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Bozeman Summer Kickoff Events

 

Bozeman is a city full of activity. There’s always something interesting to do, but never more so than as we move into summertime. Let’s take a look at some of the upcoming events that are in store for us in summer of 2018!

LIVING HISTORY FARM
May 26-September 9, 2018
Museum of the Rockies

The living history farm is a free activity for the whole family during the summer. The Tinsley house was brought to the MoR in order to help interpret Montana’s rich homesteading history. Throughout the summer, costumed actors will demonstrate what life was like on an ordinary day in homesteader life, participating in everything from traditional cooking to blacksmithing!

BOZEMAN PET EXPO
June 2, 2018
Gallatin County Fairgrounds

The Bozeman Pet Expo has everything you could possibly want for your pet. During this event there will be entertainment, events, and more vendors than you can shake a stick at, peddling unique and useful items for your family pet, whatever that may be!

SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARKS
June 13, 2018 (throughout summer)
MSU Duck Pond

Shakespeare in the Parks is a wonderful way to get out with the family and experience professional productions of Shakespeare’s works throughout the summer. These performances are free for all, and are a great way to experience the arts in our community.

EXTREME HISTORY PROJECT: HISTORIC WALKING TOURS
May 24, 2018 (throughout summer)
Various Bozeman Locations

The Extreme History Project offers a number of historic walking tours throughout the summer that are great for locals and visitors alike. Learn about the history of distilling in Bozeman, our historic homes, or even Bozeman’s ghosts in a walking tour of the cemetery. These events are not only educational, but fun, and a great way to learn more about the history of our community!

MUSIC ON MAIN
June 28, 2018 (throughout summer)
Main Street

We all knew this one was coming, but the exciting part is that it’s so soon! Music on main will kick off with John Roberts Y Pan Blanco for an evening of fun, music, food, dancing, and community as we all come together once again every Thursday for a good time. This Bozeman staple always lets us know that it’s officially summer in the Gallatin Valley. We’ll see you there!

Maintenance

Maintenance when renting can be a confusing issue. Sometimes it’s unclear to tenants whether or not a maintenance issue is something that they should take care of or if their property management company is responsible. This can be a confusing issue, and it can be a little intimidating if tenants aren’t sure about maintenance rules. At Schmidt Property Management the answer is simple: if something breaks, call us right away!

Even if you’re not sure if an issue is your fault or simply normal wear and tear, Schmidt Property Management has a fleet of contractors that we’ve created a great working relationship with that will deploy to maintenance issues, taking care of things quickly and skillfully. These contractors will then make a professional assessment whether the damage can be considered normal wear and tear or otherwise. Dealing with maintenance issues has never been easier!

The reason that Schmidt Property Management makes this as simple as we can is to avoid what’s called deferred maintenance. When what seem like small maintenance issues are put off for too long, the small issues will add up over time and eventually become big issues. This is what we hope to avoid both for the sakes of our property owners’ investments as well as the quality of life of our tenants that occupy these spaces.

Even if you know that a maintenance issue is your own responsibility, please still call the office to let Schmidt Property Management office to let us know about it. Many of our contractors have been working with us for many years, and we can get the quality of work that our company requires at a really great price. Because using our contractors ensures that work won’t need to be re-done, this is a benefit to both you and us.

So what should you do if you encounter a maintenance issue, however small?

Easy! Either submit a maintenance request via your tenant portal, or if you’re unsure how to do that call the Schmidt Property Management office at (406) 586-2226 and our desk staff will help you along.

St. Patrick’s Day in Bozeman

After a long winter, St. Patrick’s day is finally coming up this Saturday (March 17, 2018). The holiday falling on a weekend is a treat for those who work during the week, but those folks may also be asking themselves what they can do for the celebration around Bozeman.

Most people know about the parade and celebration in Butte, but if you’re looking for something lower key or more family friendly, here are some events going on around town that can be enjoyed.

 

1. Run To The Pub

Run to The Pub is a Bozeman St. Paddy’s staple. RTTP is a 10k (and half marathon) that’s hosted every year by Bozeman’s very own Pub 317 to benefit the Bozeman Area Community Foundation. The run offers various prizes for completing the race (as well as for completing the race in costume), but even if it didn’t, it’s a great time for a good cause. What could be better?

Packet pickup begins at 9am at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds on Friday, March 16th, 2018. Late registration may still be available! For more information visit the RTTP’s website

2. St. Patrick’s Day Green Skate

The St. Paddy’s Green skate is an ice skating event hosted by BAHA (Bozeman Amateur Hockey Association) on March 17th, 2018 from 12pm-1:20pm. During this event, the price of admission will be discounted by one dollar (ordinarily $5 — skate rentals will remain $5 for this event). This is a great opportunity for the whole family to celebrate the holiday together.

