In Early November, we launched a donation drive to collect a list of “survival items” in support of DESC, a local award winning organization who works tirelessly to end homelessness in Seattle. We posted flyers around Greenwood and Phinney, we hung one up in our office, and we even scored a shoutout on the Phinneywood neighborhood blog. Chris, the owner of Ala Mode Pie, a local neighborhood pie shop in Phinney (with a new Ballard location, too!) was gracious enough to partner with us on this event. Anyone who donated in person at our Woodland Park event went home with a personal pie from Ala Mode and they could enter a raffle to win a full sized pie, just in time for the Thanksgiving Holiday.
In the days leading up to this launch, and with this being our first organized community support drive, we high hopes and even higher nerves. What if no one shows up to our event at Woodland Park? What if we don’t collect much of anything? Do people care? Do people even like pie?
It would have been fine. We would have been fine, seriously. BUT IT WAS SO MUCH BETTER THAN FINE!
IN FACT, IT WAS AMAZING! Between drop-offs at our office, neighbors coming by our house to drop winter coats, and our in-person donation event at Woodland Park, we collected more than 50 winter coats, 20 pairs of pants, 10 scarves, 10 beanies, 6 pairs of winter boots + shoes, and I lost count for how many tubes of toothpaste were donated. We even had generous neighbors and clients bring grocery store gift cards and it was enough to make our hearts sing. We were floored at the generosity of people coming together to be a part of something bigger than all of us.
Thank you for caring. Thank you for your generosity. Thank you for going out of your way to show kindness to a community who is so often overlooked and misjudged. Thank you for continuing to surprise us in unforgettable ways. We are so thankful that you are a part of our lives, and we can’t wait to see what this next season of giving has in store. If you missed this one, don’t fret. With the success of this donation drive, we promise there will be many more in the future. Stay tuned.
If you’re feeling inclined to donate to this incredible organization, please visit their website and donate there. DESC has many ways that you can contribute, and they’re preparing to open a new permanent supportive housing building in early 2022. For $250, you can sponsor a brand new apartment furnished with basic necessities to help someone transition from a life of homelessness into a life of stability and hope. Of course, you’re welcome to donate any financial amount of your choosing, and DESC will use that money to fund one of their incredible programs to provide services to those who are the most vulnerable among us.
All our love,
Joe + Ashli Haglund
Hey y’all, Ashli here. I’d like to take a moment to share a piece of my heart.
When I first moved to Seattle 11 years ago, I felt pretty isolated. After spending almost my entire life in sunny Southern California, everything about moving to Seattle felt like a new, unfamiliar, terrifying adventure. I moved to this city on a whim in 2010 without knowing a single person here, nearly broke with only $1,500 in my bank account to cover 2 months’ rent (I had 3 roommates at the time), plus a little extra for food and gas to get me to job interviews. I struggled socially, mentally, emotionally, and I will spare you my griping woes about acclimating to the weather. I have vivid memories of my early days living in this city. Specifically, I recall one evening on the phone with my dad while I was in the middle of making dinner. That night, dinner was a bowl of plain white rice – the only thing I had left in my cupboard, and I had already allocated $20 for gas to get myself to a job interview the next day. My budget was far from flexible. After a month of job interviews and no promising prospects, I had come to accept that this was my struggle to own, and I tried to let on that I was doing fine. In reality, I was starting to panic. My dad asked cheerfully, “What’s for dinner?” and I hesitated before answering truthfully. My dad must have heard the wavering in my voice, because he & my mom showed up 3 hours later, unannounced, with 2 bags of Trader Joe’s groceries. For context, my parents live up north in Mount Vernon, WA, about 90 minutes north of Seattle. Without their help and generosity, I would have been out of rice by the end of that week, and my mental health would have plummeted.
The difference between my experience and the experience of others who are currently facing homelessness is vast. I had help. I had familial support, and at the end of the day, I still had a roof over my head and a safe, warm bed to rest at night. Without this support, I too, would have ended up living in a makeshift shelter, trying to survive daily while combating the shame and overall vulnerability that comes with losing your dignity, your home.
