Summer is coming to a close, school is about to start, and we have one last long weekend before we descend into fall. While we can really never predict what mother nature will do; meteorologist’s and news forecasters forecast that this Labor Day weekend in the Seattle area will be nice cool weather with high 60’s to low 70’s and little chance of rain. This gives you the perfect chance to get out with your family, friends and furry animals to explore the natural beauty and culture of the northwest. We gathered our top favorite outdoor and event destinations in the Seattle area. Whether you live in North Seattle, the East-side or in Tacoma, we have a list of events and opportunities all across the Puget sound.
For the nature lover and their pets:
Barclay Lake Hike: Located in the central cascades about an hour outside of Bothell. It might be a cruise outside the city, but the views are completely worth it. A great 4 and half mile round-trip hike for all ages and abilities, leashed dogs are also included. You will need to get a Northwest Forest Pass before beginning your adventure. More info on the trail and how to get pass: https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/barclay-lake
Poo Poo Point Hike: A great intermediate hike on Tiger Mountain with amazing views of Lake Sammamish. The hike is around 7 miles round-trip and is pet friendly as long as you bring the leash for your furry friend. Plan your hike early as weekends can get very busy and parking is limited. More info on the trail: https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/poo-poo-point
For those looking for great food and fun:
Bremerton Blackberry festival: Hop on the Kitsap ferry over to Bremerton for their annual blackberry festival running September 1st through the 3rd. While the event is free, bring some cash or card to get some sweet treats for the way home. For more info look here: http://www.blackberryfestival.org/
Washington State Fair/ Puyallup Fair: Always at northwest favorite, everyone in the Seattle area should go to the Washington State Fair at least once. It’s fun for all ages with amazing food, rides and music. Tickets are between $11-14 with children under 5 getting in for free. Don’t wait to go, now’s the chance, the memories will last you a lifetime. To buy tickets online and get more info: http://www.thefair.com/
For those looking for something low key and nearby:
Enatai Beach Park: Located right underneath the I-90 bridge in between Bellevue and Mercer Island. The beach park is one, of several beach front properties run by the City of Bellevue and offers playground, picnic tables, lifeguards on duty and boat rental shop. More info on amenities: https://parks.bellevuewa.gov/rentals/outdoor-rentals/enatai-beach-park/
Discovery Park: Seattle’s largest city park has the perfect combination of meadow, forest and beach; come bring a picnic spread or just yourselves for a nice stroll. While the park’s facilities will be close on Labor Day, you can still park and walk around and admire the beautiful scenery. Please make sure all pets are on leashes. More info about park property: https://www.seattle.gov/parks/find/parks/discovery-park
So, whether you’re going to tackle that 7-mile hike or want to hop on the ferry over for some black berries or maybe you prefer a casual day in the park; what ever you choose to make sure to take advantage of the amazing weather and time off this Labor Day weekend.
With the air quality so poor in Seattle lately and the beginning of the colder months creeping ahead; now is the great time to start cultivating your indoor garden. House plants can not only generate clean air, but also can pull out toxins like formaldehyde, nitrogen oxide and even mold that linger inside your home. Cultivating plants inside can lead to stress reduction and encourage creativity. Now please don’t go digging up your backyard plants to bring them inside, we have carefully curated a list of five plants that will be best suited for your home.
1. Aloe Vera Plant: The Aloe Vera plant is part of the succulent family and is commonly known for its use to make the soothing Aloe gel, but it also makes a great addition to your home garden. Along with its gel soothing capabilities, the leaves and roots pull toxins out of the air effectively purifying your home. Where to grow inside: Place your Aloe plant in bright indirect sunlight preferably facing a southern or western window.
2. Jade plant: Similar to the Aloe Vera plant, Jade plants are another type of succulent that is great for indoors. Jade plants are a symbol of good fortune and are often give as gifts. Having a jade plant in your home can not only bring you good luck but also provide clean air circulation. Where to grow inside: Like other succulents Jade plants need as much sunlight as possible, a south-facing window will be ideal for these plants.
