2020 Housing Forecast and Market Predictions

It’s that time of year when Windermere’s Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, dusts off his crystal ball and peers into the future to give us his predictions for the 2020 economy and housing market. 

Posted on December 11, 2019 at 9:16 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Bellevue, Bothell, Denise Perkins, Eastside, Helpful Home Tips, In the News, Kenmore, Market Stats, North Kirkland, Redmond, Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Uncategorized, Woodinville | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Complete Guide to Events this Season

Parentmap has a great Family Fun Calendar,  I love this resource! Check out a few events below that I think look really fun and while you are at it check out the amazing Family Fun Calendar that Parentmap provides… it will be your Complete Guide to Events this Season and beyond!

Winter Wonderland

Presented by Evergreen Health & KING 5

Nov 29, 2019 thru Jan 5, 2020*

Make this a holiday tradition, visit Redmond Town Center’s annual Winter Wonderland holiday festival. Shop, dine and enjoy a myriad of magical activities and events. The whole family will enjoy spirited rides on the polar express train and horse carousel. Take a twirl on the synthetic skating rink. Visit Santa’s workshop for photos. Take the younger ones to princess story time. Delight in the magical sounds of the season with talented performances on the STAR 101.5 Community Stage. Spread holiday joy with help from over 125 premier stores, restaurants and entertainment venues. Guests enjoy free parking all season.

Holiday Wreath-Making Workshop

December 7th

Snoqualmie Falls Forest Theater cordially invites you to our annual holiday wreath-making event! A hand-made wreath is a unique holiday gift for friends and family, or to add festive décor this season to your own home. It’s also a fun way to express your personal creativity. Bring creative holiday spirit into your home this winter! Learn how to craft holiday wreaths at Snoqualmie Falls Forest Theater and Family Park’s Holiday Wreath Making Workshop! For more details check out this article on Parentmap.com

Bellevue Downtown Ice Rink

December 4th to January 20th

This 23-year old holiday tradition, a signature event of the Bellevue Magic Season, features the region’s largest seasonal ice skating experience, with more than 9,000 square feet of real ice.

The ice surface is covered for all-weather skating, and the rink also treats guests to a heated viewing area, on-site concessions, and a series of special events throughout the holiday season.

The Bellevue Downtown Ice Rink is located at the Downtown Park. Just south of Bellevue Square, it’s a short walk to Downtown Bellevue’s outstanding dining options, premier shopping, and other Bellevue Magic Season events, including Snowflake Lane presented by the Bellevue Collection.

For more information about the event, including admission information and holiday hours, visit the event’s website at www.bellevueicerink.com.

 

Posted on December 5, 2019 at 12:04 am
Denise Perkins | Category: Bellevue, Bothell, Denise Perkins, Eastside, Holiday, Holidays, Home Sweet Home, Kenmore, Kids, North Kirkland, Redmond, Season, Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Things to Do, Uncategorized, Woodinville | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Be Our Guest!

Places to take out of town guests.

When out of town friends and family come to visit you, chances are, they want to see downtown Seattle. And there is no good reason that you should not show them the sights. Things like Pike Market, Post Alley, the Space Needle, and the downtown waterfront are absolutely essential to a Seattle area visit, but they’re not the only things worth seeing. Here are five of my favorites.

Marymoor Park

Redmond

This place kind of has a little bit of everything going on. From off-leash dog parks to climbing walls, you’ll find wooded trails, open fields, playgrounds and, in the right season, even the Cirque de Soleil. You’ll find a summer concert series and outdoor concerts, soccer, tee-ball and a plethora of other activities depending on the season. Your out of town guests will enjoy the splendor and size of the park, located in such a large metropolitan area. This park really is a gem and makes a great place to spend a day with guests.

 

Chateau Saint Michelle

Woodinville

Woodinville, just outside of the Eastside, is a hot spot for Washington wineries. With the evergreen state gaining in popularity in the wine world, if your guests love wine even just a little bit, Woodinville is a place you should absolutely take them. While you’ll find many wineries and even tasting tours that showcase the best of them, I absolutely must insist on a visit to Chateau St. Michelle. The grounds are brilliantly stunning, and the tasting room is open daily. This vineyard may just be the most well known in Washington on a national level, so there’s a good chance that your guests have had this wine before, creating a nice familiarity for the experience. With outdoor concerts in the summer and other events year round, this is a great place to take your guests any time of year.

 

Bellevue Botanical Gardens

Bellevue

I mention the gardens often. They are just so stunning every month of the year and make a great place to walk and talk with those you don’t get to see often. While each season offers something stunning, I specifically love the gardens during the holiday season when they come to life with holiday lights. It always surprises me how many locals don’t take in the gardens, and I’d encourage you to get out there with your guests and enjoy the beautiful plant life.

 

Microsoft Visitor Center

Redmond

Pretty much everyone has heard of Microsoft. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who hasn’t personally used a Microsoft product. That’s why, for so many, a visit to the Microsoft campus is a must while on the Eastside. The Visitor’s center offers a look into the history and future of the company that reshaped how we all live. Check out the Microsoft store while you’re on campus to get some epic once-in-a-lifetime photos!