Homelessness is not a new development in Seattle, but it is more prevalent now than in past years.
In the late 70’s, this city began to witness an increase of people in the houseless community. On November 19, DESC opened its doors as an overnight emergency shelter in the ballroom of Pioneer Square’s Morrison Hotel. From 7 p.m.-7 a.m., a staff of 14 welcomed nearly 200 homeless adults through its doors on a first-come, first-served system. DESC began as a partnership between the City of Seattle, the Greater Seattle Council of Churches, and WAMI (Washington Advocates for the Mentally Ill) to address the shortage of services in the community.
By the 1980’s, the Downtown Seattle area experienced such a significant increase in the houseless community that various leaders in Community Organization knew they had to act. Fast forward to 2020. In spite of challenges during a global pandemic, an on-going public health crisis in the houseless community, and Covid-19 related shelter capacity restrictions as the cherry on top, DESC has managed to spearhead the issue of an affordable housing shortage while continuing to remain a world leader in crisis assessment & response.
DESC is an award-winning local organization that works tirelessly to end homelessness in Seattle. Above all else, they know that permanent shelter is the answer. That’s why they’re opening 4 brand new low income housing facilities in Seattle, as a means to provide permanent shelter, medical and mental health services, 24 hour staff, crisis response, employment support + training, and a restoration of human dignity to those who have remained unhoused for so long. They rely on both government funding and communal support to continue their daily operations in service of 3500 adults per day. We are in full support of their mission.
This year, we are launching a Pop-Up & Drop Off Donation Drive to collect what DESC describes as “Survival Items” to help people survive the winter in Seattle. These items, while they may seem trivial to some, are considered vital to meet the bottom of the barrel, basic needs for those living without a permanent home. When you’re living outside and carrying every item you own in a duffel bag, it’s likely that you’d also be wearing every piece of clothing you own in an attempt to stay warm. Have you ever tried to layer a t-shirt, long-sleeved shirt, thick sweater and a hoodie underneath your raincoat? You’d probably come out looking like that kid from A Christmas Story. Good luck trying to put your arms down at your sides. If, for some reason, you found yourself in need to layer this much clothing, it would probably suit you better to wear a larger sized coat. According to Don Rupp, DESC’s Community Resources and Events Manager, XXL coats address this problem and it’s one of the items they have the least amount of. Not only that, but larger coats can prevent people from freezing to death by doubling as extra body coverage while sleeping. Because of this shortage, it’s a survival item that is frequently stolen off a houseless person sleeping in the night.
From now until Tuesday, November 23rd, we are collecting a list of items which are currently the most needed. These items will better the chances of survival by those living unhoused while they wait for permanent shelter. Donated items can be new or used, but we ask for clean items only:
You can drop these items off at our office, Windermere Greenwood, at 311 N 85th Street in Seattle. There is a parking lot in front of the office for your convenience. If you can’t drop off during the week, we are hosting a Pop-up & Drop-off Event at the NW area of Woodland Park near the West Playground on Saturday November 20th from 11am-3pm. You can drop off your donated items and go home with a mini-pie from Ala Mode Pies in Phinney Ridge – Our way of saying THANK YOU! for giving back to the community. Every donor also has the opportunity to enter our raffle for one of two full-sized holiday pies, just in time for Thanksgiving!
For us, being a part of a community means that we see our own humanity reflected in the faces of others. It means lending a helping hand when able, and it looks like coming together in numbers to better the lives of others. This is bigger than just us, and we are asking for your help. Help us care for those who need it the most. Help us help someone get through the winter. Help us help someone transition into permanent housing. Help us help them.
With all of our love and gratitude,
Ashli + Joe Haglund
It’s only mid-February, and we’ve already had no less than 5 calls from previous clients asking if they should sell their home this year. While this is a normal question that frequently pops up throughout the year, it’s interesting to see this question come up so frequently in recent weeks. We know you’re paying attention!
