Have you been outside lately? There has not been a coatless day in WEEKS and the trees downtown are one harsh wind away from officially being bare.
The point is…it’s cold.
We all know the drill here. We put away our summertime flip flops in exchange for wool socks and thick boots. Our tank tops get pushed to the backs of our closets as sweaters emerge. Winter is coming and we are preparing our closets accordingly.
But how are you preparing your home?
It’s hard to imagine failing to maintain the greatest investment we’ve ever made yet every year a shocking number of homeowners fail to do basic winterization tasks. Some don’t even know that they should! To lend a helping hand here are the Top 5 Winterization Tasks you should do every year.
Clean out the gutters
Those beautiful fall leaves we’ve been watching descend so gracefully from the sky are the same ones descending into your gutters. Although that might not mean much now, when the temperature dips down to freezing it can mean a whole lot. Water unable to escape the drains due to fallen leaves expand as it freezes. This can cause gutters to become damaged or pull away from the house. Eventually these become overhead hazards that threaten to fall from above.
Cleaning your gutters may not be fun, but it is vital and pretty easy. Simply grab a ladder, some work gloves, a trash bag, ang get to work! You’ll probably find it goes faster than you ever imagined.
Flush irrigation systems
If you have a sprinkler system for your home, it is of the utmost importance to have the lines professionally blown out before the cold hits! As we talked about with the gutters above, when water freezes it expands. This is bad news for those underground pipes! Frozen water that expands within irrigation pipes can cause pipes to crack or burst destroying your system and your yard. Below are some local companies certified to service irrigation systems:
Precision Plumbing and Backflow Testing | 360-914-0321
Everflow Irrigation | 360-840-4793
GCF Backflow Services | 360-320-9871
Evergreen Landscape & Maintenance | 360-679-2363
King Water Company | 360-678-5336
Cover outside faucets
Going hand in hand with blowing out that sprinkler system is covering ALL outside spigots. BURSTING PIPES! It’s a very real issue that can cause thousands of dollars in property damage. Luckily, covering your pipes can be as easy as going to your local hardware store and picking up one of the below faucet covers. They are extremely easy to install and if you are even a little concerned we have found a helpful video to guide you through!
Fertilize the lawn
Winter months seem to only to bring with them frost and death. Luckily, that doesn’t have to be the story for your lawn. Winter fertilizer helps your grass recover from minerals lost in the scorching summer sun and stock up on the nutrition it needs to withstand the cold winter months. This will prevent it from dying away when spring hits.
However, living on an island brings with it special considerations when it comes to fertilizing your lawn. Traditional fertilizers often contain high amounts of hazardous chemicals such as zinc, lead, cadmium, chromium or sometimes even arsenic. The risk of these chemicals is only elevated with the addition concern of their runoff into the Puget Sound. Living on Whidbey increases this risk drastically even for the most centrally located island properties. That’s why we highly suggest using eco-friendly fertilizers such as Milorganite’s Slow-Release Nitrogen Fertilizer which you can pick up Home Depot today!
Replace weather stripping
Every year countless sums of money are spent on the excess heating required to keep our homes warm in the winter months. But is all that money necessary? You’d be shocked to learn all the different ways in which the sacred warm air inside escapes from your home. Although some of these issues require big solutions like reinstalling insulation in your roof or switching to a better heating system altogether; quite a lot can be done in simply replacing some of your weather stripping around the house!
How long has the weather stripping along your exterior doors been there? Since you’ve moved in, right? Well every time that door opens and closes there is a little more wear to the stripping and after a few hundred passages it’s no wonder it starts to give way.
Replacing weather stripping is easy and relatively cheap! Check it out:
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Get the Buck Out of My Yard
They are the wild and majestic creatures of Whidbey Island, often found in the peaceful pastures of Ebey’s Landing or beneath the cooling tree shade of the state parks. They are elegant, graceful, mesmerizing… and frankly a pain in the arbor.
Oh deer, oh deer, oh deer.
Don’t get us wrong, we LOVE our Whidbey Island deer and are grateful to live in a place where wildlife feels welcomed. However, if you’ve been working hard cultivating that garden all year long, the last thing you are interested in is a handful of fauna munching on the fruit of your labor. To top it off, deer can carry ticks with Lyme disease which can be extremely harmful to both humans and their dogs.