3. Peace Lily: The Peace Lily plant is one of the few flowering indoor plants. Placing the Peace Lily in or near the bathroom can improve air quality and reduce mold toxins in your home. Where to grow inside: Peace Lily’s do not need direct sunlight they prefer to be in partial shade. *Please keep your Peace Lily plants away from pets and small children as the flower and leaves can be toxic if consumed.
4. Philodendron: The Philodendron species originally from the rain-forest in South America has found its way to homes and offices around the world because of its air purify capabilities. Having a Philodendron can filter out pollutants like formaldehyde and replenish with oxygen. Where to grow inside: Since they are from the rain forest, Philodendrons do not need direct sunlight and should be placed in partial shade.
5. Money Tree: Money Trees are known for their braded trunks, small dainty leaves and low maintenance care. They are perfect for your home because they add depth and greenery to any space. Where to grow inside: Naturally grown in the rainforest, Money Trees need indirect sunlight in a humid room, the bathroom or kitchen will be the perfect spot.
Pop on down to your local commercial nursery or home improvement to learn more about our favorite plants and gather all the materials to set up your indoor jungle. If your plant does not come in a permanent pot, look for one that is made from a sturdy material like ceramic and comes with a dish to collect water and prevent stains in your home. Each plant should come with watering, planting and fertilizing instructions, please read carefully to ensure the survival of your plants. If you have a small watering can or even a pitcher that you keep next to your indoor garden it will make it easier on yourself to maintain your Eden. If you are nervous, try one plant at first and then make additions when you feel confident. Now you can bring the outdoors inside your own home.
It’s that time of year again! Not sure about you, but we are hearing that many of our clients (with school age children) are going crazy while gearing up for the looming start of school! We recently read an article from PBS with a few great tips on helping parents gear up for the start of school. Sharpen your pencils everyone.
1. Take inventory of your current kitchen and note your likes and dislikes. Be sure to consider simple fixes and complex ones. As yourself what works well and what doesn’t quite float your boat, and then make a list. This list will help keep you from getting overwhelmed and will help guide you when making your design decisions!
2. Determine where your guests or family will most likely gather. How many of us have hosted parties, where we wished that the guests would convene in the lovely living room we spent all day cleaning. Yet… where do we all end up? The kitchen! We suggest choosing a space which is close enough to feel part of the “action” but far enough that the cooks can stay focused!
3. Strategically place you can lights. In order to get to the bottom of this one, think about spaces that you want to be “lit up.” Perhaps this is your food prep area, or your stovetop. You might also consider areas in your kitchen that you particularly love - where would you like to direct attention? Do you have a favorite corbel on the wall that makes you smile each time you see it? A particular piece of art? Light them to showcase them. Dimmers are always a good idea, some nice and romantic ambient lighting is always better than super bright lighting.
4. Cabinets should be ‘useful,’ so make sure you have enough space for your everyday dishware, glasses and cutlery. Move the platters, baking sheets, etc (ie: the items you use less often) to a less prominent area. We want you to focus on functionality and not become frustrated when having to walk glassware across the kitchen. For a clever use of space, bowls and plates can be stored in drawers.
5, Choose materials that you LOVE. Ultimately, it’s you’re space and you need to love it. Choosing the “in” material for resale purposes is not our recommendation. Live your life. Enjoy your spaces.
Welcome to the weekend! The weather has really cooled down, making it perfect to grab a cup of coffee from your favorite local shop, hop in your car and head out to one, two or all three of our open houses!
For those of you interested in South Sound homes, we have two stunners that are sure to please.
5325 Park Rd E, Lake Tapps 98391
This outstanding custom built Lake Tapps Home offers 5 beds with 2.5 baths. It boasts an amazing open floor plan with both formal & informal living spaces. You can retire to the grandiose Master suite with your own private balcony for enjoying your morning coffee. The gourmet kitchen is perfect for unleashing your inner “chef” or for entertaining. You will find exquisite Brazilian cherry floors & high-end finishes throughout. Looking to get outside? The large fenced in yard is perfect for relaxing or enjoying with family or friends, and bonus, there’s a fire pit. Enjoy the private community pool & Jenks Park with tennis courts, boat launch & beach access. 3 car garage, A/C, and even peek-a-boo views of Lake Tapps!
This amazing home is offered at $720,000.