While the answer isn’t exactly simple or blanketed, it’s important to note one specific thing: Asking a real estate agent if you should sell your home is kind of like asking a car salesman if you should buy a car. While we would directly benefit from the sale of your home, we’re not interested in self-serving practices and have absolutely no qualms in suggesting that Sellers wait to sell when it’s not actually beneficial to them.
There are a few factors to consider:
- How long ago did you purchase your home?
- What is the current market like for Sellers? (as I type this, it’s a WILD Seller’s market, by the way)
- Are other homes in your neighborhood appreciating in value?
- Are other homes going up for sale in your neighborhood?
- What is the condition of your home?
- Are you prepared to enter this current market as a Buyer?
- Are you able to vacate your home for any amount of time while it’s on the market?
- What is your plan for moving?
- Change of neighborhood?
- Would the potential proceeds of your home be worth the cost of Selling?
That last question is one that we are happy to answer if you’re serious about pursuing the option of Selling your current home. It takes a bit of financial investment and patience to sell a home, but first, we’ll do a Comparable Market Analysis to survey other recently sold homes in your area. On that CMA, you’ll see similar homes and their list price vs. sold price, which will be a great indicator of the profit margin in your home’s net equity, especially if you’re current on your mortgage balance.
If the answers to these questions all point to YES! LET’S DO IT! then you’re in the right place. When listing a home to sell, the most important aspect in marketing to potential Buyers is your home’s current condition. You’ve spent the last…however many years making this home your own, but now it’s time to move on. We try to market homes that speak to a wider audience than just those whose personal style may mirror your own. Listing preparation can make or break the sale of your home. Depending on necessary repairs and paint touchups, this process can sometimes take a few months, but we’ve also managed to bring a home on the market in just a few weeks. Either way, we are happy to coordinate vendors, home staging and photography for a seamless experience that alleviates most of the potential stress of selling. We take care of the marketing costs like photography and video, but there are other costs to consider.
The most common updates in listing preparation look a bit like this:
- Fresh paint throughout! Unless you walk through life in white gloves and a bubbly-boy suit, chances are your walls need a little love. Neutrals and light tones are best.
- Whole- House pre-inspections! This is a great way to understand the current condition of your home, and serves as a tangible checklist for scheduling minor repairs and/ or updates to your home prior to listing on the market. The cost usually runs about $450-$500 and it’s absolutely worth it! A pre-inspection addresses some big concerns, like:
- Is your electrical system up to date?
- Is your plumbing system a potential red flag?
- What is the current condition of your roof?
- Are there minor fixes that could make a bigger impact on Buyer interest if they were repaired?
- **Keep in mind, any flaws found in your home which are noted on the inspection report require you, by law, to disclose to Buyers. With that in mind, this “Should we sell?” conversation should happen before you schedule any home inspection.
- Don’t feel pressure to do a kitchen renovation. In some cases, its beneficial. In others, it’s an unnecessary stress. We’re happy to consult with you on renovation subjects and provide resources on cost vs. value.
- Landscaping + Curb Appeal: First impressions are everything. Often, the first photo on a listing is the exterior of the home. This photo will capture the attention of potential buyers, and they’re looking for homes that stand out! Fresh mulch, secure retaining walls, perennial flowers and manicured lawns will go a long way. For some, landscaping is a DIY project that Sellers are happy to dig into.
- Home Staging: There’s no other way to say this – A vacant and professionally staged home sells faster. The end.
Keep in mind, the Spring market is just around the corner. April – the first 2 weeks of June is historically B-A-N-A-N-A-S for Buyers and Sellers. In Spring, the increase of both inventory and Buyer demand happens simultaneously, making for the traditional peak season in real estate. (Except in certain situations, like a global pandemic… but I digress.) Seasonally, it drops off a bit mid-June to accommodate for end of the school year, vacations and the welcome of Summer. Listings pick back up again after July 4th and Buyers still show heavy interest through September. If you want to list your home in 2021, the ideal window is quickly approaching and we’d love to chat more about this with you.