 

3. St. Patrick’s Day Family Celebration

On March 17th from 11am to noon, the Bozeman Public Library will be alive with fiddle and harp music as well as stories and snacks! This event will be interactive and great for people of all ages to celebrate and learn in honor of St. Patrick, and is free of charge so be they young or young-at-heart, the whole family can participate without breaking the bank.

 

Holidays are a great time for Bozeman to come together and celebrate as a community! We at Schmidt Property Management are wishing you a fun and safe holiday however you choose to celebrate!

Bozeman Community Events

February is here with all of the things that come along with it! Of course, there are the usual of the groundhog disappointing at least part of the population, whatever his prediction, and the weather fluctuations that can only be explained by a daily coin flip, but February is also the month that Bozeman starts waking back up after a busy holiday season. For being a short month, February always seems to pack in plenty to do with regard to community-wide events.

One of our favorites is the Winter Crazy Days event!

Winter crazy days is an event put on by the Downtown Bozeman Association annually. From February 16th to February 19th 2018 downtown merchants participate in a huge sale to help clear out their winter stock to make room for their incoming spring merchandise. Not only is this a great opportunity to get a little bit of end-of-winter shopping done (because we all know winter in Montana sure does like to hang on) at amazing discount prices, but is a chance to look forward to what all your favorite stores have planned for the next season. What’s not to love! Even if you don’t feel like shopping, this event is free and a great opportunity to meet up with your friends downtown.

Winter Crazy Days is a Bozeman staple, but there are new and exciting things on the horizon too for those who’d like to check out an event at our very own newly-reopened Rialto Theater. The beautiful Rialto will be hosting Intermountain Opera’s She Loves Me from February 9th to February 18th 2018. This is exciting for so many reasons! Not only is Bozeman’s beloved Rialto back in action, but this is an excellent opportunity to take your sweetheart on a unique date to remember while also supporting Bozeman’s very own Intermountain Opera.

These are just a couple of the February events that we’re excited about, but you can see a more comprehensive calendar of events at the Downtown Bozeman Association website. Rain or shine we hope to see you out and about at some of these great events to support our community. We’ll see you there!

Solutions to keeping your winter energy costs down

Love winter or hate it, there’s no denying that energy costs can go sky-high during the colder months, especially during cold-snaps like we had recently where it sank far below zero. When it’s -20˚ outside, you want to be able to stay warm and cozy in your home without having to worry about the price-tag, and it can be important to assess your energy usage so your bank account doesn’t take a major hit.

 

The first step that can be taken in achieving energy-efficiency in your home is to call your local energy provider and ask for an energy audit. In Bozeman, the primary energy supplier is Northwestern Energy. Depending on the services you receive from Northwestern, you may qualify for one of two different types of free energy audits. In-person audits have stricter eligibility requirements than mail-in survey requirements. Please see Northwestern Energy’s audit page to find out if you and your home are eligible for this helpful service.

 

In the meantime, there are many methods you can use on your home before or after an energy audit that can help save you money on your bill:

 

 

  • Seal heating vents in rooms you don’t use: If you have a guest room or storage room that you don’t utilize often, your heating system may be wasting energy trying to keep it warm when no one will even be around. If you have a forced air heating system, a good method for helping reduce waste in this way is to cover the heating vents in this room snugly to keep the warm air from escaping into the open space. This method may need to be reassessed if this room is attached to a room (bathroom/utility room) that contains plumbing. During very cold periods, all plumbing should be exposed to heat to avoid freezing.
  • Ceiling fans: Ceiling fans come with a switch to change the rotation direction to clockwise or counter-clockwise. In the summer, counter-clockwise movement will move hotter air away from the living area of the house to keep things cooler, but in the winter ceiling fans should be switched to the “clockwise” setting. This helps move the rising warm air back toward the floor to circulate it more efficiently in the livable space of the house, keeping you and your family warmer at a lower cost.
  • Find any leaks: In places where pipes and vents enter and exit the home, there can be small gaps and cracks in the insulation and/or seals where warm air can escape and cold air can sneak in. Make sure these areas are completely sealed. A small leak can make a huge difference!
  • Turn down the temperature on your hot water heater: During the winter, keeping water hot for on-demand use can take a lot of costly energy. A way to mitigate this is to turn the temperature dial on your hot water heater down to about 120˚.
  • Use the sun’s free heat: If it’s going to be a sunny day, open the blinds on windows that get the most sun to utilize the free solar heat. Just remember to close the blinds when the sun goes down to keep the warm air trapped inside.
  • Fireplace dampers: If you have a fireplace, make sure that when there isn’t a fire burning that the damper is closed. Warm air can escape up the chimney when there’s no heat being generated by a fire in there.
  • Various: There are a lot of smaller things that can be done to help. Using LED lights for your holiday decorations, getting a humidifier to make the air feel warmer, making sure you remember to close blinds and curtains at night, and programmable thermostats that keep the temperature lower when no one is home are all ways to help assist your energy efficiency and keep your bill more manageable.