Sorry Bambi, but no one messes with mans’ best friend.
We’ve done a little research and decided to give you a hand with those pretty, yet pesky visitors.
5 pro-tips to get the grazers out of your garden.
- Cut ‘em Off! – It might seem like the most obvious solution, but fences are always a great first step to keeping out unwanted guests. Although deer are great jumpers, the additional effort required might just be enough of a deterrent. < We’re all a little lazy.
- Don’t Plant Tasty Treats – Deer LOVE plants rich in nutrients, moisture, and basically anything else your doctor said you should eat more of. This includes almost all produce plants as well as leafy ivy and bright, water filled flora. Instead of these, try planting pungent flowers like lavender with greenery that is thorny, hairy, or prickly. You can also use these less-desirable plants as a natural barrier for the tastier ones. If all deer see and smell is lambs’ ear and snap dragons, odds are they won’t investigate much further.
- Let Rover Out More – Chances are your dog is like most others and DOES NOT see grazing deer as welcome guests. Barking dogs are a big deterrent for deer. Who wants to eat with someone yelling at you? Eventually the deer will likely decide your home isn’t a safe place to eat and wont return.
- Shine a Light on the Situation – Deer are more skittish than the commitment-phobe you dated in college. Installing motion-sensitive floodlights can often leave a deer stunned and anxious to get away as fast as they can.
- Live a Little! – Although we might find them beautiful and nice to look at, deer aren’t that excited about us. Chances are if a deer sees you out and about in the yard they will simply turn around and find someone else’s garden to plunder. So, get outside more! See this as an opportunity to re-imagine your yard and incorporate more outside living space. Your health and your hydrangeas will thank you.
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What’s Your Winter Style?
It’s official. The clock has struck twelve and the new year has begun; bringing with it a time of resolutions or rest.
For many, January is the restart button for their workout routines. With the holidays passed they can finally buckle down and bust out the dumbbells again. For others, the winter winds make that idea unimaginable. They would far rather grab their favorite warm drink, a comfy blanket, and cozy up on the couch with the ones they love.
So, which is your winter style? Or are you both?!
For the Workout Warrior
January brings new inspiration to the workout warrior. With a vision of the new year in mind they are dedicated to bringing back that bikini body or conquering some challenging goals. Unfortunately, winter weather doesn’t always make outside exercise possible. Below is a list of local gyms where you can stay fit!
Thrive Fitness – 32650 WA-20 Bldg D, Oak Harbor
North End Fitness – 2800 Goldie Rd #102, Oak Harbor
Crossfit – 720 SE Pioneer Way, Oak Harbor
Unsize Me – 670 SE Pioneer Way #101, Oak Harbor
Hoping to complete your workout at home?
Check out these 15 Best Apps to Help You Get Fit: https://www.menshealth.com/technology-gear/g23007883/best-fitness-apps/
For the Cozy Cuddler
If the whole workout routine isn’t for you, you probably just need a little more Hygge in your life. Hygge, pronounced “hue-guh,” is a Danish word loosely translated to fun, cozy, comfort, and happy. It’s more than a word though; it’s a concept and a lifestyle. It’s to live in comfort and contentment with the things and people who make you happy. Below are some ways you can bring Hygge into your home.
Wrap yourself in comfort!
Things like scarves, sweaters, and chunky blankets can really bring a feeling of comfort to a person. Need a new something cozy? Swing by Seaside & Sylvan in Greenbank to find your perfect Hygge style pieces.
Try to remember that this moment right now is special, unique, and will never happen again. If you find this difficult, the app Headspace can give you some meditation techniques to help.
Warm up with a hot drink!
There’s no spirit lifter quite like a warm cup of coffee, tea, coco, or cider. Lavender Wind Shop and Rock Island Coffee may have just what you need for that warm winter drink.
Spend time with friends!
Find something fun to do!
Relaxing hobbies like journaling, art, knitting, reading, or hiking can be a great way to bring a sense of peace. Want to discover some great local trails? Download the AllTrails app.
Want to learn more about Hygge?
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What would a million dollars buy you in today’s market?