If 2022 if your goal, let’s start this conversation now. Only good can come from preparation, and we’re here to help support you in any way you need 🙂
J & A
^ That’s us walking our dogs down Greenwood Ave. We had a glorious couple of snow days, and hope you did, too!
How does one even begin to describe 2020 in a recap sentence? Please don’t say unprecedented… Can we please retire that word, or at the very least, drop the “un” and get back to precedented times?
Through one of the most challenging times we’ve ever faced, we made the point of always seeking something positive to get us through the day. The silver lining. The hidden blessings. The good. The small things. That’s not to say we didn’t experience bad days, or worse. Like many, we trudged through moments of darkness that seemed impossible to navigate. It was in those very depths where we discovered that our Community was the light at the end of that tunnel. When we say Community, it’s not just inclusive of friends and family, but the beating heart and soul of Seattle – People; friends and strangers alike. We saw this city come alive in ways we have never seen before. We banded together, rolled with the punches, marched our way through the Summer months, and embraced a newly illuminated beauty about this city that can only be seen in the humans who contribute to her deeply rooted cultures in people, food, art and innovation.
To kick off 2020, we set incredibly high goals for ourselves as a couple. This was to be the first year that we would be working as a team, rather than individual agents, and we had no idea what was in store for us. We began the year with strong plans and a sales goal in mind that was absolutely attainable, but it was ambitious, as real estate can often be impossible to predict. We wanted 16 transactions – that’s one and a quarter houses per month on average. Doable? Yes. But it would require us to constantly be on the hustle, hosting a lot of lunches, happy hours, networking events, and being glued to our phones. We were pumped and mentally prepared to be very busy in the coming months. Then, Covid was like, “……hold my beer.“
To say that the Seattle real estate market was wild in 2020 is a broad understatement. We were all gearing up for what was supposed to be an explosive year in our housing market, only to be stalled and stifled for the first several months and without inspiration on how to change our circumstance. The Spring market usually trickles in from the end of February through March, and the floodgates open in April. With a complete shutdown in March, our faces were masked, but our hands felt tied. This is when the good stuff began roll in, but we were slow to realize. That’s how it always is, isn’t it? We’re so focused on the big picture that we often miss the small, swirling magic that takes place right under our noses. With the launch of our new website, H2 Homes NW we began to get referrals from friends and past clients. Without open houses, we knew we needed to get in front of a wider audience, so we took to YouTube and created videos of us being ourselves and talking about our current lives. Honestly, they didn’t start out great, but our friends think they’re hilarious, so they’re still up on our channel. Please don’t judge us on the first few. *facepalm*
From connecting with clients, to touring homes with new safety restrictions and guidelines from our Governor, and getting involved in a communal effort to keep this city and her citizens afloat, we had one of the busiest years that we were not expecting. By August, we were at 10 transactions and agreed that 16 might not be in the cards for us, but 12 would be a happy ending for the year. Out of (what seemed like) nowhere, we ended up with 17 total sold homes, and 6 of those homes sold within 3 weeks of each other. Q4 of 2020 looked like a tornado of phone calls, emails, and thank you letters, with a whole lot of gratitude in the mix. We were truly humbled by the support we received from friends, family, colleagues and clients alike. We felt compelled to mirror that support, but in the direction of local communities who would directly benefit.
Many don’t know this, but the Windermere Foundation is a big reason why we chose this company to represent us. We donate a portion of every sale we make to the Windermere Foundation, who then uses that money to support low-income families and those experiencing homelessness. Because so many were encumbered and devastated by the impacts of Covid-19, we knew we needed to do more. We were able to contribute large donations to the following local organizations:
Wa Na Wari – Wa Na Wari creates space for Black ownership, possibility and belonging through art, historic preservation and connection.
Mary’s Place – We provide safe, inclusive shelter and services that support women, children and families on their journey out of homelessness.
DESC – DESC works to end the homelessness of vulnerable people, particularly those living with serious mental illnesses, substance use disorders, and/or chronic health conditions. We choose to work with the most marginalized and most vulnerable people first, not the most cooperative.
