8 Tips to Help Prepare Your New Home for Winter

8-Tips-to-Help-Prepare-Your-Home-For-WinterCaring for your home – especially a brand new home that you hope to keep in tip-top shape for years to come – is important. In the Northwest, where winters can be harsh, knowing and performing some basic winter maintenance musts is critical to the health of your home. Fortunately, winter maintenance is pretty straightforward. Here are 8 tips to help prepare your new home for winter, to ensure you are keeping your dream home looking great.

Outdoor Maintenance Takes Priority

Maintenance for the outdoor area of your new home should take priority. Some outdoor tasks that absolutely need to be completed include:

1.  Blow out your sprinkler lines, which will keep them from freezing when temperatures drop;

2. Clean up and cover outdoor appliances and tools, such as hoses (which should be stored and drained);

3. Remove leaves from gutters and drains – if leaves are left in gutters and drains over the winter, they can lead to clogs and other damage;

4. Keep an eye out for snow and ice buildup on your roof and around your home – any unusual buildup or runoff should be dealt with swiftly.

Of course, before the snow comes, you should also make sure you have a sturdy snow shovel ready to go. Removing snow promptly as it accumulates will reduce the work, help your home’s foundation stay dry, and keep your family and guests safe.
Prepping the Inside of Your Home
While it’s easy to focus on what’s happening outside when winter is approaching, remember that the inside of your home requires some annual TLC too. To keep the inside of your home in great condition, be sure to:
5. Leave your heat on when you’re out of town to prevent freezing of pipes. Our recommendation is to keep your heat at a minimum of 65 degrees Fahrenheit, while you are away. On especially cold nights, some homeowners will open up cabinets around water pipes to help prevent them from freezing when they are out of town.

6. Ensure your water heater and HVAC system are in good working order (fortunately, if you’ve purchased a new home, this shouldn’t be an issue for years to come)

7. Check the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and change them if needed; and

8. Commit to changing air filters at least once every three months, and more if you have pets or anyone in the home with allergies.

Remember, if you notice anything out of the ordinary, don’t hesitate to contact a local professional for maintenance and repairs.
Keep Your New Home Looking Great
Your new home will serve you well for years to come if you do your part too – which includes preparing your home for the coldest months of the year. For how-to videos and your seasonal maintenance checklist,  visit our home maintenance page here.
If you are growing tired of all of the ongoing maintenance energy and repairs you’re having to do on your older home, we can help. Hayden Homes has beautiful new homes for sale in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, and we can assist you whether you’re buying your first home or upgrading homes. Call us today to learn more.

Trick-or-Treat Fun in Your New Home

Are you looking for a fun way to make Halloween more eventful this year? If so, one idea is to host a pre-trick-or-treating game night for your young trick-or-treaters. Here are some tips on how you can make the most of your new home on Halloween night.
Trick-or-Treat Fun in Your New Home
Start with a Plan (and Stick to the Schedule)
Having a plan, and sticking to it, is always one of the best ways to ensure that things run as smoothly as possible. As you’re planning your event and creating invitations, things to consider include:
  • Are you inviting kids and their parents?
  • What time do you want the party to start?
  • What time do you want to the party to end and transition into trick-or-treating?
  • Do you need any chaperones? How about for the trick-or-treating portion of the evening?
Answer these questions now, and include any details on your invitations.
Create Cute Halloween Party Invites
Make Cute and Clever Halloween-Themed Invites
Part of the fun of throwing a party is making cute party invitations. An appealing Halloween-themed invitation can make the difference between a rockin’ party and a ghost town. We recommend sending out invitations that are crafty and clever. You can find some great invitation ideas on by doing a Google search or by looking on Pinterest. Plenty of inspiration out there!
Decorate for Halloween
Decorate your Home for Halloween!
In addition to the invitations, creating awesome party decorations is a must when planning a party in your new home. Buy decorations if you’re in a rush, or set aside a day with the kids to create different decorations by a hand. This is a great way to spend time together as a family and provide your kids with a creative outlet during a day of inclement weather.
Offer food and beverages for adults too
Offer Food and Drink (for Adults, too!)
No party is complete without yummy food and drinks. During Halloween, there are a lot of fun and spooky serving options. Some top food choices that kids and adults will like include deviled eggs with spiders (using olives to create the spiders), carrot “fingers,” and Frankenstein sushi (see this great post from Genius Kitchen for more recipe ideas, including the ones listed). Remember that the kids are about to go trick-or-treating where they’ll be walking a lot and – let’s not forget – loading up on candy, so this is a great way to get their bellies filled with something  nutritious before they go out.
Keep Games Spooky and Fun
Keep Games Spooky and Fun 
Finally, plan some games that are spooky, fun, and age appropriate! Some games might include Pin the Tail on the Cat, a pumpkin toss, Ghost in the Graveyard, a Halloween-creature pinata, and a Guess-How-Many game using candy corn or other Halloween treat. A simple game of hide-and-seek or duck-duck-goose can also be a great option.
Have a Great Halloween in Your New Home
This Halloween, put your new home to work by hosting a pre-trick-or-treating Halloween party for your kids. Remember to invite other parents and summon their help in keeping little ones supervised, and perhaps showing off that brand new kitchen or open layout of yours!
Still not in the home of your dreams? If you’re a potential home buyer, we have countless homes for sale throughout Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Reach out to us at Hayden Homes today to learn more.

