Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Real Estate 411: How do I protect my investment property during the winter months?

Maximize your ROI with these tips on caring for your investment property

Seasons are changing, we are no longer experiencing 105 degree heat and we can actually enjoy sitting, eating and playing outdoors – at least for a short while. The changing of the season brings new maintenence issues that will need your immediate attention.

During these next few months we will have more rain and colder, more extreme temperatures – you want to be prepared for the fall and winter months and do what you can to preserve and protect your investment property.

Here are our tips on things to do to make sure your property is prepared to handle the colder weather and avoid unnecessary energy loss and or cold weather disasters! Whether you own one or 20 properties, doing these things now will pay off when Spring comes!


  • Protect your water supply lines by covering exposed faucets
  • Insulate lines exposed to cold
  • Use insulation foam to seal cracks and crevices
  • Seal windows and doors to cut down on energy loss
  • Fill cracks in drives and parking areas to protect from additional damage due to freezing water
  • Paint and spackle doors, windows, and fascia sofits – this will pay dividends next spring!
  • Replace and seal damaged siding and wood – this will save you money now, before additional damage is done by the wet and cold weather

Avoid frozen pipes:

  • Locate your home's water cut-off valve NOW - learn how it works so you can act quickly in case of an emergency
  • In case of broken pipes, turn water off at the main shut off, if the location of the main shut off is unknown, turn off the valve located on the hot water heater (generally located on top of the water heater)
  • Cover all foundation vents by filling the openings with foundation plugs - ideally, you should install your foundation plugs in late October and remove in late April
  • Disconnect water hoses and wrap outside hydrants and spigots
  • Drain your sprinkler system before the first freeze
  • If your home has a hot tub or pool, keep the water circulating constantly in freezing weather
  • If the temperature is below freezing, leave the heat on and open cabinet doors under sinks, allowing warm air to circulate around pipes

Avoid the expensive cost of potential repairs in the Spring by being proactive in the maintenance of your investment property this fall and winter.

Other important items:

  • Test and replace (if necessary) all smoke alarms
  • Replace A/C and heater filters for better efficiency
  • Clean out gutters and downspouts
  • Continue your landscape maintenance - mowing, edging and weed-eating for a while longer
  • Trim bushes back and tree limbs away from the roof
  • Spread out the fall weed killer and fertilizer

Need help with your property management?
For assistance in managing your investment properties, contact CENTURY 21 Judge Fite Management Company, a locally owned, certified full service property management company. C21JFPM has been successfully managing homes in the DFW Metro area since 1952 and continues to manage over 1500 local homes. For more information call 972-780-5380 or visit

Help your tenants protect themselves with Renters Insurance
We also strongly advise that you recommend Renters Insurance to your tenants to cover their personal property and protect their household from major losses. For more information, or to obtain a competitive quote, contact Linda Shade with CENTURY 21 Judge Fite Insurance (214) 446-2571.

CENTURY 21 Judge Fite Company
800-451-8055 or email