People’s Harm Reduction Alliance – PHRA is a drug user empowerment organization that promotes the philosophy of harm reduction and safer drug use.
To all of our current, past and future clients: Thank you. Thank you for trusting us, and thank you for your loyalty and support. We could not make these kinds of contributions to our local communities without you, and we are honored that you choose to work with us. Our gratitude is at an all time high!
Moving forward in 2021, we will continue to support these organizations and others like it, in order to strengthen our city and empower those who are living through various challenges. We have even bigger goals for this year, both for our career and our communal impact, and we’re so excited to share in this journey with you!
In the meantime, if you’re looking to enter the real estate market in Seattle, we want to meet you. We want to know you, and we want to help you live where you feel at Home.
If you’re thinking about selling your home, there is a lot to consider. Timing is everything, and so is a kick-ass marketing strategy! Part of that includes staging your home in a way that appeals to a wide audience of prospective buyers. In this video, we take you on a walk through tour of our newest condo listing before + after home staging. Click the play button down below to see for yourself!
May 21, 2020 List price: $339,000
Virtual Tour Link: https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=N1F2XvaZKST email@example.com
Get Connected! www.h2homesnw.com
Staging by: Eden Home Staging https://edenhomestaging.com/
Photography + Matterport Virtual Tour by: Evan Parker https://www.evanparkerphotography.com/
The most commonly asked question we get as Real Estate Agents: How’s the market doing? We dive deep into the numbers in this week’s video. We talk about Buyer demand, decreased inventory and what that means for you as a Seller and a Buyer.
In March of 2020, the median home value was almost $770,ooo! This home value continues to rise, and homes listed at this price don’t stay on the market for long. Watch this video to find out what you get for that price tag in Seattle!
We put out a new video on our YouTube Channel, H2HomesNW. It’s packed full of valuable info.
As real estate agents, we work with a lot of first time home buyers. One common thread among them are the questions they ask… and the ones they don’t. Some of those important questions include:
- How much of a down payment do I need?
- What are closing costs?
- How much does a real estate agent cost?
- BONUS TOPIC: What the heck is earnest money?
We’ll answer all of those questions in this blog post:
You did it! You’ve made the decision to buy a house. You want it to happen. You’re tired of renting, and you’re ready to own something of your own. It’s going to happen.
Buying a home, whether it’s the first time or the third time, can be a daunting process, but it doesn’t have to be. Hiring the right real estate agent can make the difference between a relatively smooth transaction or one that leaves you frustrated and discouraged. As real estate agents, we meet a lot of people at open houses. This is usually where we meet the majority of our first-time home buyers. While we share our information with everyone interested in having a conversation, we also understand that not all of those conversations will turn into future client relationships. Some personalities will gravitate towards us, and some won’t – but that’s ok! In fact, that’s what makes our specific client relationships so unique to us. We’re not salespeople. We’re relationshippeople. And the clients we work with will connect with us in ways that are rooted in trust, knowledge and honesty. We invite Buyers to get to know us and ask questions in a Buyer’s meeting. Typically, our buyers meetings are more robust than what we can cover in a blog post, but for the sake of scratching the surface and hitting some really important key topics, let get started.
Let’s start by talking about Agency.
Why do I even need a real estate agent? Why can’t I just find a house on my own?
If you find a house on your favorite real estate website, chances are, the seller of that house is represented by a Listing Agent. If you contact that listing agent to purchase that home, they CAN legally represent you. BUT! They already work for the Seller, and their legal duty of loyalty and confidentiality ALSO already belong to the Seller. Buying a home is a significant moment in your life that comes with significant financial and legal responsibilities, having an agent whose priority is your best interest and only your best interest is essential.
Ok, great, as a buyer, how much will it cost to work with an agent?
That’s an excellent question, usually, when the Listing Agent and the Seller discuss how to market that home, they also discuss agency fees. In WA State, most of the time, the Listing Agent will offer half of their agency fees to any Buyer’s agent who brings an offer. That is where we come in. That’s how we get paid.