Move right in and start living!
Open Saturday August 18th 12-3pm.
Next on our home tour is a fabulous Benjamin Ryan built home.
8013 184th Ave E, Bonney Lake 98391
You wont want to miss this magnificent Benjamin Ryan built home. This is the most popular floorplan which features 3 stories and 4 bedrooms, plus a bottom floor rec room perfect for that home gym you’ve always wanted. Or, if you’d like even more space you can always convert it to a fifth bedroom. The luxurious kitchen features beautiful slap granite, a large island, a full pantry and stainless steel appliances. Hardwood floors flank the kitchen and entry way. The master suite boasts a 5 piece bath plus tons of closet space. The upper level also includes a loft area perfect for a flex space and the fully fenced in yard is perfect for pets or children at play.
Come see this stunner of a home offered at $429,900
Open Sunday Aug 19th 12-3
For all of the Eastsiders out there, we have a fabulous new listing in Newcastle.
9235 118th Place Southeast, Newcastle 98056
This spacious 5 Bedroom Newcastle home is a must see! Not only does it offer covered RV Parking, hook-ups and a 2 car garage, but there are up to 4 off-street parking spots as well, making this the perfect home for the entertainer! You will love the deck just off the formal dining room nestled in a sea of evergreen trees, providing the perfect mixture of shade and sun for our sunny days. For those chilly winter days, cozy up by the gas fireplace off of the living room. The lower level features a spacious rec room with a fireplace, a large 3/4 bath, a 5th bedroom and a laundry/mud room. This house is located close to trails and parks for your weekend adventuring.
This classic home is offered at $749,900
We would love to see you at the open house!
As the weather is slated to continue to heat up again this week you’re probably hoping to beat the heat. One of the best ways we’ve found to beat the heat is get on the water! Luckily, with the Greater Seattle area being constantly surrounded by water it’s not difficult to find a place to rent a boat or personal water craft. Here’s a list of 7 places you can head this week to beat the heat!
1. Sail Sand Point offers folks a way to get out on Lake Washington and explore the north end! You can rent Kayaks, paddle boards, sailboats and wind surfers too. They also offer classes! Click here for their website to learn more: http://www.sailsandpoint.org/
2. Green lake Boathouse: Located (naturally) on Green Lake. You can rent rowboats, kayaks, and paddle boards too. If you really have a blast and want to make the activity part of your normal routine, they will sell you used boats! Oh, and if you are looking to save a bit of money, they offer “happy hour” pricing on all rentals starting before noon! Now that’s a win-win: www.greenlakeboats.com
3. Woodmark Waterfront Adventures: For all of you east siders, be sure to check out rentals at Woodmark Waterfront Adventures. Here you can rent the standard, kayaks and paddlebaords as well as a variety of speed boats and jet ski’s for those thrill seekers out there. Click here for pricing and to learn more: www.waterfrontadventures.com
4. Agua Verde Cafe and Paddle Club: Located in Lake Union, you can rent a kayak or paddleboard to take you to Gasworks Park or the Arboretum, and because you surely worked up an appetite on the trip, be sure to head up to the cafe for a few tacos and a Corona! http://aguaverde.com
5. Hot Tub Boat Rentals Seattle: For probably one of the most unique water experiences you’ll ever have, visit Seattle hot tub boat rentals. The concept is simple - rent a boat with a hot tub on board. They’re a little pricey but definitely the experience is definitely one of a kind! www.hottubboats.com
6. Alki Kayak Tours: This place has something for everyone. Of course kayaks and paddleboards, but you can also rent fishing boats and they offer gas powered vessels as well. If you want desire experiencing the “boardwalk lifestyle”, perhaps rent in line skates, bikes and skateboards! www.kayakalki.com
7. Northwest Paddle Surfers: Located in Seattle, Kirkland and Lacey, this company mostly rents paddle boards, but kayaks are available as well. If you’re really up for a challenge, their Kirkland location out of Juanita Beach park hosts weekly paddlebaord yoga classes! www.northwestpaddlesurfers.com
Have fun out on the water! Be sure to tweet or comment on Facebook or Instagram about your favorite places to beat the heat. Don’t forget your sunscreen.