Warm & Cozy Fall Essentials for Your New Home

There’s a chill in the air and the leaves are already starting to change colors. As the weather cools, now’s the time to start thinking about warm and cozy fall essentials that will not only provide a little comfort during the cooler weather, but can also contribute to the perfect home ambiance. Here are some of our favorite home additions.
Warm & Cozy Fall Essentials for Your New Home
Setting the Tone in Your Sitting Area
Conversation is important, and when the weather is cool out, there is nothing better than cozying up in an oversized chair or on a nice couch and chatting with loved ones. Make sure your home has a great conversation area. If you have a fireplace in your home, a conversation area near your fireplace is an added bonus!
If you already have a great sitting area, add a bookcase and fill it with your favorite reads. This ensures your room doubles as both a cozy conversation spot and a nice area to get some solo time. You can also stack the bookcase with puzzles or games to encourage social activities!
The Right Lighting for Fall Home
The Right Lighting
In the fall, the right lighting can do wonders in terms of warming your home and creating the right mood. This is especially true during the winter months in the Northwest when we have shorter days. Does your dining room fixture not put out enough light? Upgrade to something with bigger sized light bulbs and that can make a drastic difference during evening hours. Also, try soft mood lamps, candles, or even an artificial flickering light that resembles the light given off by a flame.
Blanks for a cozy fall home
Blankets and Blankets and More Blankets
Invest in some blankets and throws that are soft, warm, and of a warmer color tone (think deep reds, browns, grays, blacks, burnt oranges and yellows, and warmer shades of white). Blankets can be thrown over armchairs and couch arms, or be rolled into fashionable buckets that add a little extra decorating flair. These will also come in handy for those spooky halloween movies everyone loves.
Add Some Fall Specific Elements
Consider Adding Some Fall-Specific Elements
One way to make your home feel warmer and to embrace the change of seasons and the fall holidays that are to come is to add some fall-specific elements. Some of our favorites are:
  • Decorating with different squashes or gourds;
  • Wreaths outfitted with fall plants and colors, including leaves, berries, and even nuts;
  • Pressing leaves between two pieces of glass and framing them;
  • Using twigs and branches as decorative additions to a vase of fall flowers.
Fall Decorating Tips for your new home
Turn Your Dining Area Into a Place People Want to Be
Dining rooms and dining tables often get a bad rap for being uncomfortable and boring. But if you plan on hosting any holidays meals this season, or having guests over for dining otherwise, there are a few things that you can do to really warm up the room and improve people’s comfort. Start by making those straight-backed, hard surfaced dining room chairs more physically comfortable to sit in by adding cushions to them. This will encourage your guests to spend more time at the table, and can add some fall festive flair with the right colors and pattern.
Then, focus on lighting; harsh lighting isn’t welcoming, and can really ruin the mood during the fall. But the issue may not be with the lighting so much as the wall colors. Consider painting a single wall a warmer color and that can make a big difference in the overall feel of the room.
Finally, decorate your table. Use a patterned table runner to draw attention, and place candles, different pumpkins and squashes, decorative skulls, or/and a vase with flowers in the center to celebrate this wonderful time of year.
Enjoy Your New Home!
At Hayden Homes, we hope that you’re enjoying your new home this fall season. If you’re still on the hunt for your dream home, we have homes for sale in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. We are ready to meet with you! We work with those at every stage in the home-buying process, whether you’re buying your first home or purchasing your second or third. Contact us today to learn more!

