil doesn’t touch your siding.

#8 Check Your Furnace

Schedule an appointment with a heating and cooling pro to get your heating system checked and tuned up for the coming heating season. You’ll pay $50 to $100 for a checkup.

An annual maintenance contract ensures you’re at the top of the list for checks and shaves 20% off the cost of a single visit.

Change your furnace filters, too. This is a job you should do every two months anyway, but if you haven’t, now’s the time. If your HVAC includes a built-in humidifier, make sure the contractor replaces that filter.

#9 Prune Plants

Late fall is the best time to prune plants and trees — when the summer growth cycle is over. Your goal is to keep limbs and branches at least 3 feet from your house so moisture won’t drip onto roofing and siding, and to prevent damage to your house exterior during high winds.

For advice on pruning specific plants in your region, check with your state extension service.

#10 Give Your Fireplace a Once-Over

Image result for chimneyTo make sure your fireplace is safe, grab a flashlight and look up inside your fireplace flue to make sure the damper opens and closes properly. Open the damper and look up into the flue to make sure it’s free of birds’ nests, branches and leaves, or other obstructions. You should see daylight at the top of the chimney.

Check the firebox for cracked or missing bricks and mortar. If you spot any damage, order a professional fireplace and chimney inspection. An inspection costs $79 to $500.

You fireplace flue should be cleaned of creosote buildup every other year. A professional chimney sweep will charge $150 to $250 for the service.

Article Adapted from House Logic


We hope you found these tips helpful and enjoy this new season we’re welcoming!
Happy Fall!

As always, for any real estate needs contact us! We’re ready to serve you!

Greenbrier Real Estate Service
http://www.greenbrierrealestateservice.com
304.645.2255

Gregory Allman, Brokerfall-checklist-maintenance-standard_bdc024bc38b7143c1fc5a68511c36f55_860x1195_q85

 

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Top 15 Questions to Ask Your Agent

Be a well informed buyer…ask your agent these questions when touring a home.

Our agents tour homes every day. Pick your agent’s brain for any unique qualities that stand out or flaws that you could be unaware of. If your agent doesn’t know the answer to a question, she or he can always ask the seller’s agent later.

Common questions to ask your agent:

  • What do you like about the home?
  • Do you have any concerns about this home?
  • Is the price right?
  • How long has this home been on the market?
  • How quickly do you think this home will sell?
  • How long have the current owners owned the home?
  • Why is the home for sale?
  • How old is the home?
  • Are any repairs needed?
  • How old is the roof?
  • When were the floors last refinished?
  • What type of heating and cooling systems are in place?
  • How old is the electrical and plumbing?
  • Can you see a copy of the current owner’s utilities?
  • Is there a homeowner’s association with fees?

 

Article adapted from Redfin.com


Our professional REALTORs at Greenbrier Real Estate Service are always willing to answer any questions you may have. Contact us today! 304.645.2255

Upcoming Events in the Greenbrier Valley:

September 21-23: Giant Fall Flea Market 9am-6pm WV State Fairgrounds
Other area events can be found at Greenbrier Valley Events  and Hashtag WV

 

 

Things to Look for on a Home Tour

Before you begin touring, research homes online and start narrowing down your must-haves versus nice-to-haves. Then try to find homes to tour within your price range. When you get more serious about your house hunt, you’ll want a trustworthy real estate agent to help point out flaws, keep you within your budget, and tell you when to walk away.

Now, you’ve requested to see a home from your trusted Greenbrier Real Estate Service REALTOR. You’re off to a great start! Take a look at this list of things to look for while you’re viewing the home…

Once inside a home, try everything.

white wooden kitchen island
Sight lines, cabinet storage, style, floorplan all things to keep in mind when on a home tour.

Follow common courtesy but don’t be shy—open and shut the cupboards, flush the toilets, and whip out the measuring tape. Here are a few key things to look for on each tour:

  • Architectural style
  • Number, location, and size of bedrooms
  • Number, location, and size of bathrooms
  • Closet and storage space
  • Number of floors
  • Sight lines through home
  • General floorplan
  • Age and condition of appliances
  • Light switches and number of sockets in each room
  • Plumbing and water pressure
  • Amount of natural light and views, if any
  • Noise levels inside and outside the home
  • Width and types of stairways
  • Porches and decks
  • Garage and/or parking capacity
  • Proximity to neighboring homes
  • Remodeling opportunities

Don’t forget the exterior

Don’t forget to walk around the entire home and property. Pay attention to the age and condition of the roof and siding. Does the landscaping look like it will be a lot of work? If you don’t have a green thumb and don’t want to hire a gardener every month, you may want to look for a home with easy outdoor upkeep.

