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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.

Follow Along on Instagram

In case you missed it, here is the September newsletter! October coming soon!

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#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate
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Last day with my 2 special house guests. Went on a walk in the meadow behind our house and they just love the water! I will miss your cuddles🐾 See you soon ❤️ ...

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It's October, which means all the cobwebs and dust In your house just become Halloween decorations*

*unless It's listed for sale... In that case, get to cleanin'!

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate
...

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Congratulations to my client on the sale of this upgraded Forest Meadow condo. Hal has owned the place for 40+ years so this was a big deal for him. Time to move on to his next chapter and he is thrilled a full time local will be the new owner! Thanks to Brandee & Nicole @nexthomemammoth and the team at Sierra Escrow for a smooth transaction.

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate @side_realestate
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Enjoy beer, a Bavarian Buffet from the EATery, and a silent auction benefiting the Rotary College Scholarship for local students.

October 13th!

More info at MLT's Website!

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate
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Open House Today! Come see this incredible property for yourself!

44 Wagon Wheel Drive
Sunday, October 2
4 PM - 6:30 PM

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#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate
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Fall is here! Happy colors in the mountains!

I don't think most people realize how beautiful it is -- nice weather, fewer people and fall colors. So much to love!

Go to Mono County Tourism to sign up to find the best places to see the beautiful fall colors!

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate
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Late Friday afternoon walk with our 2 houseguests. #lovewherewelive #mammothlakes #visitmammoth ...

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Sonja recently helped me purchase a condo. My experience with her was only positive. She's knowledgeable, thorough and friendly. She is the consummate professional and the standard to which I would hold any real estate agent. - Alexander R.

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #testimonials @side_realestae
...

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Time isn’t always on your side, especially if you’re trying to time the real estate market.

Some homeowners postponed selling while they waited for prices to hit their peak. Here’s why you shouldn’t wait any longer:

💲The market is unpredictable — even experts can’t guarantee what it will do next!
☑️ You could pay more to buy your next home the longer you delay.
🤝 It’s still a great time to sell, but rising mortgage rates are beginning to slow down demand.

You can’t control the real estate market — but you can control when you put your home up for sale 🏡

Contact us to start a conversation about the right time to make your move.

#realestatetips #realestate #houseforsale #greatvalue #newlisting #mammothrealestate #mammothcondos #mammothcabins #sonjasellsmammoth #mammothmarkettrends #timingthemarket #destinationmammoth
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BIG bright windows are the main attraction in this spacious 2 bed/2 bath condo in St. Anton. This complex is next door to Canyon Lodge – one of the shortest walks of any Mammoth location! Come see this condo today and get ready for the best winter season of your life!

Link in bio…

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate
...

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If you're renting but plan on buying a house in the near, don't renew your lease without going month-to-month or making sure you can cancel it by giving your landlord a month or two notice.

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate #realestatetips #realestatetipsandtricks
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Thursday, September 29
9 AM - 11 AM

Stop by and tour 3 amazing Mammoth Lakes Properties tomorrow!!!

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate
...

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Beautiful sunset tonight.

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate
...

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Sonja was very knowledgeable and competent in selling our house in Mammoth. She is very personable and answered all of our numerous questions with courtesy, humor, and patience. Despite a greatly slowed real estate market, she sold our house in a reasonable time frame. - Stuart F.

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #testimonials
...

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#nofilter Sunday evening neighborhood stroll. ❤️reflections, water, blue skies and fluffy clouds ☁️ #lovewherewelive ...

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If you have a light fixture you want to keep and take with you to your next home, take it down and replace it before you put your house on the market. You can also leave it up and "exclude" it from the sale within your listing, but it can cause issues if a buyer sees it and wants it. Avoid problems by removing it ahead of time.

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate #realestatetips #realestatetipsandtricks
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