Has the thought ever crossed your mind, “if I had a million dollars, what would I do with it?” What about if you had a million dollars to spend on just your house? What would it look like? What kind of area would you like to live in? What would a million dollars even get you these days? Just for fun, we want to show you just what a million-ish dollar home looks like in this current market in three very different places – Whidbey Island, Sequim, and Seattle!
Let’s start right here at home on Whidbey Island!
1585 West Beach Rd, Oak Harbor – “Island Retreat”
Not far from the hustle and bustle of town, but far enough away to enjoy the calm, cool breeze of the Puget Sound is a real Island Retreat. Listed for $1,050,000, this home combines the simplicity of nature with a modern flare. Here you can enjoy your very private beachfront views from your living room, kitchen, bedroom or deck. Take a walk with Fido down the beach, relax with a steamy cup of coffee on your patio, enjoy views of the Olympic mountains, and soak in a romantic sunset with your special someone right from your own backyard. Now doesn’t that sound heavenly?
8260 Coho Way, Clinton – “Island Paradise”
Clinton is known for breathtaking homes with stunning views, and this Island Paradise doesn’t disappoint. For $1,598,000 you can call this little piece of paradise your own! Stay warm and cozy by your stone fireplace, and still enjoy a colorful sunset from your large living room windows. Soak in your very own jetted tub, entertain guests from your wrap deck with built in BBQ, play catch with the kids in your spacious yard, or cook a family favorite in your generously sized kitchen. You won’t ever want to leave home!
Moving on to Sequim, and a totally different housing market…
110 Flying Cloud, Sequim – “The Heavenly Abode”
This home may not have you literally flying on clouds, but you will feel like you found a little piece of heaven! At $1,178,950, this heavenly abode boasts a modern and chic atmosphere, custom features and finishes, generously sized rooms, and breathtaking views. Lose yourself in your favorite novel while sitting in your very own library, immerse yourself in views of the Straight of Juan de Fuca and the Cascade Mountains while you soak in your oversized master bathtub, sip a glass of wine and breathe in fresh mountain air on your patio, work on a project in your walkout basement, or work from home in your spacious office. Who knew a little piece of heaven landed right here in Washington?
342 Schoolhouse Point Lane, Sequim – “Waterfront Mansion”
A waterfront mansion is what comes to mind when looking at this two-story home with waterfront views. Listed at $1,385,000 this home not only provides you with ample space for your family, but also a separate guest house! Your fenced in yard is perfect for the kids and dog to play, a heated shop with boat and RV storage will give you all the space you need for those projects you’ve been longing to do, host Sunday brunch on your patio overlooking Sequim Bay, snooze in your favorite armchair in your reading nook with large windows and beautiful views, keep an array of plants in your greenhouse year round, or soak up some sun on your private beach area. You’ll find a little bit of everything on this paradise property.
We’ve seen Whidbey Island and Sequim, but what does a million dollars in Seattle look like?
1758 NW 62nd St, Seattle – “The Tetris House”
It may not seem like much, but this Seattle home is modern and way more technologically up-to-date than Tetris. “The Tetris House” is listed at $1,084,900 and its modern flair makes for a unique appearance inside and out. Entertain guests with a home-cooked meal created in your gourmet kitchen, turn your lights on and off with the sound of your voice, read a book in the sun on your rooftop deck, relax sore muscles in your oversized shower, unwind at the end of the day with dinner in front of your fireplace, or go for a short drive to enjoy downtown Seattle nightlife. This stylish, and smart home will be the envy of all your friends.
7748 32nd Ave NE, Seattle – “A Modern Oasis”
So new that you can still enjoy that new house smell! This Modern Oasis offers comfort and style in the heart of Seattle. For $1,550,000 you can be the first to occupy this home. Sit and enjoy the sound of rain on your covered patio, host family movie night in your spacious living room and lay out an array of snacks on your extra long kitchen island, relax in your master bath soaking tub, build a fort with the kids in your fenced in yard, and worry no more about dirt being tracked inside thanks to your conveniently located mud room off the front door. This home is a blank slate for your imagination to run with and make your very own!
Can you imagine yourself living in one of these unique homes? Maybe you aren’t in the million-dollar market for your next home, it can still be fun to daydream a little!
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