10 Ideas to Help You Store Your Summer Toys

Get an Organized Garage - 10 Ideas to Help You Store Your Summer ToysThe first day of fall has officially passed, which means that summer is over and colder months lie ahead.  It also means that if you’re a homeowner in the Northwest, it’s time to start thinking about where you’re going to store away summer equipment and toys. Here are 10 creative ideas for storing toys in your new home or garage.
1. Put Up Some Shelves
The easiest way to store your belongings is to add shelving in your garage. This way, everything has a place, and your toys (or your kids’ summer toys) are easy to spot. If you already have shelves on your walls and need additional storage space, consider building shelves in the ceiling corners to take advantage of those dead spaces.
2. Invest in Storage
If you don’t have the space to keep your summer toys in your home or garage, or you simply want to clear up some room inside, check with your local home improvement store to see if they sell outside storage sheds.
Protip: spend the extra time to ensure that the ground surface your storage shed sits on on is completely level and compact.
3. Hang Around
One of the best ways to store summer gear like bicycles is to hang it from the ceiling, or even to mount it on the wall. This is a fantastic storage method for large, bulky items that you don’t plan to use until the weather warms again, although it can be used for numerous other types of gear.
4. Buy Some Bins
If you want to keep smaller toys out of sight and out of mind, opaque bins with lids are the best idea. You can stack these bins in your garage, basement, or even in a large closet within your home.
5. Use Labels
Labels aren’t only a great way to keep bins, buckets, shelves, and drawers organized, but they also look great in your storage area, too. The last thing you want is to be half-way through the summer and realize you forgot to pull out a certain summer toy because it’s been out of sight and out of mind!
6. Attic Space/Under the Stairs
If you have an attic, big or small, you can use it to store a variety of seasonal items including summer supplies such as an inflatable swimming pool. Typically, the biggest deterrent from using attic space is accessibility. Sometimes they can be cumbersome to access and get in and out of, but there are ways to improve accessibility such as installing a new attic ladder or replacing your old attic ladder with a new and improved one. If you don’t have an attic, some homes have under the stairs storage spaces. This is a great alternative for storing the items that you would normally put in an attic.
7. Kiddie Parking
One ingenious idea for storing kiddie vehicles, including plastic “push” cars, tricycles, and even powered mini-vehicles, is to create an outdoor parking “garage.” You can easily do this using PVC pipe and inexpensive materials (like plywood) to serve as a garage frame and roof, and curtains that can be opened and closed to serve as garage doors. Your kids will love this so much they’ll want to put their toys away.
8. Outdoor Storage
Don’t assume that all of your gear and toys have to be stored inside; there are many things that will be fine outdoors during the wintertime, especially if they are protected from excessive moisture. Consider setting up some outdoor storage bins paired with outdoor shelving.
9. Bungee Cord Ball Storage
If you have kids that are constantly leaving out their basketballs, soccer balls, bouncy balls, footballs, and more, you need to find a storage solution that works. The bungee cord ball storage idea is brilliant. To make this, simply create a 90-degree angle using 2x4s in a corner of your garage wall. About three feet under, create another 90-degree angle. Then, string bungee cords from one angle to the other, ultimately creating a bin.
10. Inexpensive Basket and Bucket Storage
Finally, if you need a quick solution for toy storage and you don’t want to spend a fortune, head to your local hardwood store and purchase an array of five-gallon buckets and basic baskets. You can make these more attractive by getting your kids involved in bucket and basket decoration. Throw some labels on them, and you’re good to go!
Keep Your New Home Looking Great
If you have recently purchased a new home in Idaho, Washington, or Oregon, you want to keep it looking great. The right storage solutions can help! If you’re still on the hunt for your dream home, Hayden Homes can help. We have brand new homes for sale in the Northwest, and our home builders are ready to get you moved into your dream home. Contact us today for more information, whether you’re buying your first home or upgrading to a bigger one.

