#YourStoryIsOurStory: Finding the One


Throughout the year we will be posting some of our favorite #YourStoryIsOurStory videos, photos, and blog posts. Please take a minute to share your experiences, and follow #YourStoryIsOurStory on our blogFacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube, and Pinterest pages.


October Home Maintenance Guide

Take a look at some ideal projects to complete this month.


This article originally appeared on Porch.com

Written by Anne Reagan


October is a great month to check off your fall home maintenance tasks. As our regions transition into fall, you may have a lot of weekend projects you’re trying to get done before peak holiday season begins. In many regions, this is a great month to finish up outdoor projects before snow or inclement weather begins. Below are some other important tasks to consider this month. If you can’t get to them all, or are unable to do them yourself, be sure to look for a qualified professional on Porch!

Inside the home


Insulate exposed pipes that may freeze in the winter. Pay special attention to plumbing and pipes in the garage, crawlspace and basement.

Clean range hood filters, wash fan blades and housing. It’s a good habit to clean these several times a year and remove flammable grease.

Deep clean the oven. Start with a clean oven before the heavy baking season begins. Here are some great non-toxic cleaning recipes to clean your kitchen.

Deep clean the refrigerator and vacuum the condenser coils.It’s a healthy habit to regularly remove old food and clean the fridge, inside and out. Vacuum the condenser coils if you can reach them as this will make your appliance operate more efficiently. Read our cleaning tips here.

Test the sump pump. If your basement relies upon a sump pump during the wet seasons, be sure to test it on a regular basis.

Replace weatherstripping and caulking on doors and windows.A home can quickly lose heat in the winter through air leaks, resulting in a higher energy bill. Check exterior doors and windows to ensure they are properly sealed.

Clean air conditioning filters. Cleaning the filters can help extend the life of this machine. While you’re at it, be sure to cover up your air conditioning unit prior to the winter season.

Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. This monthly task is very important for the safety of your family. Before the season of candles, decorations, fireplace usage and cooking, be sure your alarms are working and that you have the right type of fire extinguishers for your home.

Clean out the fireplace. If you have a wood burning fireplace, you should have a professional chimney sweep annually inspect and remove creosote inside the chimney. A professional can also inspect the outside of the chimney to make sure everything is in good working order.

  • Outside the home


Shut off and blow out your sprinkler system, drain garden hoses and winterize outdoor faucets. Before your nighttime temperatures dip into the below freezing levels, you’ll want to winterize your exterior irrigation systems. Have the sprinkler system blown out by a professional who know how to do this safely. Drain the water from garden hoses and install inexpensive bibs or covers to your exterior faucets.

Aerate the lawn and remove leaves. Lawns can absorb water, air and nutrients with the help of an aerating machine. These can be rented or you can have a landscaping company do this for you. Remember to rake leaves when they are dry and easy to pick up. Wet, soggy leaves can stifle your lawn and prohibit growth. Here are some ideas about what to do with all of your leaves.

  • Clean and store BBQ and outdoor furniture for the winter. Your summer equipment and furniture will look much nicer next spring if you take the time to clean them and store them properly over the winter. Clean the grill, consider placing wood furniture legs up on bricks, clean off outdoor fabrics, and store things out of direct rain.

Clean roof and remove moss, leaves and branches. At least once a year you’ll want to remove debris from the roof. Organic materials like leaves and branches can encourage mold and moss growth. This moss can eventually push up shingles and lead to damage to the roof system. Apply moss treatment if necessary. Never climb a wet or steep roof; consider hiring a pro to avoid a dangerous fall.

Clean gutters and downspouts, clear blockages. Check the exterior ground to ensure downspouts are draining properly and that ground isn’t flooding.

Install or check heat tapes if your roofing and gutter system requires it. Heat tapes can prevent dangerous icicles from forming in the winter and can even help prevent ice dams. Check with a professional about the right system for your roof and to ensure correct electrical connections.

Replace outdoor light bulbs if necessary. Nights are getting darker earlier, and if your walkway or stairs aren’t properly lit you could be in for a fall. Use the right type of bulb for outdoor use.

