Friday, May 12, 2017

There's An App for That

It seems like everyone uses phone apps these days and we all have our favorites. There are a number that I use and the kids and friends use. Some of these of course are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and several real estate ones. The Northwest Multiple Listing Service has a HomeSpotter App, the title companies have apps to help determine closing costs, mortgage payments, closing dates and more. There are apps to estimate room sizes, control your smart home, post to your social media and more. You can edit photos with apps, you can choose room colors with paint color apps. What ever you want to do, someone has probably created an app for it. You want to know what your horoscope it? How about what your luck will be today with an Magic 8 Ball app.  Their are wayfinding apps and now I've just learned that the Washington DOT has updated their mobile app. Using your phone’s GPS, My Routes tracks your trips and saves them within the app. Once it’s saved, you can then choose to automatically add content like traffic cameras, available travel times, ferry schedules and mountain pass reports to your favorites. 

 What apps do you like to use? Let me know and I'll check them out too. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Who Let The Dogs Out?

In Seattle we love our pets. And in loving our pets we like to take them with us where we go. Now there is a list of restaurants where dogs are welcome and an article this week about dogs in bars. So what do you think? Do you want to take your dog to a restaurant or bar? And how do you feel about dogs in restaurants and bars? If you're not a dog lover does that mean you'll cross that establishment off of your list? 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Places To Visit

I can't believe that it's almost May and now I'm thinking about places that I want to visit this summer.

I just found a very cool list about some great ice cream stops in the eastern part of the state. While I'm dreaming about summer, I just might make a trip east of the mountains to visit some wonderful sounding ice cream stores in Spokane, Pullman, Yakima and even in Ellensburg. In fact a trip to Ellensburg makes a great day trip. Here is a link so you too can read all about these yummy sounding places. The Ice Cream Trail.

Monday, April 24, 2017

How Can I Get Great Photos Of My Home?

Whether you're putting your house for rent on Airbnb, putting photos on Instagram or just getting ready for listing pictures there are several things that you can do to get the best possible photos.

Clutter is distracting so make this step number one. Remove most of the items that normally reside on those flat surfaces. Instead of several little things choose one bold statement piece. This includes removing items like the plants in the windowsills, the magnets on the refrigerator, small appliances and mail.

Open the blinds, wash the windows and open the curtains. Natural light creates depth and shadows in a room and it makes a room feel warmer and more welcoming.

Remember to check the bed. You can use a steamer to remove the wrinkles and make it look fresh and welcoming. This will create a luxury feel in the furnishings. If you match the stack of pillows to the edge of the bed, it will make the bed appear wider. The pillowcases should open outward. Add a throw pillow to the stack of the pillows and center this pillow to make it look like like a showroom.

Accents of color in any room are always welcome. Flowers, throw pillows or a vase of greens will work for the spot of color. A stager I know uses a throw that she has picked up in the middle to create a cascading effect and then lies it diagonally across a bench or couch. This creates some unexpected visual interest.

Lower your artwork. In a photo this will make the ceiling look higher and give the room a more spacious feel. You may also need to use artwork that is more horizontal rather than vertical.

If you're selling your home, you might want to consider the value of a pet. They do create a bit of fun but may also turn away potential buyers who have allergies or just don't like pets. If you do have pets, make certain that you hide the chew toys and feeding bowls, pet beds and cages.

You can boost curb appeal by raking leaves, moving trash and recycle containers and pruning trees. Clear vehicles from the front of your home and take the cover off the barbecue.

When you've completed these steps, invite a few folks in to see the changes. They can help to identified things that you're used to seeing.

Now take some photos and see how good your space can look.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

What Color Paint Should I Use?

We all know that one of the simplest ways to update a space is with a can of paint. The question remains however about what color of paint to use. If you're selling your home this is an especially important decision.

One of the first things you should do is to research your area and see what other people are using. Look at the homes for sale and see what colors are being used in areas like kitchens and dens. These will be great colors for you to consider.

Did you know that all colors have undertones? All grays have a tint to them like blue, green or even purple. This is true for all colors. Make sure that the color you choose doesn't highlight something you weren't planning on.

Your paint colors should enhance the colors in the room that are part of the fixed materials.  Pay attention to the wood finishes, countertops and tile.  These fixed materials will probably not be changed. Don't pick a color that will compete.

Now let's think about the finish. Do you want a semi-gloss or a matte finish. Semi-gloss is the most durable but it will also show imperfections in your walls. A matte finish is less durable but can hide some of the imperfections.

When you choose a color remember that colors can create emotions. A bedroom should be calm and relaxing so you might want to choose a warmer tone that makes the room feel cozy. A color that's more energetic can be used in the kitchen.  Cooler colors can make a room look larger and warmer colors can make a room look smaller.

When you choose an outside paint color, choose one that keeps in character with your neighborhood. Using tones of tan, light gray or beige can make your home look larger.

Warm colors are inviting and can give a home a little more character but bold colors may turn buyers away. Keep the ceilings and trim white to five things a clean, fresh look.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

What Kind of Neighborhood Should I Consider When I Want to Buy A Home

Buying a home is an important decision. When you buy a home, most people go with emotion "How does this home make me feel?' This is a good place to start but there are some other things to consider. The area I want to chat about today is the neighborhood. 

You can assess a neighborhood in many simple ways but I would like to talk about ways that I use.

1. I walk the streets. Talk with neighbors and see how they feel about the area.

2. Determine which people are owners and which ones are renters. If there are more homeowners the neighborhood will be more stable and likely have higher real estate value.

3. How is the neighborhood maintained. Do the homes have nice yards. Do they take pride in the way the houses and lawns are kept up?

These are good indicators that this is a neighborhood that you will want to invest your time and money in.

Friday, March 31, 2017

What Kind Of Investor Would You Rather Be?

What kind of investor would you rather be?

If you invest in stocks you can learn about the company but you are just one vote in the shareholder population.
If you invest in real estate you get to choose:
Where to buy
How much to spend
How much debt you will acquire
The kinds of renovations you are going to make to your property
Who the property manager is going be
Which investor would you rather be? If you want to make a real estate investment, contact me today.