So what you’re saying is, as a buyer, hiring an agent to represent me ensures that I have someone advocating for my best interests but it doesn’t cost me anything, right?
Correct. In fact, the opposite is true. It will likely cost you money as a Buyer if you choose to be represented by the Listing Agent, instead of hiring a Buyer’s Agent.
So, as an Agent, what would you say is an important aspect within our role that you bring to the table for your clients?
As a Buyer’s Agent, it’s our job to make sure that our clients are well educated in the process and the market, are well prepared to make an offer, and it’s important that our buyer’s feel confident to allow us to negotiate that offer on their behalf. And once we are under contract it is then my job to help navigate the closing process.
Let’s say, for the sake of this situation, I’m a first time home buyer. I want to make an offer on a home. How much do I need for a down payment?
That’s actually a great question. We delve deeper into this during a Buyer’s meeting, and we always recommend that one of the first steps in searching for a home involves sitting down with a Mortgage Lender to better understand your budget. That being said, for most buyers, having a minimum of 3-5% for a down payment is required.
Ok, that makes sense. So a down payment that I’m comfortable with, plus the remainder amount that I owe for the total price. Is that all the financials I’m responsible for?
That is ALSO a great question, and one that is often missed from first time buyers. Yes, there are what is called Closing Costs. They are additional expenses that the Buyer is typically responsible for. Those can include Origination and Lending Fees, Title and Escrow Costs, and prepaids: Things like prepaid insurance, prepaid taxes, prepaid interest and even utilities. Those costs are generally around 1-4% depending on if you take out a loan and what kind of loan you have taken, sometimes upwards of 5% if you are buying down an interest rate, but this conversation should really be had with a lender.
One last question to address. What the heck is Earnest Money?
In the simplest of terms, think of Earnest Money like a deposit that is applied to the cost of the home at closing. This can be part of your down payment. Having an Earnest Money deposit not only strengthens your competitive offer, but it displays the level of your commitment and interest in purchasing the home. It’s a lot harder to walk away from a transaction when you are already financially invested. On average, the amount for that Earnest Money in Seattle varies from 1-3% of the purchase price for the home you want.
As a buyer, if I want to walk away from the transaction, is that money refundable?
If the appropriate contingencies are in place in the contract to protect the buyer and their earnest money, then yes. This is another huge reason to work with an agent who will work for your best interests.
We provide more information and a deeper understanding of these topics and more when Ashli and I host Buyer Meetings. We can send you our Buyer Presentation if you click the link shown here. We’ll have it down below in the description, in case you missed it. It doesn’t cost you anything to get this, and we promise not to flood your inbox with a bunch of unwanted emails. We offer this because buying a home is a really big decision, and it’s helpful to you, The Buyer, to have an informed starting point.
We’re always happy to chat! Until next time, stay healthy and happy.
-Joe and Ashli
With various restrictions in place within the Real Estate market, we had to get creative in the way we frame out business. Switching gears from in-person to virtual was a bit of a challenge at first, and then it dawned on us: YouTube. EVERYONE is on the internet right now, so why not use this vast, magical place as a tool?! It’s not just staying connected via Facebook. It’s about sharing information and being relatable. It’s about sharing moments of hope, positivity and a little bit of sunshine to the people we care about in our communities. So, without further adieu, here’s our latest video about Curb Appeal on a budget:
The theme for today is Inspiration! We put a poll up on our IG Stories over the weekend, and many of you have asked, “How can I improve the curb appeal of my home on a budget?” We have so many ideas for you! Stick around to the end of the video for an awesome giveaway on today’s topic.
