Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Do You Need a Handyman or a Specialist?

I often get asked for referrals for home maintenance. Sometimes it's obvious what the person is looking for. If it's an appliance I can recommend an appliance repair person. If it's a furnace an HVAC person. Sometimes however I need more information. I found this great chart on the HomeAdvisor website that gives a better understanding of the skills you're looking for when you do these projects.

Check it out, do you need a handyman or a specialist?

Friday, September 29, 2017

Seattle Real Estate Market

For those of you watching the Seattle real estate market, the increase in home prices is not a surprise. It's been in the news for many months and now has made notable headlines by being nearly double in increase of the next closet contender. Seattle is at +13.5% and Portland at +7.6% What are your thoughts? Is this good news or difficult news? I suppose it depends on if you're selling or buying a home or even just watching the property tax bill go up.  Let me know what you think.

If you want current information on what your home may be worth give me a call or get in touch. I'd love to have a conversation with you.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Home Tips, Selling and Buying

I just read an article that got me thinking about selling and buying. Now I think about these things each and every day as I'm actively helping buyers and sellers but this article made a couple of different observations.

One was that if you're thinking about buying home near the water, consider the recent natural disasters on the east coast and the south coast. FEMA flood map changes are aggressively expanding the flood zones, forcing owners to buy flood insurance for the first time and forcing others to pay thousands more annually. Some insurers are also imposing coverage caps so you might not recover as well as you thought.

Another thought for people selling homes in the future is to do an exterior photo shoot on your home this fall. You'll be able to show fall colors, flowers and things will look better than during the winter months if you take marketing photos now.

Also, remember that curb appeal can increase prices by 10% or more.  A few new plants, or native plantings can add that curb appeal easily and little expense.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Where is the Right Place to Live?

Looking for the perfect house in the perfect location can be a challenge. How do I decide where the right place to live is?

Let's start with making a list.
  • Kid friendly
  • pet friendly
  • retiree destination
  • walkability
  • cultural experience
  • outdoor activities 
You may have other items on your list as well.

Now it's time to visit and learn about this place.
  • what are the challenges and issues this place is facing?
  • what are the good things happening in this area?
  • do nighttime visits look different than daytime visits? 
  • are you willing to accept both the good and bad?

If you're thinking about relocating as well as finding the perfect house, don't make the move from just one vacation visit. Considering just the good and bad might not be the best solution either. How does the locations make you feel? Are the people friendly. Can you see yourself living and thriving there? Does it feel welcoming?

When you need more information or would like to talk about moving, please give me a call. I would love to help.

Friday, August 18, 2017

The Words We use

We all use common phrases and words when we talk with people but have you really stopped to think about what those words convey?

I recently read an article that made me re-think these phrases and words.

The first one that was mentioned was "no problem". It looks and sounds okay, but are you really being a bit resentful or is that implied?

The next word is one I hear from my kids all the time. "Whatever" It does annoy me but I've never stopped to consider that the reason it annoys me is the dismissal of my ideas. Do you really want a boss or co-worker to feel that way?

An then the saying, "It is what it is"  It really doesn't say too much about any thinking skills. No comment and a bit meaningless.

The ever present "Can't" is a no brainer as far as I'm concerned.  Not only is it negative but makes it sound as if you're not even willing to try to make an effort or maybe find another solution. 

What do you think Are there other words or phrases that don't really say what they mean?

Friday, July 28, 2017

Floors and More

According to HGTV the top request of buyers is hardwood floors. In fact according to studies, 54% of buyers were willing to pay more for hardwood floors.

Owners still choose oak floors in many areas, but owners of contemporary homes are choosing to stain floors in different colors. Other trends include wider planks, the use of reclaimed wood or exotic woods such as hickory or walnut.

If homeowners are on a budget, laminate is also a choice to be considered.

People that have allergies, usually want easy to clean surfaces such as hardwoods so that is also a consideration.

Hardwood floors will last longer, be easier to clean and can also be refinished.

Carpet is a less expensive alternative to floor coverings with the cost ranging  from $3-$5 per foot compared to $9-$12 per foot for hardwoods. 

The bottom line however is personal choice. Many people want carpet in a bedroom because they want a softer and warmer floor. Carpets also reduce noise if you live in a multi-story house.

These are things to consider in your own home or in a home that you are looking to purchase.

What is  your flooring preference?

Friday, July 14, 2017

Curb Appeal

First impressions really do matter. That's why it's important if you're looking to sell your home that you make the best first impression that you can. You can create a positive first impression with just a few simple projects.

Paint your front door. You don't always need to paint your entire house but painting the front door in a memorable color will help it stand out and make a good impression.

Boring old house numbers are most likely the same as all of your neighbors. You can replace those numbers with new fresh updated and colorful numbers. The can be painted or metal and they don't always have to be the same size.

If you have a mailbox in front of your house, plant a garden around it or even replace the mailbox. You can often find unique mailboxes at farmer's markets or seasonal markets.

You can add interest to your entryway with a pot of flowers or even a chair or a sitting area. Let folks imagine themselves sitting there morning or evening and watching the neighborhood happenings.

Flower boxes are a great way to add a pop or color or interest to an area that looks a bit tired in the summer sun. Go bright and bold. Remember that you don't always need to have flowers in a traditional flower box, but use an old boot, beach bucket or any kind of interesting container.