Thursday, October 31, 2019

An Update to SR 99 Tunnel

For months we have been watching and hearing about the removal of the Alaskan Way viaduct and the new SR 99 tunnel. After using the tunnel for a few months, it's now time to start the tolling process. If you want to know more about that process, here is a great video from  WSDOT that will provide more information.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Commission Update from Northwest Multiple Listing Association

Recently there was an article published in the Seattle Times about the changing commission information. The article implied that you might save some money buying a home in Seattle. You can read the article here: Buying A Home In Seattle

Well, Katherine got some things correct but not all. This will not make home buying cheaper. It will simply publish what buyers agents get paid. Everyone sees these numbers in their paperwork when they buy a home anyway, it's not a secret.

What isn't obvious when buyers and sellers see how much we get paid is how much it costs us to be in business. The brokerage usually gets 1/2 of the commission, for example.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Alexa or Google Home

Many people I know have either an Amazon Alexa device or a Google Home device. The people that  own one of these devices also varies by age. I know there are all sorts of integrated apps that you can use with either device,  but I'm just beginning to learn how many seniors have one and how useful these devices can be.

You can use them to play games, check the weather, find your cell phone, get encouragement, turn on lights, medication reminders and more. One of the most intriguing to me is the Ask My Buddy skill. By setting up this feature to work with your device, if you need help you can say "Alexa, ask my buddy to send help" and your contacts will receive alerts. This is not a substitute for calling 911 but would be helpful if you can call out but are unable to reach your phone for a text or a call.

Here is a link to the directions to set up this app if you're interested. Ask My Buddy helpful instructions.  

Friday, August 30, 2019

Amazon Spheres

 Amateurs, employees and King5, and more all love to show and talk about  photos of the Amazon Spheres here in Seattle. They are amazing structures and make a fun field trip for out of town visitors. 

The idea behind the spheres is to create a space where employees and nature can co-exist. They do house over 40,000 plants from over 30 countries. 

You can visit the spheres on two Saturdays a month. You do need a reservation that can be made by using this line Amazon Spheres Reservation

Check it out, I think you'll find it fascinating. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Q2 Seattle Metro Real Estate

Q2 Seattle metro real estate numbers closed where the trends suggested. While available inventory continues to tic upwards, average sales price declined 7%. This is further evidence that our market continues to moderate from the frenzied pace of the past 5+ years.

Friday, July 19, 2019

ADU's and the City of Seattle

In 1988 when I bought a house that was previously a duplex (after WW2 Seattle eased housing restrictions to allow apartments in homes, as there was a housing shortage then). In the 80's and 90's Seattle cracked down on the "illegal' MIL apartments, and I had a hard time getting two garbage cans and two recycling bins so my tenant and I could have separate cans. The city came to "inspect' the house and the regulation was you could have a family member live in your apartment in your home, not a stranger, so there must be an interior staircase connecting the two units and if there was a second kitchen, there could be no stove, in fact the city made me remove my range/oven.
fast forward to now: OK to have both a MIL and a backyard cottage, and OH! they can cook while they live in your basement or backyard...

For more information on this current Seattle regulation, here is a article that was published recently by Curbed Seattle

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Today we have a guest blogger, Mike Longsdon. Mike has had personal experience helping his aging in-laws downsize and move. He learned a lot about the process and would like to share some of the things that he learned. If you would like to look for other helpful information on his website, you can find him here Elder Freedom. You can also reach him by email at

3 Ways to Reduce Stress When Helping Seniors Downsize and Move

Do you need to help a senior loved one downsize and move? It’s a potentially stressful task to take on all alone, but with the right help, you can make the process much easier for all involved. You need to think about the emotional and physical ways moving can impact you and your loved one, as well as the steps, like the ones below, you can take to mitigate these issues.

Research Financing Options for the New Home

To finance the purchase of a smaller home, many seniors use the money they make from selling their old house to secure a short-term mortgage, one that has a monthly payment that they can easily afford. As such, it’s important to do plenty of research about area mortgage rates before settling on a loan. Also, as PennyMac explains, veterans can qualify for a VA loan, which allows them to purchase a home with low interest rates and no down payment. Additionally, VA loans may offer additional benefits that government programs do not.

Consider Hiring People to Streamline the Process

Downsizing and moving homes for your senior loved one can be overwhelming. Many times, seniors have amassed a lot of possessions over the years, and sorting through things on your own can be impossible. You need a lot of patience and focus to make the multi-step process go smoothly, or you could think about hiring someone to help. Many seniors and family members opt to use senior move managers to take some of the stress out of downsizing, discarding, and relocating senior belongings. Having this third-party perspective can help reduce the likelihood of emotional tensions when it comes to letting go of unneeded things, and can also give you some extra help planning the rest of your loved one’s move.

Whether you use a move manager, you should definitely think about hiring professional movers to help with the actual move. Hiring move helpers takes the burden of moving heavy items and boxes off of you, and it also makes packing easier for seniors. However, be sure to research when the busiest moving times are and the best moving companies in your area.

Stay Safe When Packing and Moving Items on Your Own

Sometimes, hiring professional helpers just is not in the budget for seniors and their families. If you do need to lend a helping hand to your senior loved one, make sure you do so without risk of injury to yourself. Many people fail to research proper back positioning for lifting heavy objects, such as boxes and furniture, which can result in serious injuries. It’s important to maintain a straight back (no hunching over) when attempting to move or lift boxes, but also take your time in doing so. If something feels too heavy for you, it probably is.

Packing your seniors’ possessions can be emotionally stressful as well, especially if you are afraid of causing any damage. Head to a local home improvement store to pick up some packing supplies, like sturdy boxes, bubble wrap and tape, to get a good start on the task. Then, look online for some handy packing tips that can keep breakable and fragile items much safer during the move. Knowing how to safely pack and ship appliances, glass items. and TVs can prevent unnecessary stress for you and your senior.

Help Seniors With Alzheimer’s Adjust to the Move

For many seniors with Alzheimer’s disease, the need for a big move comes after the loss of a loved one. Addressing the grief seniors feel after a loss should be your primary focus before you begin the process of downsizing and moving. You can use these Alzheimer’s resources to help your loved one (and yourself) work through the complicated emotions and thoughts that bereavement with dementia can bring about.

If your loved one is moving to a new home, it is important to make sure that space will provide safety. The home must be free of objects that could present a danger for those with dementia and cognitive function problems. This includes household chemicals, sharp kitchen tools, and potentially dangerous electronics. Anything that could cause harm to the senior or others in the home should be kept locked in a secure location that is not accessible for the individual with Alzheimer’s. You should also think about whether a nursing home would be a better choice for your loved one to protect the health and safety of everyone.

Downsizing to a new home can be a painful process for seniors, especially following a loss. As a loved one, you can help your senior find peace with this important transition and take some stress out of the process for yourself as well.

Photo Credit: Unsplash