 

 

With any luck, using the above methods will help lower your energy costs and help with your peace of mind, so you can stay warm and happy during the colder months.

 

Snow Removal Policy

The City of Bozeman’s snow removal policy is becoming increasingly relevant as winter continues, dumping so much snow on the town that we’re running out of places to put the abundance of fluffy white stuff we’re removing from streets and sidewalks.

The problem with the ever-growing blanket of snow we’re addressing this year is that many residents of Bozeman aren’t aware of the city’s policy on snow removal.

We at Schmidt Property Management would like to help our friends and tenants continue to be in compliance with these policies and avoid hefty fines.

For sidewalks outside of businesses, sidewalks must be cleared by 9 AM daily, while for private homes, the City allows for 24 hours after snow and ice arrive for sidewalks to be completely cleared of snow and ice. If a complaint is filed, the city will send an officer to request that the snow and ice be removed by the following day (or leave a note if no one is around). A failure to remove this snow and ice will result in a contractor being hired by the city to remove it at the cost of the property owner. If the home is a rental, the owner or property manager will usually charge the balance to the current residents of the home.

If you’re unsure whether or not you’re responsible for snow removal in a home that you rent, we recommend contacting your property manager for more information.

In the meantime, enjoy the winter sports this sort of snowfall allows, but make sure to stay in compliance with city ordinances!

Holiday Decorations and Fire Hazards

With the holiday season upon us, many of our homes are decorated to the nines. There are garlands and pine bows over doorframes, lights in the windows, candles on tables, and trees dripping with lights. It’s all very glittery and beautiful, but with all of the impressive decorations there comes the risk of fire.

Holiday decorations are the source of hundreds of house fires yearly, starting with everyone’s favorite centerpiece: the Christmas tree.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, Christmas tree fires account for over 200 fires responded to each year. One in every thirty-one of these fires proves to be deadly to one or more residents of the home.

Dry trees can be a major fuel source for a fire and can burn faster than newspaper, but it’s not all bad news. We have plenty of suggestions to help you prevent this from happening so you and your beautiful, decorative evergreen can live in harmony until it’s time for you to go your separate ways. (For some of us this means the end of January, but we’re not pointing any fingers).

Electrical failures and malfunctions from decorations and power sources for these decorations are the cause of 30% of Christmas tree fires.

String lights are a major culprit for causing the sparks or heat that can lead to a fire on your tree. Oftentimes, strings of incandescent lights that are used year after year can be broken or damaged, leading to vulnerabilities and weaknesses that can cause excessive heat or sparking. This heat and sparking can result in your tree bursting into flames and burning at a high rate of speed.

 

There are some ways to mitigate the risks with incandescent string lights, however. Some of these methods are as follows:

  1. Make sure your string lights are sound with no cuts or twists and no exposed wires.
  2. Check all bulbs on your incandescent lights to make sure that none are broken.
  3. Do not splice extension cords.
  4. Turn decorative lights off when you leave your home or go to bed. You should never sleep with your decorative lights on!
  5. Use LED lights: LED lights use up to 75% less energy than incandescent lights and don’t generate heat or burn out in the same way that incandescents to. Instead they slowly fade over time. They are also ordinarily plastic and much more difficult to break than glass incandescent bulbs. — While LED lights usually come with a higher price-tag, their saved energy and durability make them an excellent alternative to the riskier incandescent lights.

 

There are also some means to maintain your tree to lessen the likelihood that it will burn if an accident does occur.

  1. A dry tree is a dangerous tree. While it’s safer to buy an artificial tree, we realize this isn’t how the traditions of many families work. When buying a Christmas tree, the best place to start is getting a tree that is fresh. Then it’s important to ask the attendants to freshen the cut at the base of your tree’s trunk. This is so it’s able to draw water. Much like any other decorative plant that is kept in water, it must be able to draw the water provided or it will die.
  2. Keep your tree in fresh water daily! If your tree’s water level drops below the cut end of the tree, the cut will seal and not accept any more water. Be meticulous! If this happens, make sure you freshen the bottom again by cutting off the end. This will help keep your tree from drying out and becoming more of a fire hazard.
  3. Keep your tree a minimum of 3 feet away from any heat source. This includes, but is not limited to: baseboard heaters, candles, lamps, or space heaters.