Backyard Ideas for Your New Home

Part of the excitement of buying a brand new home is deciding how you want to decorate both inside and out. If you’ve recently purchased a new home and have big plans for your backyard but aren’t sure where to start, here are some great backyard ideas for your new home.

Outdoor Dining SpaceOutdoor Dining

If you love to eat outdoors, and let’s be honest who doesn’t, you may want to focus your backyard on an outdoor dining set up. This can be created with the installation of an outdoor patio or deck and a nice outdoor dining set. In addition to the basic table and chairs, the right lighting can add a magical ambiance. Outdoor dining arrangements are often nicely accompanied by pergolas and honeysuckles, which can provide shade on hotter days. If you don’t have an outdoor grill yet, consider buying one that you can grill and smoke meats and/or vegetables on. There are a lot of wonderful food smoking recipes that you and your guests will love.

Create an Outdoor Living SpaceOutdoor Living Space

If you just can’t get enough of the outdoors, investing in an outdoor living arrangement may really hit the spot. An outdoor living arrangement will include an outdoor dining set and may also expand to include outdoor chairs and recliners or benches, a built-in firepit, and perhaps even a full outdoor kitchen. Hot tubs are another favorite addition if you can afford one. You can look for deals on outdoor furniture when sets go on clearance at the end of the summer. Whether you are eating in your backyard, playing card or yard games, or just want a cozy corner to read a good book, you can find a lot of creative outdoor living ideas on Pinterest or by doing a simple Google search.

Create an outdoor space for peace and serenityPeace and Serenity

Some people want their backyard to offer peace, serenity, and a chance to reconnect with nature more than anything else. In order to achieve this, it can be nice to incorporate two of the most natural elements: fire and water. To do so, consider the installation of a gas or wood burning fire pit and a water feature, such as a small pond or fountain. Enjoying the sound of trickling water doesn’t have to come at a high cost. Plenty of shade and greenery is necessary to achieve the feeling of being in nature, too. Bird feeders and bird baths can be a nice touch as well.

Lush Gardens for your backyardLush Gardens

You may be excited about your new yard because it offers you the chance to grow all of your favorite fruits, veggies, and other plants. Gardens are not only a wonderful way to connect with the earth and potentially grow food for your family, but also a visually appealing addition to a yard, too. You may opt for a large plot that allows you to grow a wide variety of veggies, a smaller plot in a corner for a salsa garden, or even a series of designated garden boxes throughout the yard – one for tomatoes, one for herbs, one for peas and beans, etc. Whatever you do, allow plenty of space for your plants to grow as they will need as much sunlight and oxygen as possible to thrive.

Hayden Homes Dream BackyardWhat Are You Looking for in a Great Backyard?

Your backyard is your own canvas and anything is possible with some imagination and hard work. Whether you have landscaping experience or not, with a little help, you have the potential to transform your backyard into a paradise that brings you joy for years to come.

At Hayden Homes, we’re as excited about getting you into your new home as you are. Whether you’re buying your first home or upgrading to your dream home, we make working with us straightforward and easy. To learn more about our homes for sale in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho and meet with our Northwest home builder, contact us today online or by phone. We can’t wait to help you find your new home!

Even Better… Enter to Win your own dream backyard, NOW thru August 15th, 2018! 

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Low-Maintenance Perennials for the Pacific Northwest

Now that you’ve moved into your brand new home, you’re likely focused on tips and strategies for keeping your dream home – and your yard – looking as wonderful as possible. With great weather up ahead as the days become warming and longer, now’s the time to start thinking about low-maintenance flowers that can add color and beauty to your Pacific Northwest home. For low-maintenance gardening that will continue to bloom year-after-year, we come up with this list of some of the best (low-maintenance) perennial, flowers, that are perfect for homeowners in Idaho, Washington, and Oregon.