Before we get into that, we wanted to share some good news! Because we have dogs, we go on long walks in our neighborhood and have watched the Free Little Libraries turn into Free Little Food Banks. We were so inspired by this. If you have these in your neighborhood, we encourage you to participate. A small donation like canned vegetables or a box of pasta can make a huge difference in your neighbor’s life. If you don’t these in your neighborhood, and you DO have extra shelf stable items in your pantry, consider donating to your local food bank. We recently learned that Food Bank Organizations have special agreements with grocery stores and are able to purchase food at lower price points. What does THAT mean? That means if you have the means to support them, rather than buying groceries to gift, donating money will have a greater impact on the community than purchasing new items yourself.
Let’s get into today’s topic: Curb Appeal on a budget!
There are many small improvements that can make a big difference in the exterior appearance of your home. We want to help you get started, so here are some examples from our own front yard, and those of some our friends and neighbors to kick this off.
First off – what is curb appeal? It’s the first impression of the exterior of your home. When we’re out living normal lives, traveling to and from the office and resuming busy life as usual, we tend to forget about the little nuances like weeds, gardens and even the condition of our fence. If you have some extra time on your hands – and let’s face it, most of us do, and you’ve got the willingness to put in some sweat equity, then this video is for you!
Example #1: Ashli and I spent the better part of last week upscaling a medium size patch of unused front yard space. It’s north facing, which means we needed to treat the soil and replant hardy foliage to make a shade garden because it doesn’t get much sun. Full disclosure, this was more work than we anticipated, so give yourself some time and grace to get these projects done. Slow and steady wins the race, especially if you’re not a master gardener. We certainly are not! After several days of pulling out stones the side of our fists, and churning natural soil with fresh, lightweight mulch, we planted a variety of ferns, hostas and azaeleas to brighten up this space. With mulch and new plants, this project cost us about $100 and was well worth the sore muscles we felt during this adventure!
If you’re working in a small space without much dirt, consider above ground planters, like these, from Wayfair. One of these pots costs around $30- $40 dollars and is perfect for updating a small outdoor space like a porch or entryway. Do some research when it comes to which plants grow best in full or partial sun, or if you don’t get much sun at all, a shade garden is your best option! If you’re working with a micro-budget and don’t need to see instant results, a pack of seeds will cost you a few dollars, as opposed to $4-$6 per plant start.
Small spaces are the perfect fit for small pots and succulents, as well. You can easily repurpose old planter pots by giving them a fresh coat of paint, even if it’s just a shiny clear coat to make them look new. A can of spray paint is around $8 and gives you endless possibilities. Just make sure the paint you choose is weather proof or you’ll end up with a wet color ring after the first rain. I learned that the hard way about a month ago.
Not quite ready to start a garden? Consider some exterior window treatments. Our friend had some additional wood planks from a recent deck renovation and decided to repurpose that wood to create faux shutters. A little sanding and a can of paint will put this project under $50 if you already have the wood to begin with. If not, set a realistic budget for lumber and stick to it! Pre-Measurements and having a game plan in order will help avoid mistakes and frustration.
Let’s get to that sun-beaten fence, now… Realistically, wood fences are eventually going to weather from sun exposure and need to be replaced or repainted. In the meantime, restaining a fence is easy and inexpensive! A can of stain is roughly $8-$9, so depending on the size of your fence, you can easily re-do this improvement project for less than $100!
Not sure where to start? Here are a few examples just from our friends and neighbors who have taken to the dirt and become reacquainted with their shovels. What inspires you? Do you love happy colors and are looking to brighten up your yard? Flowers sound like your jam. Maybe you’re looking for green foliage that is both long lasting and low maintenance! Look into evergreen varieties like ferns, which grow really well in shade and continue to grow gorgeous and green all year in the PNW.
Hopefully this is enough inspiration to get you started, and we want to help you kick off your next yard work project. Leave a comment below, or find our latest Yard Work post on our Instagram page. Subscribe to our Youtube or Instagram channel and leave a comment to enter. Tell us what curb appeal project you want to start, which project inspires you, or when you plan to get started. We’ll draw one winner from your submissions and we’ll announce you in our next video! You must be a local WA State Resident to enter the contest, but we’d still love to hear from you, even if you’re out of state!
