Strategies for decorating your home

Whether you have recently purchased a new home or want to update your current avoid spending too much on furniture and decor with these strategies. Provided by Interior Design Experts at First & Main….here are the top 10 things you should consider.

  1. Prevent Expensive Mistakes: A well designed home requires careful thought and planning.
  2. Create a color palate for your home: Update a room in 2 hours, and under $50 with a fresh coat of paint.
  3. Don’t for get blinds and window treatments: Do you really want your neighbors to know that you sleep naked?
  4. Think traffic patterns and conversation groups: Draw out a floor-plan based on how you actually LIVE in your home.
  5. Balance, Scale, and Size can make or break any room: Mix shiny with matte, pattern with solids, and always add texture.
  6. Designer Pet Peve #1: Art should be hung at eye level for maximum enjoyment.
  7. Focus on focal points: TV or a view, draw their focus then give the eyes a place to rest.
  8. It’s literally worth every penny: Remodeling a kitchen or bath will always pay off in the end.
  9. Make every day feel like a staycation: The right bedding can make your room feel like a luxury hotel.
  10. You should have an interior designer: Having a trained Interior Design Professional who understands that YOUR home should reflect YOUR lifestyle.

First & Main Design Market is a great place to explore and find the perfect pieces for your home at any stage of your home decorating journey. Located in recently refreshed downtown Bothell and offering an eclectic combination of beautiful new designer furniture, unique, one of a kind vintage and reinspired salvage pieces and variety of housewares and gifts.  It’s not your typical furniture store — with Interior Designers on staff they can help you choose a piece of furniture and then help finish off the room — paint, accessories,  rugs, etc.

Want an excuse to come visit — Join us for our First Thursday events — the first Thursday of every month.  Each event offers a different home décor theme or topic — along with wine, snacks and the chance to win prizes and gift certificates to the store.

Posted on November 7, 2019 at 9:47 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Bellevue, Bothell, Denise Perkins, Eastside, First and Main Design Center, Furniture, Helpful Home Tips, Home Decor, Home Sweet Home, Kenmore, North Kirkland, Redmond, Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Things to Do, Woodinville | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Gardner Report – Q3

ECONOMIC OVERVIEW

Washington State employment has softened slightly to an annual growth rate of 2%, which is still a respectable number compared to other West Coast states and the country as a whole. In all, I expect that Washington will continue to add jobs at a reasonable rate though it is clear that businesses are starting to feel the effects of the trade war with China and this is impacting hiring practices. The state unemployment rate was 4.6%, marginally higher than the 4.4% level of a year ago. My most recent economic forecast suggests that statewide job growth in 2019 will rise by 2.2%, with a total of 88,400 new jobs created.

HOME SALES

  • There were 22,685 home sales during the third quarter of 2019, representing a slight increase of 0.8% from the same period in 2018 and essentially at the same level as in the second quarter.
  • Listing activity — which rose substantially from the middle of last year — appears to have settled down. This is likely to slow sales as there is less choice in the market.
  • Compared to the third quarter of 2018, sales rose in five counties, remained static in one, and dropped in nine. The greatest growth was in Skagit and Clallam counties. Jefferson, Kitsap, and Cowlitz counties experienced significant declines.
  • The average number of homes for sale rose 11% between the second and third quarters. However, inventory is 14% lower than in the same quarter of 2018. In fact, no county contained in this report had more homes for sale in the third quarter than a year ago.

HOME PRICES

  • Home price growth in Western Washington notched a little higher in the third quarter, with average prices 4.2% higher than a year ago. The average sales price in Western Washington was $523,016. It is worth noting, though, that prices were down 3.3% compared to the second quarter of this year.
  • Home prices were higher in every county except Island, though the decline there was very small.
  • When compared to the same period a year ago, price growth was strongest in Grays Harbor County, where home prices were up 22%. San Juan, Jefferson, and Cowlitz counties also saw double-digit price increases.
  • Affordability issues are driving buyers further out which is resulting in above-average price growth in outlying markets. I expect home prices to continue appreciating as we move through 2020, but the pace of growth will continue to slow.