What they say is true. You only have one chance to make a first impression. A potential buyer’s overall impression of you home can be made in about 30 seconds. So, we have 30 seconds to accomplish a goal - that’s a lot or pressure! In those 30 seconds, you want someone to feel warm, welcome, and you want them to dive deeper to actually view your home.
Never fear because front entry projects are relatively easy and inexpensive. For instance, replacing your front door can give you an instant home face lift without disrupting your life or budget too much. Now with that said, we’re not talking about remodels. That’s a story for another day - we’re just talking about small upgrades that you can finish in a weekend. But, upgrades which will make an impact!
We advise getting creative with this project. Why not use the first impression opportunity to show some personality. Adding plants or flowers always add a lot of interest, but do yourself a favor here… look at your neighbor’s house and select something different! Select your very favorite color combos and get planting.
Next, tidy up. Making sure your front entry is tidy and free of spiderwebs and dirt is also key. If there are sidelight windows, give those a quick wash as well. It goes without saying that if the little ones in your life use this area as a shoe catch all, be sure to remove those! Clean your welcome mat as well.
Have you decided that you’ll be adding some more permanent fixtures in your upgrade such as that new front door or lighting? If you’d prefer to keep a bit tighter fo a budget, you could also opt for a new hardware. The impression that such an addition can make is impressive!
When you do your research you might enjoy going for walks or drives to see what style of doors and hardware you like, what colors and how they make you feel - you might be surprised at what you find!
Are we connected? Be sure to follow us on instagram and Facebook for home and market tips and advice.
This month around the county, there are so many ways to make the most out of the gorgeous Pacific Northwest without breaking the bank! The South Sound is full of fun & unique activities to keep you and your family engaged for the remainder of the summer.
Movies in the Park
Metro Parks Tacoma is hosting two free movies in the park during the month of August!
Friday, August 10th at The Center at Norpoint
Movie: Cars 3
Activities begin at 6pm & movie starts at dusk
Friday, August 17th at the STAR Center
Movie: Sherlock Gnomes
Activities being at 5pm & movie starts at dusk
Sunday Market at Point Ruston
Every Sunday in August through Sept 30th at 10am-3am, come enjoy a variety of local vendors surrounded by the beauty of Commencement Bay!
Third Thursday Museum & Art Mingle
On the third Thursday of the month (August 16th), most of Tacoma's museums remain open later than usual and you can get in for free between 5-8pm! The museums that participate are the Tacoma Art Museum, WA State History Museum and the Museum of Glass. Beyond the free museum entrances, there is also plenty more to do downtown during the Art Mingle!
2018 Summer Sounds at Skansie
Gig Harbor's 16th annual summer concert series has two free outdoor shows during August on the Gig Harbor waterfront!
Tuesday, August 7th
Band: Bobby Sox & the Jukebox
Tuesday, August 14th
Band: Dysfunction Junction
The City of Auburn is hosting at outdoor kids concert series at Les Grove Park. In addition to the music, there is a beautiful playground and water park. This variety of family-friendly entertainment will surely keep the kids engaged!
Wednesday, August 8th @ noon
Band: Mister G
Wednesday, August 15th @ noon
Band: Caspar Babypants
Are you trying to sell your home and wondering what can be done to increase it's value in the market? Consider adding some energy efficient natural gas appliances. Not only are they desirable but they can also increase the resale price of your home! Statistics show that homes with natural gas sell for 6% more than homes with electric energy.
Upgrade your kitchen appliances to natural gas. A natural gas stove & oven heats up more quickly and is more energy efficient than their electric counterparts. In fact, the majority of people prefer to cook with gas appliances.
You can even upgrade your air conditioning to a natural gas option. People are willing to pay more to have an energy efficient home and this is a new and attractive feature.
A natural gas water heater can give you double the amount of available hot water! Every member of your family can enjoy a long hot shower. So, if you have an older water heater, it might be worthwhile to upgrade to this energy efficient model!
For a extra bang in your outdoor living space, install a built-in natural gas grill or even just a hook up for natural gas outside. You can even install an outdoor gas fireplace! Many buyers are willing to pay a premium for a home with an excellent outdoor living space.