 

As dangerous as trees can be, they’re also not the only source of fires during the holidays. The worst culprit in this regard is the candle. Candle use is at an all-time high during the holidays, and December is the peak time of year for home candle fires.

Because they hold open flames, candles are inherently dangerous. Make sure to keep candles at least 3 feet away from any flammable surface or object, and be vigilant! Be extra careful to not forget to blow out any candles that may be burning before you leave the house or go to sleep. 1/3 of all candle fires start in the bedroom, so be sure to put them out before settling in.

 

The holidays can be a wonderful time of the year, and the decorations are beautiful! It’s easy to get caught up in all the wonder, but always remember to be careful and keep your safety in mind.

We at Schmidt Property Management wish everyone a wonderful (and safe!) holiday season and we will see you again in 2018!

Nothing is spookier than a bed bug

 

With Halloween approaching, we find ourselves talking about the spookiest topic of all: Bed bugs, because nothing is spookier than a bed bug.

“Bedbug” is an honorary four-letter-word not just in the housing/hospitality industry, but particularly in one’s own home. These nasty little freeloaders are easy to get and dang near impossible to get rid of if the infestation goes unnoticed for too long.

 

Many people are under the impression that once they get bedbugs they must burn all of their belongings to get rid of them. This is, in most cases, untrue, but it’s important to educate yourself on bedbugs and what can be done to detect them early so that they can be more easily mitigated.

 

How do I know if I have bedbugs?

 

There are various means of detecting bedbugs both before and after they start taking their nightly snacks off of yourself and your family.

 

  1. The first and most obvious means of discovering that you have bedbugs is to make periodic inspections for them on all mattresses and upholstered furniture. It may seem tedious, but it takes very little time. Bedbugs can be visually detected on mattresses and furniture under fitted sheets along the seams in the mattresses/furniture. On box springs, close attention should be paid to areas that are covered by wood or plastic that a tiny bug and its brethren can hide.

    What you’re looking for are small, rust-colored stains and the remains of dead bed bugs/shed bed bug exoskeletons. These will be about the size of a pinhead so look closely!
  2. If bed bugs have begun using you as a buffet, you’ll know more quickly by small blood stains on your sheets and/or pajamas than looking for welts. This is because bed bug bites are initially painless and sometimes invisible. It can take days for bed bug bites to appear, so looking for spots of blood can alert you to a bed bug infestation more quickly than the bites themselves. There is also a large percentage of the population that don’t have skin reactions to bed bugs. They’re the lucky ones, but less likely to discover an infestation in a timely manner.
  3. Look for bed bug excrement. This is admittedly pretty gross, but what about bed bugs isn’t? Excrement stains will be different than blood spots in color because the blood has been digested. These stains will be black or brown and rather than just appearing on your pajamas and sheets, these stains can appear anywhere that bed bugs go. This could be your mattress, box spring, mattress pad, etc.

 

 

What do I do if I find evidence of bed bugs in my home?

 

People often think that if they find any evidence of bed bugs in their home that they should dispose of their linens and cloth items, but this is extreme and not necessarily true. There are several steps that should be taken before something extreme is done.

 

DON’T

 

  1. Do not throw away your expensive mattress or your bedding. Anything new you bring into an already infested home will likely just become infested again, because bed bugs are very good at staying hidden.
  2. Do not start sleeping in a different area of the house. Bed bugs are ravenous little things and they will usually move where their food source does, so by changing where you sleep you’ll potentially inadvertently spread your infestation to more areas of your home. YIKES.

 

DO

 