Cut back tree limbs and branches that contact your house or power lines. If you live in a region of fall or winter wind storms, or even ice storms, you’ll want to make sure that nearby branches or trees are safe from falling on your home. It’s always a good idea to consult an arborist to make sure the tree is healthy.


  •  Porch.com is the free home network that connects homeowners and renters with the right home service professionals.

The Value of Home Staging

Your real estate agent wants to help you sell your home for the most money in the least amount of time. One way to ensure more people are interested in seeing your space is through home staging and professional photography. More than 90% of home buyers start their search online, which means they want to see professional photos of your home before they consider stepping foot in the space.


The Windermere Foundation: $30 Million Raised and Counting!

Nearly two years ago, in honor of the Windermere Foundation’s 25th anniversary, Windermere owners, agents, and staff came together and set a goal. That goal was to reach $30 million in total donations by the end of 2015. At that point, we were at $26 million in donations, so this meant raising $4 million in two years – nearly double what we had ever raised before.

We’re extremely proud and excited to announce that we have reached that goal – over three months early! This accomplishment was achieved thanks to the dogged determination of our franchise owners, agents, and staff who increased their giving, held more fundraisers, and brought new donors into the fold.

The mission of the Windermere Foundation is to support non-profit agencies that provide services to low-income and homeless families. So, just imagine how many more families these funds will help. How many more kids will be able to eat school lunches. How many more families will have milk in the fridge and food on the table. And how many more people will have their most basic needs met – and the dignity that goes with it.

If at any point during the past 26 years you’ve bought or sold a home using a Windermere agent, you too are a part of the Windermere Foundation, and you too have helped make a positive difference in the lives of your neighbors in need. On behalf of everyone at Windermere, thank for that, and thank you for helping us reach our goal.


To learn more about the Windermere Foundation or to make a donation, please visit Windermere.com/foundation.










#YourStoryIsOurStory: Finding a Dream Home after Forty Years

Bob and Gail have lived in the same house for 40 years. You'd think that a small one-level home with no yard or a condo would be their next step. Not for these two! They've dreamed of living in a big home on acreage. We just closed today on their dream home, which consists of 3,600+ square feet on 6 acres. They are excited to buy a riding mower and get to work in the yard. Just goes to show you, it's never too late to live your dream! Of course their agent, Erin Mitchell Hoppe, had to buy them matching John Deere baseball caps. #YourStoryIsOurStory


Throughout the year we will be posting some of our favorite #YourStoryIsOurStory videos, photos, and blog posts. Please take a minute to share your experiences, and follow #YourStoryIsOurStory on our blogFacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube, and Pinterest pages.

Windermere Beta Testing New Safety Device During National Agent Safety Month

In recent years, there have been a number of high profile cases of violence against real estate agents. In an effort to raise awareness about this important topic, and provide agents with the resources to protect themselves, the National Association of REALTORS® designates September as “REALTOR Safety Month”.

Here at Windermere, we care greatly about the health and safety of our agents and want them to be prepared to not only care for the homes they represent, but also their own wellbeing. So, in honor of REALTOR Safety Month, we have partnered with React Mobile to test-drive a new device that will help our agents stay safe while on the job. It comes in the form of the React Sidekick Bluetooth panic button, which about 150 Seattle-area agents are currently beta testing. The React Sidekick is a personal panic button that can be used to quickly and remotely activate a widespread emergency alert without the need to find, unlock, and dial from a phone that may be out of reach. 

When the Sidekick is activated, whoever the agent has designated to be a part of their emergency network receives a “Help Me” alert text message and email that includes a link to the user’s GPS location.  Users can also choose to automatically post their alerts to Facebook and Twitter to let an even wider network of contacts know where they are and that they need help.

While we hope that our agents will never find themselves needing to use the React Mobile panic button, the goal is to give them an additional layer of security when meeting with new clients in unfamiliar locations. For more information about agent safety, please visit: http://www.realtor.org/topics/realtor-safety.





3 Quick Maintenance Tips to Make Your Roof Last

Your roof is one of the most important assets of your home. Here are some tips to help maintain it.