Take notes and photos

It’s easy to get homes mixed up so take photos, videos, and notes on each tour. Photograph features you particularly like and dislike about each home, and share these insights with your agent. Looking through your photos and notes with fresh eyes may also trigger additional questions you have about the home.

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Photo by Miesha Moriniere on Pexels.com

Research the neighborhood

Take few minutes before or after your home tour to check out the neighborhood. How does the neighborhood feel? Is it bustling or quiet? Is there shopping, dining, and gas nearby? What are the schools like?

The bottom line

Home buying takes plenty of compromise and patience. It’s easy to fall in love with a home at first sight—and if you love a home, chances are everyone else will too. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but just realize that you may be up against some competition. Be prepared to make multiple offers before you find the right home at the right price.

As always our REALTORS at Greenbrier Real Estate Service are always dedicated to guiding you through this process. Stay tuned for our next blog!–Things to ask Your Real Estate Agent– a continuation of Things to Look for on your Home Tour.


Greenbrier Real Estate Service
Gregory Allman, Broker
304.645.2255

Hurricane Florence Approaches: How West Virginians Can Prepare

Though the path of Hurricane Florence seems ever-changing and it’s intensity fluctuating (actually decreasing greatly overnight), it’s best to always be prepared for how our area of the Greenbrier Valley could be impacted. For West Virginians and those that may be traveling to or through West Virginia the following information and tips could be very helpful.

hurricane

Information from WV Tourism:

Lodging

West Virginia State Parks is offering a 55% discount on available lodge parks, cabins and campsites for those fleeing Hurricane Florence. The offer is available through Tuesday, Sept. 18. Leashed pets are allowed in campgrounds. Pet-friendly cabins and lodge rooms available, but are subject to availability. Book online at wvstateparks.com or call 1-833-WV-PARKS.

If you need additional help finding lodging, please feel free to call 1-800-CALL-WVA for assistance. Click here to see more lodging options, including hotels, bed & breakfasts, and more across the state.

Welcome Centers across the state are staffed to accommodate travel questions and needs.

Traffic

WV Department of Transportation 

Website (live map)
Phone: Dial 511 from any mobile phone or landline
Toll-Free Phone: 1-855-699-8511
Twitter Feed: https://twitter.com/WV511

Incident List: here.

Road Conditions: here.

National Alerts: here.

I-77 Construction
Governor Jim Justice and the WV Department of Transportation has suspended road work on I-77 NB. However, traffic may persist so drivers are urged to explore alternate routes.

Alternate Route 1: US 460 E /US 219 N to I-64 W
Take Exit 9 in Princeton; follow US 460 East to US 219 North. Take US 219 North to I-64 West. Follow I-64 West to I-77 North.

Alternate Route 2: I-81 N / US 460 E / US 219 N / I-64 W
In Wytheville, VA, take I-81 North to exit 118 B in Christiansburg. Take US 460 West toward West Virginia. Take US 219 North to I-64 West. Follow I-64 West to I-77 North.

Alternate Route 3: I-81 N / I-64 W
In Wytheville, VA, take I-81 North to Lexington. In Lexington, take I-64 West into West Virginia. Follow I-64 West to I-77 North.


Prepare yourself and your home:

  1. Gather needed supplies for at least three days. Include food and water sufficient for at least three days, medications, a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.  Don’t forget the needs of pets.
  2. Bring loose, lightweight objects inside that take flight in high winds (e.g., patio furniture, garbage cans); anchor objects that would be unsafe to bring inside (e.g., propane tanks); and trim or remove trees close enough to fall on the building.
  3. Charge your cell phones and other devices now so you will have a full battery in case you lose power.

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West Virginia State Fair Grounds has announced availability as an evacuation site for a limited number of horses and campers in its path! Please call 304-645-1090.


Stay up to date with local news: WVNS TV FOX59 and WVVA

 

 

 

3 Design Tricks to Make Your Small Space Feel Big

Low on square footage? Don’t sweat it — a small space is an opportunity to get clever.

Got a small space in your home that you’re not sure what to do with? Or is your cramped apartment forcing you to get creative with your furniture arrangements? You’re not alone.

Make your small room or living area fit your needs with clever solutions that will streamline your life and maximize your space.