Pink Primrose for Pacific Northwest HomePrimroses

Best for homes that get a lot of sun and soil that will drain completely, primroses are easy to care for, and will keep coming back without replanting every year – a homeowner’s dream! These are one of the earliest flowers to bloom each season, making them especially eye-catching.

Cardinal Flower for PNW homeCardinal Flowers

Cardinal flowers, also called cardinal wildflowers, are some of the most beautiful flowers to keep in your yard. These flowers are a shocking red color that catches the eye and draws attention from passersby, and are one of a hummingbird’s favorite. These flowers like morning sun and afternoon shade, and moist soil (perfect in Washington and Oregon). A great plus of these low-maintenance flowers, is that they will self-sow if left unclipped, meaning that you can count on them reblooming for years to come. Don’t want them to drop seeds? Clip out the flower stems when they’re done blooming.

Dahlia Flowers for Easy to Maintain PNW homeDahlia

The name of this flower alone may be enough to persuade you to plant it; when you find out that there are thousands of dahlia varieties, you’ll be convinced. These flowers can get up to six feet tall, and are available in multiple colors. They’ll start blooming about eight weeks after planting (or around mid-July if you already have them in your yard). Grown primarily for cut flowers in bouquets, you can leave your dahlias in the ground, or cut them and bring them inside for a way to spruce up your new home.

Shasta Daisy for Low Maintenance YardShasta Daisy

The Shasta daisy is a simple and sweet flower that is easy to grow and nice to look at. These flowers will bloom in the summertime, and can provide year-round green foliage depending on your location. To keep these flowers happy, plant in an area where the soil drains completely and the flowers will be partially shaded; full sun can be too harsh for Shasta daisies. One of the best things about these flowers is that once they’re in the ground, care is minimal. You can cut foliage back after blooming (usually around September) to keep the plant healthy and ready to flower again the following year.

A Beautiful, Easy to Maintain, Yard Can Make a Big DifferenceA Beautiful, Easy to Maintain, Yard Can Make a Big Difference

When you have a beautiful yard, your new home will feel that much more inviting, and the outdoors will be more enjoyable to spend time in. For these and other great home maintenance tips, check out our home maintenance tips/tricks page HERE. To learn more about our new homes for sale in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, get in touch with us today. Whether you’re buying your first home or looking to upgrade to a new home in the Northwest, we have the properties of your dreams.

Pacific Northwest Landscape Ideas, Low Maintenance and Budget-Friendly

If you own a brand new home in the Northwest, now’s the time to start getting your new home’s landscape in order. That means starting up your watering system, fertilizing and getting an early start on weed control. Thankfully, the weather is finally warm enough to enjoy being outside, and to not have to worry about winter frosts that may kill flowers and buds that are planted (knock on wood). That being said, here are a number of low maintenance, and budget-friendly landscape ideas that you can try this spring!

Low Maintenance Landscape IdeaBudget-Friendly, Landscape Idea #1 – Plant Some Vegetables

Planting a vegetable garden is one of the best ways to make use of your yard, and can even end up saving you money (fewer trips to the supermarket). There are a lot of different stylistic options for planting a vegetable garden – square-foot gardening is often touted as one of the most effective ways of maximizing vegetable production and minimizing costs. In addition to being relatively inexpensive and providing your family with vegetables throughout the season, veggie gardens also look great! Want to try something smaller but equally as spectacular? Consider creating an outdoor herb or salsa garden.

Add Light and Warmth to your LandscapingLow Maintenance, Landscape Idea #2 – Add Light and Warmth

Another landscape idea for your Northwest home, is that you can use to make your back or front yard look great is to add some lighting. From solar lamps to big bulbs, outdoor LED lighting is one of the easiest ways to add ambiance and warmth. You can even consider adding an outdoor fireplace, many of which can be purchased for under $200.

