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

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

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 , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

2nd Quarter of 2019 is complete!

This is a brief summary of the Quarterly Gardner Report.

Things are still seeing positive growth from a Real Estate perspective.

In Western Washington YOY price growth is 2.8% higher. When compared to 1st Quarter it’s 12%. County by County is a bit different – for King County we saw a -0.4% price drop. This speaks directly to the affordability in that area. Days on market is still relatively low (21 Days in King County) and if a home is priced and marketed well – it will attract attention and sell rapidly. One strong take away is that interest rates are still at an all time low – with inventory up this is a great time to buy. And for those needing to sell before you can buy contingent offers are a viable possibility again!

Posted on August 7, 2019 at 6:23 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Bellevue, Denise Perkins, Eastside, Helpful Home Tips, Home Sweet Home, In the News, Market Stats, North Kirkland, Redmond, Snoqualmie, Woodinville | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s Seafair Ya’ll!

It’s Seafair ya’ll!  Starting in July and ending in Early August with the Hydroplane races on Lake Washington. This event has over 30 fun (and affordable) activities to participate in but also has a pretty interesting history. 

Seafair is one of our areas longest running community events. Starting back in the early 50’s – before our area had any Seahawks, Sonics or Mariners or even the Seattle Center  – the powers that be were looking for a way to generate tourism, national recognition and to promote the area being the “boating capital of the world.”   

Seafair was first held at Greenlake.  The 5,500 seat Auqa Theater was built (in 75 days) – and festival began August 11, 1950.  The event featured the Aqua Follies “swimusical”  including a diving show and synchronized swimming, boat races and amateur athletics.  The early event also included Seafair royalty, parades and a variety of community festivals!

Over the years the event has grown to include the famed Boeing Seafair Air Show with demonstrations from the US Navy Blue Angels (my favorite every year), Seafair Pirates, Torchlight Parade and of course the amazingly fun Home Street Bank Cup hydroplane boat races. 

Got a boat? Or know someone that does? Don’t miss the epic partying on thousands of boats tied to the Seafair Log BoomIt’s a 10 week long event – so be sure to find a way to participate!!

What’s your favorite part of this event?  And if you’re new to the area go find it and let me know!!  There are a few links in this post that will hopefully prove helpful, including Seafair Calendar of events, Best places to watch the Blue Angels (this NEVER gets old!), More history

Posted on July 31, 2019 at 5:58 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Denise Perkins, Eastside, Holidays, Home Sweet Home, In the News, Kids, North Kirkland, Redmond, Snoqualmie, Things to Do, Woodinville | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Cost of Waiting!

Interest rates are at a two year low. Who knew!

There have been so many predictions over the past several  years that rates were headed higher and higher and while they have fluctuated a bit – today it’s like free money! Our economy as well as the real estate market is unpredictable.  But one thing is for certain, if you are or were on the fence about buying – either for the first time, selling and getting a bigger house or even ready to downsize and get into your retirement home – now could be a great time to make that happen.  Most markets in our area are still great for sellers if the home is marketed and priced accordingly – and inventory is up (24.5% as of May) which means more for buyers to choose from.

Multiple offers are still the story again in some markets – but with more to choose from it’s doesn’t seem as frenetic.  So why does all this hub-bub matter when it comes to interest rates – well it really can effect what you can buy.  BUYING POWER is the answer – and with low interest rates you can afford more.  And in our area – that makes a big difference.   Which brings me to the information seen here – it’s a great depiction of what waiting, or what a changing interest rate can mean to you and your bottom line.

So when you’re ready to talk about finding your next community – let’s chat – I can help!

Posted on July 24, 2019 at 11:22 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Denise Perkins, Eastside, Helpful Home Tips, Home Sweet Home, In the News, Market Stats, North Kirkland, Redmond, Snoqualmie, Uncategorized, Woodinville | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Outdoor Flicks with the Fam

Looks like the sun is headed our way and will stay for a while… thank goodness because my kids and I are ready! This is the perfect time to plan for an outdoor movie night since there are so many great places that offer cheap or totally free flicks and have other fun activities right here on the Eastside.

Redmond

Outdoor Movies at Marymoor Park

With big screen flicks, a variety of entertainment, some of Seattle’s best food trucks and the fact it is dog friendly makes this one of my families favorites. Facebook.com/MoviesatMarymoor

$5/person (cash) or $6/person (credit). Ages 5 & under Free. Parking is $5.
Event entry opens at 6:30 p.m.; movies start at dusk after event entertainment

Kirkland

Carillon Point Outdoor Movie Nights

Enjoy outdoor movie series this summer on the picturesque shores of Lake Washington every other Saturday in July and August. Bring your low-back chairs and blankets and come ready to relax and enjoy a late night movie.

$5 suggested donations benefit Hopelink of Kirkland, a local non-profit with a mission to promote self-sufficiency for all members of our community.

Seating will be available at 7pm, with the show beginning at dusk. Get there early so you have time to chow down before the show since Beach Cafe, Le Grand Bistro Américain, and Carillon Kitchen will be there. 

Popcorn, soda, and candy will be available for purchase in the plaza.

Bellevue

Crossroads Movies in the Park and Bellevue Summer Outdoor Movies at the Park

Head to Bellevue’s favorite parks, Crossroads and Bellevue to enjoy FREE outdoor movies and popcorn this summer. There are pre-movie activities planned before each movie, so come down early, stake your ground and have some fun.

FREE popcorn, and FREE admission. The summer movies series also features eight non-profit agencies, one per week, which the audience can participate in by donating to the many programs and services the agency provides our community-in-need.

Movies are at Downtown Park and Crossroads Park, pre-movie entertainment begins at 7:30pm, and the movies will start at dusk (approximately 9pm). Check out the summer line-up of outdoor movies for 2019.

For a full list of theaters and more details on each in the greater Seattle area click here.

Posted on July 17, 2019 at 10:36 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Denise Perkins, Eastside, Home Sweet Home, Kids, North Kirkland, Redmond, Resaurants, Snoqualmie, Things to Do, Woodinville | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,