These days, pet owners will go to just about any length for their fur babies and home customization is not out of the question.
60 million US households have a dog and dog ownership rose 29% within the last decade. We are in an era of pets! The millennial generation leads the pack in dog ownership and they spoil their pets. Read on to see how some home owners and designers are customizing living spaces to make sure dogs & their owners feel at home.
1. Buyers are keeping their dogs in mind when house hunting. Typical pet friendly improvements in the home that dog owners look for include fences, dog doors & laminate flooring. 81% of respondents to a National Association of Realtors survey say that they would take their pets needs into account when choosing their next living situation. One very practical addition that is attracting buyers with dogs is a mudroom equipped with doggie washing station. This can be used for children, pets & muddy boots alike and can even save your floors from extra mess!
2. Some new construction communities in California and Florida have created design options for dogs that buyers can add to their properties such as dog runs, feeding stations & built-in dog beds. One family added an outdoor pet-washing station and a fenced excursive area with synthetic turf and a concrete walkway!
3. You can even get an elevator installed in your house for a dog! Some breeds, like the basset hound, have spines that are sensitive to climbing and descending stairs. So, the cost to accommodate a doggie lift is $30,000!
4. Around the US, there are planned communities that are literally designed around dog-owners. Features of these communities include popular doggie salons, a pet concierge, dog parks and agility courses. In face, one community in Kentucky has a higher population of dogs to people!
We all love our pets and will go to great lengths to ensure that they are comfortable and happy in our homes. Have you done anything to customize your pet's living space in your home??
It's the time of year when the coziness of the holidays is over but it's not quite nice enough to spend your days outside. If you need a pick me up, we have just the thing! Tacoma is already one of the most artistic cities in Washington and they are upping their game! Tacoma's art scene is hotter than ever and there are some fantastic exhibits open right now. On this list, there is something for everyone.
Washington: My Home
Washington State History Museum
This display is full of accounts of the different ways that people first made their journey to Washington State from the 1840's until 2015. You will likely leave with a newfound appreciate for our state and it's people.
Traversing Parallels by Michael Taylor
Museum of Glass
$12 Students; $15 Adults
Taylor's art has a very scientific feel to it, due to him drawing inspiration from subatomic particles. He tends to favor geometric pieces of art that captures both wonder and an analytical element to his work.
Moon Moan by Raven Juarez & Asia Tail
Moon Moan features work that highlights the moon as the focal point and use it to explore womanhood. The work is intended to be more poetic than literal and Tail says: "We want people to kind of engage in the nonverbal way in a non-art-speak way, but to really sort of empathize and feel the works in the same way that we were feeling as we created them.”
Exotic Seductive Supercars
Le May - America's Car Museum
$15 Students; $18 Adults
Le May Car Museum is featuring some of the most drooled over cars: Porches, a drag racing car and many more of the top sports cars!
The Dynamic American West: Highlights from the Haub Family Collection
Tacoma Art Museum UWT
Free Students w/ID; $15 Adults
This exhibit looks at the forces that shaped the American West and the legends & people that were involved. You'll leave with an insight as to what life was like back when the west was wild!
Millennials have real purchasing power! The millennial generation was the largest share of home buyers in 2017, totaling 34% of purchases. 31 is the median age for a first-time buyer in the US and this age falls right in the middle of that generation (b. 1982 - 2004).
Real estate pros and sellers alike are trying to figure out the best way to market to millennials!
Without a doubt, millennials want to be "wowed" and have differing priorities from their parents & grandparents generations. Research suggests that a “layered” marketing approach is best, which means reaching the buyer with multiple touch points. A strong social media presence is critical, which we will detail shortly.
Millennials are long-term planners. They want to fully understand a property before committing. They will research neighborhood data, appreciation potential, and financing options before stepping foot in the door. It is wise to have as many of these questions answered online as possible. Millennials need to be able to see themselves living at the property, not just a good price per square foot.
Before even attempting a sale to a millennial, the property itself must have specific appealing features,, such as being in a walkable location that is close to restaurants and entertainment. This generation is focused on achieving a comfortable and convenient lifestyle. Inside the home, millennial buyers are attracted to on-trend finishes & materials and a thoughtful use of space. They will prefer a well designed space over extra square footage.
Creating a strong online presence where a buyer can get a virtual walk through and facts about the property is key. Before visiting a home or even driving by it, most millennials will "cyberstalk" a listing to get as much information as possible. Also, be sure photos show off the property in the best way! You can make or break a listing with photos. With a strong online presence, millennials may actually help by selling to their peers. Creating a network of people in this generation can help with selling homes in the future.
Ultimately, the millennial buyer wants to immediately feel “at home” when considering a real estate purchase. Can they see themselves and their families living there? Does it fit in with their lifestyle? It is worthwhile to invest time in getting to know their wants and needs if you want to expand your reach into this large, impactful, generation!