As always, we love to hear from you, and we’re happy to answer your questions! Drop us a comment below, send us an email, find us on IG. We’re always here to chat! Til next week, happy days are ahead. Stay healthy and stay home!
Where do we even begin with this post? In an age of technology, human connection is a necessity. We consider it a gift to be able to disconnect from the internet, from our phones, and from the daily digital overloads so many of us experience, in order to be present with the people in our lives. And yet, given the unique and unforeseen circumstances beyond what the majority of global citizens ever expected would happen in their lifetimes… here we are: On the internet. In just a few short weeks, all of our in-person, travel to the office, drop the kids at school, morning commute, gym routine, happy hour, vacation destination lives have drastically changed in a mandatory, temporary stay-at-home order from the Governor of WA State. Inhale… Exhale…
We have been busy working from home, as so many others have been. However, rather than hosting Open Houses, touring with our clients, and having coffee shop meetings with Buyers, we have been busy navigating this unique circumstance as it relates to the real estate industry. Through email, phone calls and texts, the same question appears in our Inboxes almost daily:
What does this mean for the real estate market?
Our incoming information changes weekly, if not daily. In the spirit of transparency, it is impossible for us to make predictions as Brokers. To do so would be potentially dangerous, and we’re not in the business of sharing misinformation. That being said, Matthew Gardener, an economist for the Real Estate Industry (specifically Windermere) has been sharing valuable insight as to what we can expect in the coming months as normal life resumes.
Every Monday Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner provides an update regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the US economy and housing market. This week he discusses what it really means for the economy and housing to be in a COVID-19 induced recession (hint: it's not all bad news).
Posted by Windermere Economics on Monday, March 30, 2020
Matthew has published a series of video blogs recently, on Mondays with Matthew, in which he analyzes and dissects valuable information based on the statistics and records of the economy prior to, and throughout the Covid-19 Pandemic. He speaks to the state of our housing market prior to this outbreak, noting that there weren’t red flags or concerning economic markers which would otherwise suggest any sort of immense economic downturn in real estate. Relatively speaking, our economy was very strong as we headed into Spring 2020. For that reason, Matthew suggests that the housing market is likely to remain consistent and homes will be in demand as we come out of our Quarantines.
In this particular video post this morning, he suggests that the supply for housing is not likely to rapidly increase, as has been speculated upon due to foreclosure, but will remain rather low as it has been in recent years. That number is not likely to match the demand for such housing, as new construction for homeownership is slow to produce and the number of buyers continues to increase. He goes on to state that as we come out of this and head back into business, buyer demand will continue to increase, as investing in real estate is seemingly safer than the stock market at the moment.
We are privileged to live in a state with a growing metropolitan city and a housing market that is both consistent and stable. Yes, we realize this situation has the potential to change drastically and quickly, but for the time being, we still see consistent numbers. While we currently have to operate within the confines set in place by our Government, we understand that it’s crucial to the public health and safety of our communities that we do so. For our business, that means virtual meetings, appointment-only showings and limitations to the number of clients we are able to tour with. This is not impossible by any means, and we are taking extra precautionary methods to ensure you and your families stay safe and healthy.
To our clients who want or need to buy or sell a home in the coming months, we are here to help. We offer virtual tours of homes you’re interested in as a preliminary screening of sorts. This allows us to view homes and limit the amount of time you’re away from your own. At this time, we are encouraging our clients to continue noting properties of interest, and sharing that information with us so that we can pre-screen listings in your favor. For our sellers, we are inviting you to begin the conversation with us as to what it means to list your home in the current market. We have ideas, suggestions and work-arounds on a case-by-case basis. Regardless whether you are in the market to buy or sell, we will remain open and transparent with you on all pertinent information where Covid-19 relates to real estate. Beyond that, we are “Business as unusual” and working hard to ensure positive outcomes as this unfolds in real time.
To our communities as a whole, we miss you, we care about you and we can’t wait to reconnect in the (hopefully!) near future as we come out of this safe and healthy.
Joe and Ashli