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The leaves are changing, the air is getting crisp and cold, and the daylight hours are getting rapidly shorter. Unless you are in Arizona or Hawaii, it’s time to move the clocks back one hour and prepare for the upcoming winter season.

This is a great time to take care of a little biannual maintenance. Here are my top seven tips that will help keep your surroundings safe and cozy all winter:

1. Test (or Install) Your Smoke Alarms

How long has it been since you’ve paid attention to the smoke alarms in your home? Most ignore then until they hear the annoying chirp.  Manufacturers recommend testing them monthly but who really does that?

Now is a great time to not only check to see if your smoke alarms are operational but also to change their batteries.  Experts also advise to change these out every 10 years.  If you are replacing them, you may also want to consider switching to interconnected smoke alarms for additional safety.

2. Have Your Furnace and Water Heater Inspected

This is a great time to have your furnace and water heater inspected and give them a little routine maintenance. It’s certainly the best way to head off any mid-winter problems.

Aside from a general inspection to make sure that all of the small components are in good shape, you should also replace any filters your furnace uses and have the vents swept clean.  I don’t know about you, but we have been changing our air filter more often than usual because of all the smoke for the wild fires.  The photo below shows our dirty filter after only two weeks usage next to a new clean filter.    It’s also a good time to have the sediment drained from your water heater and check for leaks.

Let me know f you need a licensed contractor referral in Mammoth Lakes or Mono County for either of these tasks.

3. Clean out Those Gutters 

Ice and snow are just around the corner — and those with rain gutters may find they are currently clogged with leaves and pine needles left from the summer and fall. That can turn into a major hassle in the middle of winter and can cause water damage.

While no one really enjoys this task, it is  definitely time to get the ladder out and remove the mess from those gutters.   If you are not up to the task, let me know if you need a reliable referral to get this done.

4. Replenish Your Home’s Emergency Kit

2020 has been a rough year for a lot of people. Between problems with natural disasters and the global COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever to have an emergency kit in the home. Even if you aren’t worried about suddenly having to evacuate, you should be prepared to hunker down and shelter in place, if needed.  Most of us went through this drill during the wild fires as the fires grew closer and the possibility of evacuation increased.  If not, there are some pretty checklists out there that can tell you how to stock your emergency kit for the winter, but you probably have a clear picture of the basics: Plenty of non-perishable or canned foods, a first-aid kit, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, water, pet supplies, paper products and over-the-counter medications for colds and fevers, snow shovel, emergency blanket and gloves are all a must.

5. Get the Chimney and Fireplace Inspected and Cleaned

If you haven’t already started longing for a warm, cozy fire at night, it won’t be long before you’re ready to throw some logs in the fireplace and get started. Before you do, however, you should have your chimney inspected for any blockages or damage and your fireplace cleaned of leftover ash.  There are several local contractors who provide this service – let me know if you need a referral.

This is also a good time to stock up on wood.

6. Do a Little Fall Cleaning Around the House

Since most people spending a lot of time indoors in the winter, fall cleaning is super important.

With that in mind, make a list of household jobs that you need to tackle. Suggestions include:

  • Shake out any rugs and deep-clean the carpets and upholstered furniture
  • Flip the mattress and wash (or replace) the pillows on the bed
  • Sweep behind the heavy furniture and appliances (and don’t forget the coils)
  • Re-caulk the windows and replace the weather strips on the doors
  • Put away the deck furniture, the garden hoses and yard tools
  • Take down the drapes and shears and wash them, or wipe down all your window blinds
  • Dust off the ceiling fans and clean all the light fixtures

If you do these things now, you’ll definitely be ready for the upcoming winter and holiday season.

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Preparing for summer in Mammoth like...

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"Thank you so much for your guidance and expertise in helping us to buy our dream home.
I am so grateful for your hard work and patience with all our questions at every step of the process. I genuinely trusted that you were looking out for our best interests and had our backs throughout this exciting and stressful process."