Our homes are full of valuable things, but one area of security that can get overlooked is storing important documents. Consumer Reports Research Center reported that 25% of Americans have lost or forgotten a financial document and only about 40% could locate important documents if necessary! There are some documents that are important to keep close at hand and some that should be locked away in a secure place. Here is a list of the five most common important documents that should be stored securely:
Annual tax returns should be kept forever, but supporting documentation can be shredded after three years. It's ok to toss supporting documents after 3 years because the IRS has only 3 years to perform an audit.
More than likely your original will is kept by your attorney, but you should also have a copy on hand. Keep a copy in a safe deposit box or locked in a safe at home.
Every member of your family has a birth certificate. The originals should be kept in a safe deposit box. Also, it is wise to make copies for your files at home in case you need to reference the information.
Passports should be stored in the home in case of an emergency. Keep it locked up but in a memorable location. Before leaving for vacation, make a couple copies of your passport - one to keep on your person and one to keep at home in case it gets stolen while you are traveling.
Social Security Cards:
Your social security card should also be kept locked up in a safe at home. Do not carry it around with you, as it would be easy to get your identity stolen this way.
For an in-depth guide of keeping important documents safe, check out the infographic below!
It's called the Amazon Spheres - three total, with a height of 90ft each! This is a 70,000 square foot Amazonian rainforest, in the heart of cold, rainy Seattle. The surface of the spheres is made of up 2,643 panes of overlapping glass! The Spheres are the main attraction on the Amazon campus in South Lake Union and the whole thing cost $4 billion to build.
This wild space is a place where Amazon employees can come hang out, work, or just get back in touch with nature. It's a chance to unplug and refresh your mind. There are more than 40,000 different plants from 30 countries in the Spheres. Horticulturalist Ron Gagliardo who made the whole thing happen refers to it as "living art". You are not allowed to touch the plants because of the sensitive nature of the environment and unlike the rest of the Amazon campus, pets (except service dogs) are not allowed inside.
The largest feature in the Spheres is called the Living Wall. It is literally a 62 ft wall of plants that stretches up four stories! The wall itself is made up of 25,000 of the 40,000 plants represented in the Spheres. To enable the plants on the wall to thrive, each plant lives in a small fabric pocket so that they don't strangle each other's root systems or loose their grip on the wall! Another ginormous element in the Spheres is a 40 year old tree nicknamed "Rudi" that had to be lowered in from a temporary hole in the roof.
The public is welcome in the "understory" of the Amazonian rainforest accessible from 7th Ave, but the upper areas are only for Amazon employees. However, you can sign up for a formal tour of Amazon's entire HQ and visit other areas of the Spheres.
All told, there are 10 horticulturists in charge of keeping the plants in the Spheres "operational". Plants are kept offsite until they are mature enough to transplant into the Spheres and also are occasionally moves for pollination purposes. Many of the plants are labeled, but this is still a work in process.
For an in-depth tour through the Spheres with lots of photos, check out this Curbed article!
We are finding ourselves in a "perfect storm" scenario for anyone considering selling their home. With home prices on the rise and a steady decline in inventory, now is a great time to sell your home. Demand is higher than ever! Lots of people are flooding into the greater Seattle area with all the incredible job opportunities we have right now. Incomes are rising and people are looking to invest in real estate.
Furthermore, home prices in King, Snohomish & Pierce counties saw a year over year gain of 12.7%. This is double the percentage gain of 20 other major metros around the US.
Unfortunately for would-be buyers, the inventory is really tight right now. Across home markets, inventory has dropped an average of 23% from the end of 2016 to the end of 2017. Buyers are having to submit multiple offers on various homes and just aren't seeing a lot of options. People who would normally look for a "trade up" home for a growing family are simply staying in their homes, which also stunts inventory. Home owners are choosing to hold on to their properties as the value rises, but it won't keep rising forever.
If you are interested in benefitting from this opportunity, give Sound Properties a call! We'd love to walk you through the selling process and see you thrive.
Check out the Case-Shiller Index for more information on the nation's real estate market.
Is anyone else feeling that itch to get outside and start prepping the edible garden for spring? February signals the seed-starting effort around the PNW, so let's get going!
January and February are the ideal months to start planning and prepping your garden for a lovely spring and summer harvest. Around this time of year, you should be planning what plants you want to grow and where you are going to put them. Now is also a good time to purchase seeds! There are many interesting and unique varieties out there, especially from online seed companies. You can also find a good selection of fruit trees and shrubs in nurseries and online right now. It is best to plant those as soon as you receive them, while still dormant.
Once you have your seeds in hand, you can start them inside. It is a personal choice whether or not to use a growing light. For hardy plants, it is less-necessary to use a growing light but there are some plants like tomatoes and sweet peppers that thrive in lots of heat and light. Plants such as asparagus, artichokes, broccoli, cabbage and kale can be started indoors now to plant outside in late March/early April. Onions, salad greens, herbs and peas can also be started outside now, but should be kept under a plastic cover to keep the soil warm during germination.
For a beautiful season of cane fruits, you can find blackberries and raspberries for sale now, too!
What are you doing this February to prepare your edible garden?