Homeowner Tip of the Month

Springtime is a time to clean up, check up and spruce up your home and property. We’ve included a handy checklist below to jog your mind on many of the chores that have piled up over the winter. Get started now so you can enjoy the warm-weather season with your friends and neighbors.

In the last newsletter, we reviewed roof maintenance and gutter cleaning. That’s a great place to start, but in this issue of the Bulletin, we go further.

Outdoor Checklist

Use warm days to work outside and accomplish the following tasks:

  • Check your irrigation system. Ensure none of the heads are damaged and reposition them to avoid spraying your house and windows, driveways, walkways, porches and patios, etc.—any non-pervious areas.
  • Check faucets for leaks.
  • Check window screens and screen doors for damage.
  • Check driveways, slabs and patios for cracks and repair them.
  • Check lawnmower and other power equipment and repair or replace them before you need to use them.
  • Check for loose railings and tighten them.
  • Prune shrubs and trees.

Indoor Checklist

Use dreary days to check off interior chores.

  • Spring-cleaning is no fun, but the final product is worth the effort. Deep-clean one room at a time.
  • Wash interior windows. Wait until after rainy season to wash exterior windows.
  • Vacuum refrigerator coils and air return covers.
  • Clean rugs.
  • Get air-conditioning unit checked (indoor and outdoor).
  • Check washing machine hoses.
  • Clean dryer vent and hose.
  • Get your water heater pressure tested.
  • Test security and smoke alarms, and change batteries, if necessary.

We’ve hit the high points, but no one knows your home better than you do, so take the time to repair whatever you find while you’re cleaning, such as chipped paint, a loose doorknob, etc. 

Potpourri

Get Ready for March Madness
March Madness starts Sunday, March 12, 2017. The NCAA has released the first-ever, "in-season" Sweet 16 bracket. View the complete playoff and championship schedule and mark your calendars so you don't miss any of the action.

Travel

It's Cherry Blossom Season
The National Cherry Blossom Festival springs to life March 20 - April 16, 2017, in and around Washington, D.C. It celebrates Tokyo's gift of 3,000 cherry trees to the nation's capital. In addition to the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade, the area hosts a number of spectacular events. For more information, check the official website.

Your Money

Are You Overpaying on income Tax?
Did you know that some or all of your Social Security may not be taxable? Calculations are made on adjusted gross income (AGI). See the table midway down the page at the link to determine if a portion of your Social Security income is tax-free.


Take Every Legal Deduction You Can
Tax avoidance is legal. Tax evasion is not and is subject to criminal penalties. According to Investopedia, “Tax avoidance is the use of legal methods to modify an individual's financial situation to lower the amount of income tax owed… by claiming the permissible deductions and credits.” View “Top Seven Senior Tax Breaks” at FindLaw, and double-check with your tax preparer to ensure you’re taking full advantage of deductions and credits to which you are entitled.