 

Argosy Cruises

Kirkland Waterfront

Located on the scenic Kirkland waterfront, plan on taking your guests on an Argosy cruise. You can sail around Lake Washington year round. This offers scenic views of multi-million dollar homes, the Seattle and the Bellevue skylines, and the longest floating bridge in the world (That’s the 520 if you didn’t know.) Before or after your cruise, check out the shops and restaurants that line the scenic waterfront.

 

 

What are your must see or must do items for your out of town guests? What have I missed? Let’s hear it, Eastside! Share your thoughts and best kept secrets with me on social media, just don’t forget to tag me!

Posted on November 28, 2019 at 3:10 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Bellevue, Bothell, Denise Perkins, Eastside, Home Decor, Kenmore, Kids, North Kirkland, Redmond, Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Things to Do, Uncategorized, Woodinville | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Where to Volunteer at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Beyond

Holidays are upon us and there are so many great ways to give back in our communities. I love to participate in the Windermere Bellevue Commons Giving Tree supporting Mary’s Place. My kids and I also participate in the Toys for Tots Program run by the Marine Foundation. My kids and I are planning to volunteer over the holiday season, let me know where your families go and what you do!

Seattle Works.
Search their database of volunteer opportunities. Use the filters for age, populations, and ZIP code-specific activities that best fit your family.

United Way of King County 
Searchable database of volunteer activities that enables you to search for family-friendly options.

Volunteer Match
Searchable database allows you to filter based on specific causes, as well as matches that are a good fit for kid and teen volunteers.

Doing Good Together
Compiles lists of family-friendly volunteering opportunities called Big-Hearted Families. Listings aren’t searchable/sortable, but all opportunities are created with families in mind. Age restrictions are included in the listings.

Food Driving Box Northwest
Provides boxes that you keep in your car. Printed right on the box are the most-needed items.

Northwest Harvest
Statewide nonprofit that uses donations to provide more than 2 million meals to Washingtonians every month.

Emergency Feeding Program of Seattle and King County
Works with more than 200 partner agencies across King County to provide food bags to anyone in need, supplying 430,000 meals per year.

Hopelink
Offers food bank, food delivery and emergency feeding services to families in crisis in the following areas: Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, Shoreline and Sno-Valley.

Source:  https://bit.ly/2qDpyKl

 

Posted on November 21, 2019 at 10:35 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Bellevue, Bothell, Denise Perkins, Eastside, Give Back, Holidays, Hopelink, Kids, North Kirkland, Northwest Harvest, Redmond, Seattle Works, Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Things to Do, United Way, Volunteer, Woodinville | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Upcoming Events Around Town

You may have your plate full with holiday prep but you still might want to make time for some of these events scattered over the next several weeks.

Washington Distillers Festival

Does an afternoon filled with handcrafted spirits from distillers throughout Washington sound amazing?  Then don’t miss the WA Distillers Festival at McMenamins Anderson School. Bid in a silent auction that includes private distillery tours and tastings, limited edition bottles and overnight stays.

Friday, November 15, 2019 at 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM PST

Free to attend! 21+
$35 plus tax includes 10 tasting tokens

Gobble Up

Nov 23 10am-5pm

Shop for food and beverages from 100 “craft food makers” at Gobble Up, organized by Urban Craft Uprising in Hangar 30 at Magnuson Park. Register online for free ticket.

Magnuson Hangar 30 – Seattle

gobbleupnorthwest.com/seattle

Gingerbread Display

Nov 26-Jan 1

Sheraton Hotel, Seattle – See elaborate displays made mostly of food at the Gingerbread Village at Sheraton Seattle Hotel. The lines can be long on peak days. Free. Hours Vary.

gingerbreadvillage.org

Affordable Art

Nov 30  2-8pm

Seattle Design Center

Art Under $100 features 70 artists, free crafts, DJ music, and food trucks at Seattle Design Center. Free unless you pay to go an hour early. VIP Tickets:  $25

seattledesigncenter.com

Seattle Artists Tour

Dec 6-8

Shop from 22 artists at 6 studios in the Seattle area who make clothing, jewelry, glass, ceramics, prints, and more on Seattle Sampling Artists’ Studio Tour. Free. Hours Vary.

seattlesampling.com

12 K’s of Christmas Fun Run/Walk

Dec 15 4:30-7:30pm – Marina Park, Kirkland

 

Run/walk through festive Kirkland. Kids can earn a medal by participating in the Kid Dash. All participants of the 12k and 5k will receive a toboggan beanie, a personalized race bib, a finisher medal, and post race snacks!  Registration Fee:  $15-$55.

runsignup.com

Ugly Sweater Cruise

Dec 21 9-11:30pm

Waterways Cruises
2441 N Northlake Way
Seattle

‘Tis the season to eat, drink and be ugly! Enjoy festive spirits and appetizers while dancing the night away with live DJ entertainment. The uglier the sweater the more prizes to be won, make it a holiday to remember!  Tickets:  $62 (10% discount for 6 or more)

waterwayscruises.com

 

Posted on November 14, 2019 at 6:59 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Bellevue, Bothell, Denise Perkins, Eastside, Fall, Holidays, Kenmore, Kids, North Kirkland, Redmond, Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Things to Do, Woodinville | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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 , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What’s Happening in the Market

Posted on October 11, 2019 at 11:14 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Denise Perkins

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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,