DAYS ON MARKET

  • The average number of days it took to sell a home dropped one day when compared to the third quarter of 2018.
  • Thurston County was the tightest market in Western Washington, with homes taking an average of only 20 days to sell. There were six counties where the length of time it took to sell a home dropped compared to the same period a year ago. Market time rose in six counties, while two counties were unchanged.
  • Across the entire region, it took an average of 38 days to sell a home in the third quarter. This was down 3 days compared to the second quarter of this year.
  • Market time remains below the long-term average across the region and this trend is likely to continue until more inventory comes to market, which I do not expect will happen until next spring.

CONCLUSIONS

This speedometer reflects the state of the region’s real estate market using housing inventory, price gains, home sales, interest rates, and larger economic factors. I am leaving the needle in the same position as the first and second quarters, as demand appears to still be strong.

The market continues to benefit from low mortgage rates. The average 30-year fixed rates is currently around 3.6% and is unlikely to rise significantly anytime soon. Even as borrowing costs remain very competitive, it’s clear buyers are not necessarily jumping at any home that comes on the market. Although it’s still a sellers’ market, buyers have become increasingly price-conscious which is reflected in slowing home price growth.

As Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, Matthew Gardner is responsible for analyzing and interpreting economic data and its impact on the real estate market on both a local and national level. Matthew has over 30 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.

In addition to his day-to-day responsibilities, Matthew sits on the Washington State Governors Council of Economic Advisors; chairs the Board of Trustees at the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington; and is an Advisory Board Member at the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Washington where he also lectures in real estate economics.

This post originally appeared on the Windermere.com Blog.

Posted on October 31, 2019 at 6:16 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Bellevue, Bothell, Denise Perkins, Eastside, Fall, Helpful Home Tips, Home Sweet Home, In the News, Kenmore, Market Stats, North Kirkland, Redmond, Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Woodinville | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Adult Only Halloween Events

So, let’s be honest. The best parties are almost always going to be across the bridge in Seattle. While your favorite local bar may have an event closer to home, if you’re reading this blog, chances are that you’re looking for something a bit more substantial. The Eastside is great, but sometimes being so close to the big city is a big benefit.  Here’s a look at 4 great adults only events for Halloween 2019.

  1. Head to Canoes Caberet at the Tulalip Casino on Saturday October 26th for a rocking Halloween party! With great live music, by my favorite local band, Oncore, and of course try your luck while you are there. This is sure to be a fun time!
  2. Get on the Halloween Pirate Party Cruise! Set sail for an epic haunt this year. Enjoy prizes, music, games and adult beverages (beer, wine, cider) as you cruise Lake Union and surrounding waters. Dress like a pirate or anything you like. Prizes for best dressed pirate and best costume overall. This will be their last public event of the 2019 season! This is a 21+ event. Learn more about it, here.
  3. If you insist on staying on the Eastside, Maggianos at Bellevue Square is cooking up something special on Friday the 25th. It’s a murder mystery dinner, and it looks like a great time! The event is for adults 18 and up, and costumes are optional. (But really, wear a costume.) Your $60 ticket includes dinner and a drink (which makes the event almost free) and anyone could be the killer. Even you! Tickets might sell out so hurry up and grab yours!
  4. Adults take over the Seattle Aquarium for this 21+ event featuring animal experiences, music, a cash bar, food available for purchase and more! Put on your coolest costume and head down to our Halloween bash! Grab a drink and learn about deep sea animals that use amazing adaptations like bioluminescence and camouflage to survive and thrive—plus check out a squid dissection, a pumpkin carving demonstration and more. Entertainment provided throughout the evening by Stayin’ Alive Disco’s resident DJs, saxophonist Spencer Edgers and hand drummer Ammo—plus a drag queen performance by Queen Irene!

For a full list of things happening – check out this list.

 

Posted on October 24, 2019 at 5:44 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Bellevue, Bothell, Eastside, Fall, Halloween, Holidays, Kenmore, North Kirkland, Redmond, Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Things to Do | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Reasons to Sell Your Home This Fall

4 Reasons to Sell Your Home This Fall 

  1. Buyer demand is still strong
  2. There is less competition now – supply and demand
  3. There will never be a better time to move up
  4. Its time to move on with your life

Watch this video to hear more about why I think you should sell.