-Andrew & Cara

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Whew! This was only a 7 day escrow and we did it! So many offers on this one but the CASH offer with a quick close was just what my client was looking for! Thank you to Sara Knadler for bringing a quality buyer and for a smooth transaction. Sierra Escrow made it happen!

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OPEN HOUSE
33 Kelley Road

Sunday, May 22
10 AM - 1 PM

Stop by and view this immaculate and beautiful 3 bedroom / 2.5 bath move in ready home. A rare find for such an amazing location and quality construction. The placement of the home on the lot is off-set from neighboring homes providing a true sense of privacy.

LINK IN BIO FOR DETAILS
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Eric Van Winkle making a difference on Town Clean Up Day this past weekend! Way to represent Eric and the Mammoth Lakes Board of Realtors! #mammothlakes #TOML #communityspirit #towncleanupday #loveourcommunity ...

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Swimming with dozens of Black Tip sharks and rays was exhilarating and fun (well after I got over my initial hesitation)! The water was so clear and these creatures were quite social! The tour was amazing - we went on to see a 12 foot Eagle ray below us while snorkeling! #tripofalifetime #conradboraboranui #pinchme #godisgreat #lifeisgood #blacktipshark #borabora #porapora @johnbushmammothloco ...

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Today is the first day of Day Pass Reservations for Yosemite National Park! If you're in the area remember to make sure you have a reservation to get into @yosemite this summer!

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27 1

OPEN HOUSE
33 Kelley Road

Sunday, May 22
10 AM - 1 PM

Stop by and view this immaculate and beautiful 3 bedroom / 2.5 bath move in ready home. A rare find for such an amazing location and quality construction. The placement of the home on the lot is off-set from neighboring homes providing a true sense of privacy.

LINK IN BIO FOR DETAILS
...

7 0

I know it's something we don't want to think about... but with technology today a seller can be listening or recording you while you view their home. Make sure to be conscious and aware of that and always share your opinions outside or quietly.

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Make sure to show your love and support as we go into the busy summer season to all the amazing workers who make Mammoth such an amazing, beautiful, and safe place to live. Thank you to all our rangers, forest service, hospital workers, police, first responders, SAR members and more!

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That’s a wrap! 40th anniversary trip was AMAZING - don’t know where we could possibly go from here!! Truly a trip of a lifetime. So grateful ❤️ Headed back to reality tonight with arrival in 🇺🇸 tomorrow. Photos coming soon 🌴 #borabora #conradboraboranui #loveourlife #ThankYouGod #lovetotravel #pinchme @johnbushmammothloco ...

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My buyers missed out in a multiple offer situation earlier this year and it happened for a reason. 924 Links Way was meant to be their Mammoth Lakes home! It is perfect for them. Things happen for a reason, right? So excited!' @side_realestate

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Who's coming for a hike with me?! Any guesses which lake this is?

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Flipping homes is a popular practice—and, when done right, buying a flipped home can be a good investment. I have seen some really nice ones in Mammoth Lakes.

But not all flipped homes are created equal—and if you want your home purchase to be a good investment, you need to avoid cheap, poorly done flips.

So how, exactly, do you do that? Read about it in my blog! Link in bio...

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Who says back up offers never become reality? Sometimes when another offer is selected, we ask to be put in back-up position. Some agents say this is a waste of time. NOT ME! This is a perfect example of the original buyer changing their mind and because we did the paperwork to be in Back Up #1 position, we are now in escrow! My clients will be the owners of this gorgeous 3 bedroom townhome near The Village at Mammoth before the end of May! @side_realestate

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It may not seem like it but as a buyer time CAN be on your side. Link in bio for my blog...

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Forty years.
40 years.
F.O.R.T.Y. years.

May 12, 1982 we said “I do.”
In sickness and in health.
For richer for poorer.
In good times and bad.

What a ride it has been! Here is to 40 more❤️ with my best friend by my side 😊 Happy Anniversary babe - thank you for loving me ❤️ #40years #happyanniversary
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Sellers, don't worry! More information in my blog! Link in bio...

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