Create and Outdoor Living Space - Landscape IdeaLow Maintenance, Landscape Idea #3 – Create an Outdoor Living Space

When the weather is nice, there is nothing more pleasant than spending a few hours outdoors with family or friends, perhaps for a game of Scrabble, a barbeque, or just to have a nice conversation or read a book. Which means that you need to create a great outdoor living space, which will not only contribute to your comfort, but also add to the overall look and feel of your yard. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on brand new patio furniture, consider repurposing older furniture with outdoor fabrics, this is not only a budget-friendly landscape idea, but can be a great conversation starter with friends and family.

Plant Wild Flowers Landscape-IdeaBudget-Friendly, Landscape Idea #4 – Go Wild

You can reinvent parts of your yard without spending hundreds of dollars or spending a lot of time. Just let things go wild! We’re not talking about letting your landscape become overgrown and out of control, but rather throwing wildflower seeds in un-planted garden beds, a ditch, or other areas of your yard that could use some color. Wildflowers are easy to grow and require little maintenance, which is perfect for those with busy lives that are looking for an easier, more low maintenance option for the landscaping in your new home.

Spring has Sprung. It’s Time to Spruce Up the Landscaping in Your Yard

Are you living in a new home in Washington, Oregon, or Idaho that doesn’t yet have a finished landscape? You can use the landscaping ideas above to inexpensively transform your yard into a place that attracts positive attention and is a joy to spend time in. To learn more about our new homes for sale in the Northwest, reach out to us today!

10 Home Maintenance Tips for Spring

Buying a new home is exciting, in part because a new home often means a lot less time and money will be spent on home maintenance in comparison to an older home. But whether you’re in a brand new, never been lived in before, home or one that has been around for a while, all homes need at least a little TLC during the springtime. So here are 10 home maintenance tips to keep in mind as the weather warms in the northwest.

Examine Windows and Doors 1. Examine Windows and Doors

Winter can be harsh on windows and doors, so during your spring maintenance, give them a good look-over. Do you notice that weatherstripping should be replaced? How does the silicone look? Do you notice any condensation between glass panes? When you catch things like this early on, it can save you headaches down the road.

Clean-your-gutters2. Clean Your Gutters

Gutters can get clogged during the wintertime, as debris, including leaves, sticks and dirt, are often common. Because gutters are responsible for directing water away from your roof and home, it’s important that they’re clean. Gutters slope ever so gradually, so it doesn’t take much debris to dam up flows.

See-how-your-roof-held-up3. See How Your Roof Held Up

If you are living in a new home, you probably won’t have to worry about your roof this year. If your home is dated, however, make sure you assess your roof once the weather starts to warm. Missing shingles should be fixed immediately. After a good rainstorm, take a moment to visually inspect your attic spaces for any leaks. Oftentimes, a leak will drip onto insulation creating a small cater so that’s something to watch for.

Spring-Tips-for-taking-Care-of-Your-New-Home4. Prep the Flower Beds and Lawn

Before Mother’s Day hits, consider preparing your garden beds by turning the soil, applying a compost if necessary, and getting any new weeds pulled.

Check-your-AC-unit5. Determine Whether You’ll Need to Service Your A/C

Before it gets too hot, make sure you service your A/C unit – the last thing you want to do is wait until the heat of summer to learn your A/C isn’t cooling your home properly, or at all!

6. Give the Exterior a Wash

Grime, dirt, bird poop and more can show up on a home’s exterior over the winter, which can both detract from its aesthetic appeal and be damaging to its surface. The best thing to do is to invest the time in cleaning it. You can use a mild soap and extendable brush to do so. Rinse with a garden hose afterward.

organized-garage7. Organize Your Garage

Spring maintenance means spring cleaning, which includes your garage. Take a few hours to throw out things that you no longer need, organize, lock up any hazardous materials, and put things into labeled bins. You’ll be glad you did!

Spring-Cleaning-Photo8. Do a Deep Clean

Spring’s also the time to give the inside of your home a good scrub down, including areas of the home that may not see as much affection throughout the year (like the inside of your oven, window seals or your baseboards). Turn on some music and have some fun while you’re at it!

Check-your-smoke-alarm9. Check Smoke Alarms

Don’t delay on checking your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they’re in working order. Do this even if you have done it in the last six months; there is never any harm in double-checking when it comes to keeping you and your family safe.