This article originally appeared on Porch.com

Written by Peter Kim


A brand-new roof is a massive investment, but no other element of your home is quite as valuable. While the average lifespan of a roof is about 15 years, careful homeowners have a few ways to extend the life of their homes without enduring too many headaches. Take a look at these three quick maintenance tips that will make your roof last.

Read Related: Need A New Roof? Here’s Your Roofing 101


1. Keep Your Gutters Clear

Most people don’t think of their gutters as part of their roof, but allowing debris to accumulate and clog your gutters adds extra weight and pulls away at your roof’s fascia, which can be a costly fix. Look down the length of your roof for any signs of sagging or bending – that’s a sure sign your gutters are carrying too much weight and pulling at your roof. Downspouts should also be carefully maintained, but don’t be fooled by easy-flowing water. Moss and algae buildup on and around your roof can slowly eat away at your roofing material and severely compromise its integrity.

Read Related: How To Remove Ice Dams From Your Roof & Gutters


2. Focus On The Attic

The exterior of your roof isn’t the only area you should be focused on. Your attic is your roof’s first line of defense against damage and you have two methods of attack: insulation and ventilation.

Insulating your attic has the double benefit of keeping your home’s internal temperature at a more reasonable level while also preventing vapor and moisture buildup on the underside of your roof. When combined with proper ventilation (which may mean adding a fan to your attic), your attic can stay dry and keep your roof’s rafters safe from moisture damage.

Read Related: 5 Steps to Maintain Your Attic


3. Catch Problems Early

Check on your roof regularly, whether it’s with every change of the season or after a significant storm. Catching small issues early on can only save you money in the long run, so utilizing the services of a reliable, professional roofer is an invaluable asset. As with any working professional, it’s a good idea to establish a working relationship with a roofer and even consider scheduling a yearly checkup for your roof just to make sure there aren’t any problems sneaking up on you. After all, spending a little each year to maintain your roof is a lot better than dropping $15,000-$50,000 on a new one, right?

Read Related: Roof & Gutter Maintenance Plus Ladder Safety


 Porch.com is the free home network that connects homeowners and renters with the right home service professionals.

#YourStoryIsOurStory: Perseverance, flexibility and faith

When rent increases were pushing a disabled Marine veteran and his family out of their home, Nancy Chapin felt the weight of the world on her shoulders. After making multiple offers on single-family homes, with an open mind and faith, they found the perfect condo for them.

Throughout the year we will be posting some of our favorite #YourStoryIsOurStory videos, photos, and blog posts. Please take a minute to share your experiences, and follow #YourStoryIsOurStory on our blogFacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube, and Pinterest pages.



How to Decorate a Rental

Abiding by rental rules is important, but so is style and making a house feel more like a home. Thus, we’ve put together a little list for you to help personalize your home, while still insuring you get your security deposit back by the end of it.

Storage – Let’s be honest, rentals often lack sufficient storage place, and since custom cabinetry isn’t usually an option for renters, investing in some added storage is key. Add some simple shelves, bookshelves, baskets, or under the bed storage.

Blinds – Vertical blinds may be the ultimate decorating sin. No one likes feeling as if they’re living in a motel room. We suggest you either take them down or hide them under curtains. Just don’t throw them out or you may not get your security deposit back!

Accessorize – Pillows, throws, candles, books, light fixtures… the only way to get a truly genuine space. This is by far the easiest and a MUST.

Wall Art – Those pesky holes might keep you from hanging art or photos on your walls, but when it comes down to it, they’ll only take a few minutes to patch up when it comes time to move out. This doesn’t mean you have to hang an entire art gallery, but hanging one statement piece and placing the rest of the photos on a mantel or shelf should do the trick.

Rugs – Last but not least, rugs: the peanut butter to your rental jelly. If there are scratched hardwood floors or stained carpets, you can cover those up easily with a throw rug. Not only that, a rug is a great investment piece that will add your personal flavor to any space. And they absorb noise and make a room feel comfy.


Condo, town home or single family home?

When it comes to your dream home, you have options! Condos, town homes and single family homes are all great opportunities to invest in a place to live to match your lifestyle. Consider what home style is right for you by asking yourself the following questions: