Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Seattle Music

Seattle has been known as a town where we have great tech companies, but we also have music, opportunities and some great local bands. On our office blog, there is a post about great local bands and musicians to add your playlist. Check them out, do you have a favorite or is there one that you think should be added? I know that art is subjective but these names keeps popping up. Give them a try and let me know what you think. 12 Seattle Bands and Musicians.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

It's Moving Day!

Once you've bought and sold a house it's time to move. Now this can be fun or it can be a dreaded chore. You've change the utilities, you've checked the kids school records, you've made arrangements for the pets while you move. Moving day has arrived. After checking Pinterest and downloading all the moving checklists you think you have this move all organized and are ready. Then comes the first night in your new home. You did find the linens for the beds and the kids school clothes for Monday but oh dear, you didn't think about the first few hours in that new home. My solution is a moving day kit. All you need to do is head for Target or Fred Meyer or even the local drug store and buy a clear storage container. In this box add a few things that you know  you're going to need as soon as you arrive. Several of the items that I want in my kit are:
  • Roll of toilet paper
  • Hand soap
  • Roll of paper towels
  • A few trash bags
  • All purpose cleaning spray or wipes
  • A shower curtain liner
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • A few snacks like granola bars
  • Pain relievers
  • Plastic utensils
  • Paper plates, cups and bowls
  • Box cutter
  • Shower curtain liner
This box can be packed ahead of time and should travel in your car with you to your new home. Now at least you're ready with a few essentials to get the show on the road. 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Thinking About Moving?

Are you thinking about moving? According to this graphic there are three major reasons that people are moving. Maybe you're just plain tired of your present home. You don't want to really want to remodel and maybe the home you're living in just isn't suited to the kind of space that you want in a home. Moving seems to be the best choice here.

The second most commen reason for moving is increasing family size. I think it could also be that family size is reducing or certainly changing. Maybe you're thinking about a multi-generational home or having a baby. Maybe you're downsizing because the kids have all moved out. In any case, the household dynamics are changing.

And then we have the age old getting married or moving in with a partner. Very common scenario. All great reasons for moving.

Remember, I can help. I love to help my friends, family and clients through these transitions. Are you thinking about a change in your living space in 2018? Let's talk!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Live Love Own

Live, Love Own.. the Windermere Wall Street Group has a wonderful website.

On the live tab, you can learn more about the transportation, government, development and taxes in Seattle. On the Love tab there are things like food, pet resources, Seattle attractions, art, culture and sports. Under the Own tab there is a home search feature, information on schools, neighborhoods and neighborhood blogs. There are also tabs for informational blogs and reports on market conditions. We can't forget about the contact us feature with location information for our offices and an email contact form. Check it out today. Tell me what you think and let me know if I can help you with your real estate questions.

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.

Friday, June 30, 2017

What I Wish Buyer and Sellers Knew About Realtors

I'm a real estate professional and in conversations with people over the years, I find there are many things people do not know about realtors.

Realtors are not overpaid. We  don't get paid until a property closes which means until that happens we work for free. We list houses, we advertise, we show houses, we answer questions at all times of the day and night, we advise based on many years of experience and at the end of the days of providing service, we do expect to be paid. This is a contingency based business.

Realtors are not the same. Each person has their own style and like every business, some agents are better than others. We each have our own style and way of providing information and service and each agent should have they're own strength and provide service in a way that other agents don't.

We can sell any home that is listed in the multiple listing service and and we can also negotiate private sales. Your best bet is to pick one agent and establish a relationship with that agent so they know your wants and needs.

A for sale by owner company cannot do what a licensed realtor does. They do not have the exposure and they do not know how to keep a deal from falling apart. They do not know how to do the paperwork and they do not know how negotiate on your behalf.

You cannot accurately price your home based on neighbors house. Realtors do have access to more information than the public does. Your house should not be priced based on the price of homes currently for sale, but what homes have been sold for in your area.

Realtors work hard. It may look easy but a successful agent has many hours of training and experience to create a successful experience for their clients. We work many hours and sometimes miss out on the commission in the end.

If you do use a successful realtor however he or she is successful because of their hard work and you will not be disappointed.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Summer Movies

When we were growing up it was fun to go to a drive in movie and sit in your car with your family or your friends and watch a movie. The excitement of being out on a warm summer night was enticing and felt a little bit decadent. Especially if this was an occasional activity. In many households this was a special activity that happened only once or twice a summer.

Well Seattle now offers many options for outdoor summer movies. There are family friendly movies, cult favorites and of course "Star Wars" movies.

So put it on your calendar, pack some snacks and blankets and head out to sit under the stars and watch your favorites or maybe a new to you movie.

Seattle Outdoor Cinema

June 24 Star Wars: Rogue One (25th Anniversary special, free screening)
July 1 Shaun of the Dead
July 8 The Wedding Singer
July 15 The 5th Element
July 22 The Big Lebowski (Dude Fest, 21+)
July 29 La La Land
Aug 5 The Dark Knight

Movies at Westlake Park*

July 14  Dirty Dancing
July 21 Ghostbusters (2016)
Aug 4 Moana
Aug 11 La La Land
Aug 18 Star Wars: Rogue One
Aug 25 Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Movies at Marymoor Park

July 5 Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them
July 12 La La Land
July 19 Moana
July 26 Hidden Figures
Aug 2 Sing
Aug 8 Ghostbusters (1984)
Aug 16 Finding Dory
Aug 23 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Movies at the Mural (Seattle Center)*

July 29 The Princess Bride
Aug 5 La La Land
Aug 12 Hidden Figures
Aug 19 Clue
Aug 26 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Three Dollar Bill Cinema: Parental Advisory? (Cal Anderson Park)*

Aug 11 Beetlejuice
Aug 18 But I’m A Cheerleader
Aug 25 Juno

Seattle Outdoor Movies at Magnuson Park

July 6 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
July 13 Moana
July 20 Hidden Figures
July 27 Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
Aug 3 La La Land
Aug 10 The Lego Batman Movie
Aug 17 Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them
Aug 24 The Princess Bride

Moonlight Cinema at Redhook Brewery (Woodinville)

July 13 Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
July 20 Moana
July 27 Shaun of the Dead
Aug 3 What We Do In The Shadows
Aug 10 Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them
Aug 17 Logan
Aug 24 Star Wars: Rogue One
Aug 31 Lego Batman

West Seattle Outdoor Movies*

July 22 Star Wars: Rogue One
July 29 The LEGO Batman Movie
Aug 5 Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them
Aug 12
 Finding Dory
Aug 19 Queen of Katwe
Aug 26 Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Crossroads Movies in the Park (Bellevue)*

Aug 3 Finding Dory
Aug 10 Zootopia
Aug 17 Pete’s Dragon
Aug 24 Moana

Downtown Movies in the Park (Bellevue)*

July 11 Sing
July 18 Storks
July 25 The Angry Birds Movie
Aug 1 Monster Trucks
Aug 8 The LEGO Batman Movie
Aug 15 The Secret Life of Pets
Aug 22 Middle School
Aug 29 The Sandlot

Carillon Point Outdoor Movie Nights (Kirkland)

July 8 Raiders of the Lost Ark
July 22 Finding Dory
Aug 5 Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them
Aug 19 Star Wars: Rogue One

An Insider’s Guide to the Valley’s Best On-Mountain Adventures

From must-hike trails to high-flying outings, our reader-endorsed recipe makes for the perfect Vail Valley summer on the slopes of Vail and Beaver Creek.
Presented by Vail Magazine

Auburn’s Summer Sounds and Cinema*

July 28 Sing
Aug 4 Moana
Aug 11 Star Wars: The Force Awakens

LeMay Car Museum’s Drive-In Movie Series*

July 8 Raiders of the Lost Ark
July 22 Ghostbusters
Aug 11 Moana
Aug 26 Star Wars: Rogue One

Movies at the Marina (Shilshole Bay Marina)*

July 21 Captain Ron
Aug 11 The Secret Life of Pets

Movie Night at Freeway Park

Aug 21 Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Bite of Seattle (Seattle Center)*

July 21 Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Skyway Outdoor Cinema*

Aug 4 Moana
Aug 11 E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Aug 18 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Aug 25 Star Wars: Rogue One

Pickford Film Center’s Rooftop Cinema (Bellingham)

July 22 The Last Waltz
Aug 5 Little Miss Sunshine
Aug 19 West Side Story

Fairhaven Outdoor Cinema (Bellingham)

June 24 Ghostbusters (1984)
July 1 Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them
July 8 Hidden Figures
July 15 Moana
July 22 Star Wars: Rogue One
Filed under