 

 

Posted on October 17, 2019 at 5:20 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Bellevue, Bothell, Denise Perkins, Eastside, Fall, Helpful Home Tips, Home Sweet Home, In the News, Kenmore, Market Stats, North Kirkland, Redmond, Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Woodinville | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Family-Friendly Halloween Fun

Looking for family-friendly Halloween fun around the Eastside? I’ve got you covered. Halloween costumes are pricey, and you should absolutely get the most bang for your buck by giving the kids as many opportunities to wear them as possible.

There are plenty of exciting events happening all over the greater Seattle area this year, but here are my picks for closest to the Eastside.

Boo! Sammamish

This one isn’t for the faint of heart. The haunted experience at Beaver Lake in Sammamish has created a Family Scare event this year. Now, that doesn’t mean that I’d take a two or three-year-old to this event. But older kids? The ones who are too cool for trick-or-treating… but still too young for real haunted houses? This is the perfect event for them. October 29th, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.

Safe Halloween – Bothell


Costumed kiddos can have a fun and safe trick-or-treating experience this year at participating businesses along Main St. in downtown Bothell, Oct. 31, 2019 from 5 p.m.-7 p.m.

Event details

Pee Wee Monster Bash – Kirkland


For little ones looking for a not-too-spooky time, the North Kirkland Community Center is throwing their annual carnival-style bash where mini monsters can wear their costumes and participate in a cookie walk, monster movement course, swamp fishing, arts and crafts and more. Oct. 25, 2019 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Preregister early (425-587-3336) to guarantee your spot; this event always sells out!

Event details

For more fun- click here and check out my rundown of best pumpkin patches around the Eastside. These places almost always have something a little special going on for the kiddos around Halloween. And if I’ve missed your favorite family-friendly Halloween event, be sure to share it with me on my social media. I’m always up for a new adventure!

Posted on October 10, 2019 at 5:32 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Bellevue, Bothell, Denise Perkins, Eastside, Fall, Holidays, Kenmore, Kids, North Kirkland, Pumpkin Patches, Pumpkins, Redmond, Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Things to Do, Woodinville | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Recession Does Not Equal a Housing Crisis

No — the sky is not falling!  Signs may be pointing toward a recession but let’s look at some past stats re: home prices and appreciation.

  • There is plenty of talk in the media about a pending economic slowdown.
  • The good news is, home values actually increased in 3 of the last 5 U.S. recessions, and decreased by less than 2% in the 4th.
  • Many experts predict a potential recession is on the horizon. However, housing will not be the trigger, and home values will still continue to appreciate. It will not be a repeat of the crash in the 2008 housing market

Source: Keeping Current Matters.

Another really important thing to take into consideration is our area.  This infographic is national data.  Our area is still flourishing with employment, companies hiring and out of the area folks moving in.  Another great person to ask about this is Windermere’s own Matthew Gardener.

 

Posted on October 3, 2019 at 8:20 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Bellevue, Bothell, Denise Perkins, Eastside, In the News, Kenmore, Market Stats, North Kirkland, Redmond, Snohomish, Snoqualmie | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

You Say Pumpkin… I Say Patch!

It’s a tradition in the PNW unlike any other. Talk to moms from the Midwest about where they pumpkin patch and they’re likely to raise an eyebrow. But out here on the Eastside? Choosing your pumpkin patch for the year is almost as big of a deal as choosing where you’ll vacation in the summer. With different patches offering amazing amenities and activities, competing for your gourd dollars winds up meaning a full day of family fun.

The one major bummer is that, with real estate being as costly as it is on the Eastside, you’re going to have to drive a bit to get to the best pumpkin patches. They’re all great, if I’m being honest, and you’ll enjoy any of them. That said, different patches appeal to different aged kids. Choosing the best one for your family makes the drive more worthwhile.

Here is the lowdown on the pumpkin patch experience!

