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Do You Have Your Winter Home Checklist?

Winter Home Checklist

Winter is around the corner, and the cool temperatures are starting to sweep across the nation. Most homeowners don't give the changing seasons much thought, but there are some steps you should take to winterize your home and prepare it for the low temperatures ahead. If you're in the market for a new home and thought you had to wait until spring, you may be surprised to learn that fall is also a great time to buy a house. However, you need to know what to look for. Whether you're in the market to buy or just preparing your home for winter, here are the items that should be on your checklist.

Look at the Glass

Take a tour through the home and look at all the windows. Is the glass intact and in good condition? Check the caulk connecting the frame to the glass. This should be solid and pliable. Weatherstripping on the fixtures should also be in good condition. This is the best time to make this inspection and correct any problems. If you're looking at a home, these are all warning signs that the current owners have not kept up with standard maintenance.

How's the Chimney?

Fireplaces are great for cold winter days, but they need to be in good condition. Make sure the flue moves smoothly. Have the chimney cleaned if you have a wood-burning fireplace to avoid dangerous chimney fires. If you're buying a home, insist on having the chimney inspected and cleaned before going to closing.

Yard Concerns

The yard is important for curb appeal, and maintaining it will also help protect the structure of your home. Look at the tree branches to ensure that they aren't rubbing the house or will fall on the roof. Check bushes and trim them back hard to create a gap between the bushes and the siding on your home. This is also the time to turn off the faucets to the exterior of the home to prevent them from freezing and bursting. Disconnect hoses, roll them up and put them in the garage or attic to avoid frost damage. A clean yard looks nice, and it's also an indication that a home is being cared for and properly maintained.

Cleaning for Winter

Spring cleaning gets a lot of attention, but cleaning for winter is also important. Take the time to clean the gutters to avoid costly icy dams. Clean windows to check for damage and inspect the caulking. Take the time to powerwash the siding so you can look for any damage. A house that's buried under dirt can be hiding problems. As a homeowner, you want to clean the dirt away and correct problems as soon as possible. If you're a potential buyer, you want to avoid buying problems that are hidden under a layer of grime.

Safe Steps

Handrails can become icy even in climates that are normally mild. The last thing you want is for someone to slip and be hurt. Inspect railings and steps outside to make sure they're in good condition and make repairs. As a homebuyer, look at these with a critical eye to ensure that they're in good condition and ready for you to move in and start using them.

You don't have to wait until spring to buy a house, but you should view any homes with a critical eye to ensure that property owners are keeping up with maintenance. Homeowners who take the time to winterize their property make it safer for their families while maintaining a high property value. They take more pride in their homes, and that should appeal to buyers.

Resources:

http://organizedhome.com/seasonal-spin/winter-preparedness-checklist

http://www.bishopspondsv.com/new-southampton-homes-may-be-the-perfect-buy/

http://homerepair.about.com/od/exteriorhomerepair/ss/winterize.htm

More Stories By Jim Taylor

Jim Taylor has been a writer and a business content developer since 2008. He mostly writes about business strategy and technology.

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