1. Thoughtful paint choices

Choosing the right paint color for your small room can instantly give the impression of more space. Traditional neutrals like white, cream and light gray are great choices, because they provide a clean and streamlined look that makes the room feel brighter and more expansive.

Painting the ceiling white to draw the eye upward is an easy way to create visual openness overhead. You’ll have an airy and inviting space in no time.

On the other hand, if you want to play up the small-space vibe even more, go bold with dark colors. You can emphasize the smallness of a room by making a cozy, den-like atmosphere with colors like black, dark gray and navy.

Whether you decide to go light or dark, adding paint to your small space will help you get the effect you’re going for, both quickly and affordably.

2. Savvy storage

Tight spaces don’t often come with great storage. But by incorporating creative and flexible storage solutions, you can keep clutter out of sight and keep everything you need handy.

The kitchen is a great place to implement clever storage solutions:

  • Create an adjustable cooking area with roll-away islands and pantries.
  • Hang spices or wine glasses beneath your cupboards.
  • Attach holders to the backs of cabinet doors to keep foil and cleaning supplies neatly out of sight.

Don’t forget to look up! The ceiling is a great place to hang big items like bicycles, and you can add shelving high up in closets for rarely used items.

3. Multitasking furniture

When you have limited floor space, it’s important to make your furniture work double duty. Choose pieces that have hidden storage and multiple functions or furniture that you can compact and store when not in use.

If you can’t fit a dresser in your bedroom, try using drawers or crates under the bed for clothing and extra linens. A pouf or leather ottoman can easily transition from a seat to a footrest or side table.

Add function to your entryway by employing a bench with storage inside to hide extra shoes, gloves and scarves. And if you have wall space to spare, hang a fold-down dining table.

Limited square footage doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice function and style. Small-space living is a great way to lead a simplified and streamlined life.

With creative thinking, you can go from a cluttered, cramped mess to an organized and inviting space with room for all.

Article by BY ERICA SOOTER Zillow Porchlight


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Contact us for any real estate needs! We love living in and serving Lewisburg, WV — Greenbrier Valley — and surrounding areas!

304.645.2255
Gregory Allman, Broker
Greenbrier Real Estate Service

Five Money-Saving Green Upgrades

Have you considered making some changes to your home? Whether it be to increase value or increase the interest of buyers–maybe going GREEN is a good idea for you!

Going green is great for the environment, but that’s not the only benefit. When you make green upgrades in your home, it can also lead to some major savings.

  1. Solar panels: The upfront cost is big, but the long-term savings are huge. Solar panels will cost several thousand dollars to install, but ongoing maintenance costs are very low, and a typical system could save you hundreds of dollars per year. You can even sell your surplus electricity.black and silver solar panels
  2. Wood furnace: Wood-burning furnaces are relatively inexpensive, and though the yearly savings aren’t as dramatic (about 10% on heating bills), it adds up over the long run.
  3. Insulation: There’s a good chance your insulation isn’t very efficient, especially in older homes. Look into installing floor, cavity, wall, and loft insulation to reduce your heating bills.
  4. Rain barrels: Rain barrels are extremely inexpensive, and provide gallons of free water to use when you wash your car or water your garden.Image result for rain barrel
  5. Geothermal system: OK, so the price tag is scary at first. A geothermal system uses the earth’s temperature to heat and cool your home, but can cost $30,000 to install. But tax credits allow you to get a lot of that money back, and the energy savings average about $1,900 per year. If you plan to be in your home for a decade or two, it’s a great investment.Image result for geothermal system

    Greenbrier Valley Upcoming Events

    September 7, 2018 First Fridays After Five
    Check out the shops, galleries, and restaurants in downtown Lewisburg! Most stores staying open until 9 p.m. serving complimentary refreshments and entertainment!

    September 8, 2018 10a.m. – 4 p.m. White Sulphur Springs own Freshwater Folk Festival

    The Freshwater Folk Festival is a celebration of our nation’s fish, wildlife, and natural resources. The 2018 festival will feature great music, food, dance, crafts, fun and educational activities.

    September 8, 2018 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Ronceverte 1882 Heritage Days Celebration
    Celebrate Ronceverte’s rich hertitage

    September 8, 2018 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.  DARE to CRUZ Car Show
    Showcase of more than 100 street rods, muscle cars and vintage automobiles. All proceeds benefit the Lewisburg Police Department’s D.A.R.E program.

    Contact us for any real estate needs! 304.645.2255

Gregory Allman, Broker