Bob’s Corn

Snohomish

This one is my pick for big kids. Once you arrive you’ll find acres upon acres of pumpkins as well as a ton of family-friendly attractions. Perhaps the best of all is the massive corn maze on site. The maze is a whopping 10 acres large and always Take a Hikecut into interesting, artistic designs that you can only see from above. I like this maze for the big kids because they specifically offer admission after dark, which is spooky and exciting all by itself! You can also reserve a fire pit to roast marshmallows after you make your epic escape. For the little kids, there are also two smaller corn mazes that are less intimidating. Other free activities include hayrides, a tike track for riding, and a playground area. In addition to your pumpkin, you can also pay to play on big slides, the corn crib (excellent for sensory kids) and fire apples out of the apple cannon. A rope maze, sandpit, and cow-train ride complete your full day experience.

 

 

 

Craven Farms

Snohomish

My favorite pick for those with little kids, this is a wonderland for the imagination. On top of the you-pick-pumpkins, you’ll also find admission free fun things to do that enchant the smallest of adventurers. There is a large corn maze that is themed and unintimidating for younger guests, as well as a kid’s adventure maze, miniature golf, and a mouseville themed gift shop. Kids can also pet farm animals. On the weekends you’ll find hayrides, apple slingshots, and face painting, too. Older kids may get a little bored at this one, but for little kids, the value cannot be beaten.

 

The Farm at Swan’s Trail

Snohomish

If you’re noticing a nod to Snohomish, it’s not intentional! It just so happened that all of my favorite places are located just north of the Eastside. And, among all of them, The Farm at Swan’s Trail just may be my absolute favorite. It’s a literal adventure wonderland that is well suited for families with kids of all ages. A FIFTY-acre pumpkin patch pretty much guarantees selection wide enough to last the entire season, and you’ll also find a pretty nicely sized petting zoo. On top of that, expect to laugh your tail feather off at the duck races and Farmer Ben’s “Four Little Pig” shows. There are also wagon rides, picnic pavilions, a massive corn maze, and you pick apples. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the barn. It’s a tiny hay bale maze up to the hayloft where kiddos can zip down a slide into a pile of hay. It’s the stuff great photos are made of, friends.

 

Things really get fun when you get into the paid activities, though. A giant hay bale pyramid for climbing, a ball pit, large slides, an inflatable jumping pillow, rubber duck races, gemstone mining, pedal cart racing, and a cow train all await you. Plan to spend all day at this one, and make family memories that evolve into a tradition your kids will take with them for years to come.

 

Honorable Mentions

Stocker Farms, Snohomish

Fox Hollow Farm, Issaquah

Remlinger Farms, Carnation

 

This list is just a short sample of all of the pumpkin farms out there. If nothing here tickles your fancy, here’s a longer list compiled by Red-Tri. If you’re not up for the drive to one of my favorite farms, maybe you can find one closer to your home neighborhood here and tell me all about why you loved it in the comments! Happy hunting!

 

 

Posted on September 25, 2019 at 7:40 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Bellevue, Bob's Corn, Bothell, Craven Farm, Denise Perkins, Eastside, Fall, Holidays, Kenmore, Kids, North Kirkland, Pumpkin Patches, Pumpkins, Redmond, Snohomish, Snoqualmie, The Farm at Swan's Trail, Things to Do, Woodinville | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Touchdown Seahawks!

Touchdown Seahawks!

It’s my favorite time of the year.  Football season!  Whether it’s college or NFL  — I love it.  And this year I was lucky enough to get season tickets to the Seahawks from a friend that is out of town for the season.  But when I’m not at the games I love cozying up on the couch and watching it — but not with my kids.  They think I yell too loud!  Where do you like to watch the games?   Here are some places in our communities that offer many TV’s, great atmosphere and delicious football food.   Some places we’ve included are Kid friendly….if you’re into that sort of thing! 🙂

Elliot Bay Brewery

With 3 locations, Burien, Lake City and West Seattle, this is a local favorite and genuinely welcomes kids. With upscale comfort food, housemade beers, this is a great place to watch the Seahawks and other local games.

The Game Neighborhood Bar and Grill

Sound like a perfect place to watch “the game” to me!  Located in Kirkland’s Juanita neighborhood,  with seven large screen TVs and a sizable beer selection you won’t be disappointed. Menu options include all-day breakfast and The Game’s nationally recognized Ultimate Nachos. The Game offers a $4.25 kids menu and a variety of games to keep the kiddos busy.