Check your furnace filter10. Replace Your Furnace Filter

Finally, your furnace puts in a lot of hard hours during the winter. Take care of it in return by replacing your furnace filter on a regular basis. This is an easy DIY-project and one that will promote longevity in your central heating/cooling unit.

Remember, the newer your home, the easier spring maintenance will be. If you’re thinking about buying a home in the Northwest, we have brand new homes for sale in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho you’ll be sure to love. For other great tips to care for your home, check out our home maintenance resource here!

Hose Bib Winterization

Our Team of Customer Care Experts have an important tip to share with you to help prevent any water damage that could occur by not caring for your hose bibs during the cold winter months.

The Key to Avoiding Serious Water Damage

Water damage to your home and belongings is preventable. You should always drain your outside hose bibs during the winter months; or, you are at risk of water freezing in the pipes, breaking inside your walls. Once damaged, when an exterior hose bib faucet is turned on, it will push water through and past any broken frozen sections, causing flooding in your home. Simple maintenance can save you the hassle, time & cost of water damage.

HOSE BIB WINTERIZATION

Remember to take the following steps during cold weather months:

1. Disconnect garden hoses from the exterior hose bib faucets – this will keep water from getting trapped in the line and allow the anti-siphon to drain the line.

2. Protect your exterior faucets during freezing temperatures – hose bib covers can be found in most hardware or home improvement stores and are very inexpensive and easy to install.

Stress Free Holiday Entertaining in Your New Home

If you’re excited about having people in your brand new home for the holidays, then you’re probably stressing over what you can to ensure that your holiday season is as stress-free and smooth as possible. Here are some tips for some holiday entertaining in your new home that will keep tension low and levels of fun high.Stress Free Holiday Entertaining in Your New Home

Give Yourself Plenty of Time

We know that you’re excited about your new home, but if you don’t give yourself enough time to plan the perfect holiday party, you’ll be kicking yourself over all of the last-minute stress. Start planning your holiday party, including when it will be, who will be invited, and what you’ll be serving at least a couple of weeks in advance. And of course, don’t wait until the last minute to get invitations out, get the place tidied up, and start your grocery shopping before things get crazy.

Ask for help at holiday partyDon’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Hosting your first holiday party in your dream home is a big deal, and you surely want to leave your guests with a great first impression. But that doesn’t mean that you have to do everything on your own. Ask your kids or spouse to help you get cleaned up or prepare dishes, and don’t hesitate to ask guests to bring their favorite holiday dish or beverage.

Keep Your Holiday Party SimpleKeep It Simple

One of the things that can cause the most stress is trying to do something overly complicated for the first time, like creating a centerpiece you saw in your favorite homemaking magazine, or trying to bake a very intricate dessert or a 4 course meal. Simple decorations and recipes can be just as enjoyable and impressive, and are typically way less stressful to try to manage. Finger foods are a staple at every party.

Set an End Time to Holiday Party

Set an End Time

There will always be that one guest, or guests, that can’t seem to take a hint that it’s the end of the night, and that you’re ready for them to clear out so you can clean up and hit the sack. The best way to ensure that your guests won’t overstay their welcome is to put an ending time right on the invitation, such as “Holiday Cocktail Hour from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.” As the hour to say goodbye gets closer, invite guests for a celebratory farewell toast.

Clean Up as You goClean Up As You Go

Of course, you don’t want to be scrubbing during the party, but you can take small steps to ensure that things will be a little bit easier to pick up at the end of the night. For example, set out garbage and recycle bins that are clearly marked, hand out napkins, and do quick wipe ups for any spills. Another easy hack is to use disposable (go for compostable to stay green!) plates so you’re not stuck doing dishes! Even some of the fanciest parties use plastic cutlery.

Your First Holiday Party in Your New Home

We hope that as a new homebuyer, your first holiday in your new home goes as planned and is a memorable experience for you! If you’re thinking of buying a new home or buying your first home, we have homes for sale all over the northwest, including in Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. We can’t wait to help you find your dream home!