  1. While you don’t want to change your sleeping area, as stated above. It can be very tempting to sleep somewhere else just for relief from the bed bug bites. There is a solution to this! Most big box stores and even Amazon will sell bed bug-proof cases for mattresses and box springs. These will trap the bed bugs and their eggs inside the case in order to starve them out and eventually kill them. Prior to putting these casings on your mattress and bed spring, however, you should vacuum both items, paying specific attention to the seams and folds to reduce the number of bed bugs inhabiting them. Once the bed bugs are sealed away, they won’t be able to access you for a snack and will eventually (though it is an alarming period of time) starve.
  2. When your mattress and box spring are covered it’s time to focus on your bed frame. Bed bugs mostly live in the soft surfaces of your bed, but they can live and lay their eggs in your bed frame as well. Vacuuming isn’t 100% effective for this, so purchase insecticide sprays to effectively get into every nook and cranny that the bugs could have hidden themselves or their offspring.
  3. Treat other areas of your home as needed. If you suspect that you have bed bugs in your furniture, make sure that when you treat each piece of furniture (vacuuming and insecticide as above) that you move it far away from furniture that has not yet been treated to avoid cross contaminating between treated and untreated furniture.
  4. If the infestation is not caught early, while it may not seem ideal, it’s best to call a professional in. This is particularly true if it has spread to other parts of your home where bed bugs are harder to find and eliminate.
  5. Most importantly, if you rent, please alert your property manager. Nobody wants to talk to their property manager about bed bugs, but unfortunately they are terribly easy to spread. If bed bugs are in your home, chances are high they could have found their way into adjacent units, and it’s unfair to inflict bed bugs on the neighbors if you can help it.

 

It is important to note: that you should be aware of where you dispose of the contents of your vacuum after doing the above! You will want to dispose of the contents of your vacuum outdoors. Double bag the vacuum bag before disposing of it in an outdoor dumpster. Double bagging will help reduce the risk of spread to some unsuspecting stranger’s home. If your vacuum is bagless, double bag the contents of the dirt reservoir and be exceptionally careful that all bed bugs have been removed from your appliance before allowing it back in your home.

Charity Whiskey Tasting

 

Schmidt Property Management is pleased to announce that for the second year in a row we’ll be sponsoring a Roarin’ 20’s themed charity whiskey tasting to benefit Thrive!

 

What is it?

Mainstreet Speakeasy is a prohibition-themed whiskey tasting party hosted by Thrive in conjunction with Copper Whiskey Bar & Grill and Wisetail. This event is a benefit to support Thrive, an organization in the Gallatin Valley that supports the prosperity of children and families.

 

Why should I go?

Not only is supporting Thrive a great cause, but it’s a ton of fun! Roarin’ 20’s and prohibition themed costumes are highly encouraged. There will even be a costume contest! The best-dressed couple will win a prize, so come in your best get-up!

 

Will there be food/drinks?

Absolutely! While this is a whiskey tasting event, there will also be non-alcoholic beverage provided. There are also appetizers presented by Red Chair Cafe & Bar and boozy cupcakes provided by LUXE. (Those things are so good, they’re worth coming for in and of themselves)

 

Anything else?

 

Of course! There will also be a silent auction and a VIP Lounge sponsored by REVOLVR Menswear.

Remember! If you get your ticket before October 2nd, you’ll be entered to win a night’s stay at the Element Hotel!

We look forward to seeing you there.

 

PLACE: Bozeman Event Space @ 14 South Tracy Avenue (Bozeman, MT)

DATE: October 20, 2017

TIME: 6:00-9:00 PM

TICKETS: $65 and can be found here

If you’d like to learn more about Thrive and what they do for our community, please visit their website: https://allthrive.org

 

Sponsor list:

Copper Whiskey Bar & Grill, Wisetail, Revolvr Menswear, Blackfoot, Dan Aughney & Amanda Torgerson – Mortgage Loan Officers with Opportunity Mortgage, Red Chair Cafe & Bar, Schmidt Property Management, and LUXE! 

Spring Break

 

It’s been a long semester, but thankfully Spring Break is right around the corner! What a relief. Some of you will be staying home and catching up on homework that you may or may not have been slacking on, but some of you lucky folks will be jetting off for a fun in the sun vacation somewhere warm—or maybe even a powder-filled ski vacation.

 
Whatever your destination this Spring Break, if your Schmidt Property Management rental will be empty for 7 or more consecutive days, please give us a call! When units sit empty, we will make drive-bys to make sure your unit is safe and sound while you’re away. We worry so that you don’t have to!

 

Also, though it’s allegedly going to be pretty nice weather while everyone is away, remember to keep your thermostats set to at least 60 degrees and open any cabinets that contain plumbing. That way if Montana decides it wants to have a cold snap while you’re away, there’s a lot lower of a chance of pipes freezing. Frozen pipes is a horrible situation to come home to, so we recommend taking precautions regardless of the weather forecast. As we all know, weather here in the Big Sky is known to do whatever the heck it wants.

 

If you need to contact our office to let us know about an extended absence, please call us at (406) 586-2226

If you call outside of business hours, please just leave a clear message and we’ll be sure to keep an eye on your place for you while you’re away.

 

Have a fun and safe Spring Break, everyone!

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