McMenamins Anderson School

If you’ve been wanting to check out the awesome school-turned-hotel in downtown Bothell, game day can be your chance, and take the kids! It boasts flatscreen TVs, shuffleboard, pinball games and pool tables, a pub fare menu with McMenamins brews (try the Woodshop IPA, natural beef burgers and more.

And if you have time before or after the game take a swim in the McMenamins community pool or a movie in the all-ages, upscale movie theater, and definitely walk around the hotel… you can have a drink in the old principals office!

 

https://www.theinfatuation.com/seattle/guides/restaurants-bars-for-watching-sports

Sluggers in Kirkland

12506 NE 144th St, Kirkland, WA 98034

Sluggers in Kirkland caters to locals, tourists, sports fans and not so sports fans. 4 TV’s and 23 other TV’s hung throughout you are sure to get a great view of the game. It is great for small or large groups and the menu has great bar food, sandwiches and healthy options if you prefer grilled chicken over mozzarella sticks.

Rookies Sports Bar & Grill

OK so this is genius! Rookies has TVs in the bathroom! No more missing that touchdown or interception… Rookies has you covered! And the menu… YUM! They are locally owned sports finatics crazy about dishing up locally sourced grub and pouring cold brewski. And they are not kid-tolerant; they are kid-friendly. So grab the fam and check this place out!

Another great thing about football season is the great work that my amazing company  Windermere is doing to help in our communities.  For the last three years Windermere has been the official Real Estate sponsor of the Seahawks and we have teamed up with the them to Tackle Homelessness — watch this video to learn more.

 

Posted on September 12, 2019 at 3:17 am
Denise Perkins | Category: Bellevue, Denise Perkins, Eastside, Home Sweet Home, Kids, North Kirkland, Redmond, Resaurants, Things to Do | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Labor Day Fun!

Labor Day can be thought of as the end of the summer and typically celebrated with family gatherings, food, fireworks, parties, parades and other events. Labor Day also gives us a chance to have a break from work or school and kick off the NFL & college football seasons. I know I am looking forward to slowing down and enjoying some R&R and good football!

If you are looking to do something fun on Labor Day weekend check out some of these fun and local events. Here are a few that sparked our interest:

Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour in Seattle

So you didn’t plan ahead? No problem! Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour have several tours every day which makes this a great option to plan last minute! Check out the schedule here!

Seattle Ice Cream Cruise on Lake Union

The Seattle ice cream cruise, operated by the Seattle Ferry Service, is every Sunday throughout the year. Leaving from South Lake Union Park between 11am-5pm on the hour, no reservations, so show up early to make sure you’re not left behind. Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for kids 5-13, and $3 for children under 5. They accept cash and check only. Note that the tickets do not include the ice cream so bring some extra cash, and I hear the Chocolate Rootbeer Floats are quite delicious!

Bumbershoot | Music and Arts Festival in Seattle

So who has not been to Bumbershoot? Not only is the website super cool but the line up is amazing! Take a minute to check the schedule and plan who you are going to see each day. And of course the B-Eats, Yoga, Laser Dome, and Silent Disco. Who are you going to see? Anyone going to the Silent Disco? We would love to know!

 

 

Posted on August 28, 2019 at 11:09 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Bellevue, Denise Perkins, Eastside, Holidays, Kids, North Kirkland, Redmond, Snoqualmie, Things to Do | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Summer Bucket List

So here we are… August! How has the summer been going? If you have no travel plans and looking for some ways to stay busy in your community — we’ve got some fun ideas to keep the momentum for the next few weeks till school starts. So, I am finding this list a great way to keep things simple and occupy them as the big day gets closer.
Here are a few of my favorites:
– Have a YES day!
– Learn how to make friendship bracelets.
– Super community focused —  Get a paper map of your city and push pins. Plan out the places you’ll visit with the kids, and after you’ve done so, let them pin the location. At the end of the summer, it’ll be fun to see all the places you saw and did together.
– Take a picture a day and print out an end-of-summer photo album.
Let me know which ones you love!
Posted on August 14, 2019 at 2:39 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Bellevue, Denise Perkins, Eastside, Helpful Home Tips, Home Sweet Home, Kids, Snoqualmie, Things to Do, Woodinville | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,