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December
27

Find the Perfect Coworking Space in the New Year

Coworking Pacific Northwest

Working from home has become increasingly common, particularly over the last year and a half. Will you be working remotely in 2022? Whether you work full-time, or only a couple of days a week, it's important to minimize distractions and maximize productivity. And sometimes it's difficult to do that in your house.

What you need is a coworking space in your neighborhood. Thankfully, you'll find many of these spaces throughout the Pacific Northwest. Here's what to look for when considering a coworking space for your 2022 remote work.

Benefits of a Coworking Space

A coworking space is an office environment where independent workers, such as freelancers, startups, and anyone else who doesn't work in a fixed location, can come to get things done. Workers typically pay an hourly fee, bringing their laptops and working surrounded by others in similar situations.

Coworking spaces provide many benefits that working from home doesn't. For instance, it offers a better work/life balance. When you work and live in the same location, it can feel like you're always on the clock, even when you're not working. Likewise, when you are working, you can be plagued by household chores that need to be done.

By working in a different location, you can keep your personal and professional business separate. It also helps eliminate the distractions that your home brings with it. In a coworking space, you won't be tempted to sneak off to watch TV in the middle of the day, answer personal e-mails, scroll through social media, or do chores, while you're supposed to be working.

By eliminating those distractions and putting you in a "work" frame of mind, coworking spaces tend to make people more productive than they would be simply working from home. However, it only works if you're able to find the right space for your needs.

What to Look for in a Coworking Space

First, look at what the space provides. A reliable Internet connection is a must, as well as outlets for charging your phone, laptop, or other devices. You may also need access to a printer or a scanner. Most spaces also have computers you can use on-site, in lieu of your own device. There may be other amenities that are important to you as well. Is there a kitchen, with snacks and a coffee pot? Private conference rooms for meetings and presentations?

Next, consider the environment. Does the space have enough lighting? Is the temperature comfortable, or is it too hot, cold, humid, etc.? The decor and general aesthetic of the space are important too. Find a place that looks friendly and inviting.

And one of the most important aspects of coworking is the community. Who else works there regularly? Even if you're not working with them directly, you're spending a large chunk of your day with them, so it's important to be sure you feel comfortable around them and will get along well with them. Coworking can also often lead to networking opportunities, connecting with like-minded people, and helping one another. So find a community you feel comfortable in.

Other Factors

A good coworking space provides variety for different working styles. It also gives people the freedom to switch environments throughout the day, depending on their mood and their current needs. This flexibility has been shown to increase productivity.

It's also important to look at the location. Portland and Seattle have many coworking space options to choose from. Ultimately, you want to find a space that's near your house, that you can get to and from easily. The stress of a long or difficult commute can make working difficult, negatively impacting your productivity before the day even begins.

Finally, look at your budget. Look at what different coworking spaces in your area charge, whether it's per hour, per week, or per month, and compare it to how much you're willing or able to spend. How much does the cost of being in that space cut into the amount you'll earn while working there?

What they offer for the price is also important. Maybe you're willing to spend a bit more on a place that has a coffeemaker, or comfy couches. Make a list of your needs, and the amount you're willing to spend. Then, compare spaces to see which one is the best fit.

If you're looking for a home near a coworking space or a home with an office for your remote working lifestyle, our brokers can help you find the perfect option. Contact us to learn more!

October
4

Pacific Northwest Fall Foliage Tour

Pacific Northwest Fall

Is it possible that Pacific Northwest scenery can get even more spectacular? While we love this area in all seasons, there's something extra special about the fall. See Washington and Oregon dressed up in their fall colors at these beautiful locations as recommended by our brokers.

  • Kubota Garden - 9817 - 55th Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98118
    Two words used most often by people to describe dog-friendly Kubota Garden: "hidden gem." Namesake Fujitaro Kubota and his son Tom envisioned their property as a public space to be enjoyed by all. In 1987, the City of Seattle purchased the land to complete that mission. More than 140 varieties of Japanese maples fill the garden with brilliant fall hues, while the waterfall and fish pond add a touch of Zen. Kubota Garden is open daily from sunrise to sunset, and admission is free.

  • Washington Park Arboretum - 2300 Arboretum Dr. E., Seattle, WA 98112
    Set in 230 lush acres on the shores of Lake Washington, the Washington Park Arboretum offers something different with each visit. Themed gardens, such as Rhododendron Glen and Azalea Way, highlight specific plants and landscapes. Take a canoe or kayak out on Union Bay for a chance to spot hawks, owls, and other magnificent birds. Kids have fun learning about nature while they complete the fall scavenger hunt. There's no charge to visit the Arboretum, which is open seven days a week from dawn to dusk. 

  • Discovery Park - 3801 Discovery Park Blvd., Seattle, WA 98199
    Framed by the Olympic Mountains to the west and the Cascades in the east, Discovery Park features some of the more spectacular scenery around. At 534 acres, Discovery Park is the largest city park in Seattle, and it provides a welcome oasis to the surrounding urban hustle and bustle. Surrounded by sand dunes, cliffs, and forest groves, you'll feel like you're in another world. Park hours are 4 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. daily.

  • Lincoln Park - 8011 Fauntleroy Way SW, Seattle, WA 98136
    Tucked inside West Seattle, one of the city's oldest neighborhoods, is Lincoln Park. While it's much smaller than many of the other city parks, Lincoln Park has a wide variety of attractions that make it a favorite destination for families. Features include 4.6 miles of walking paths, 3.9 miles of biking paths, picnic shelters, and a renovated play area. Fall is a prime time for spotting orcas, seals, sea lions and porpoise out on Puget Sound. Lincoln Park is open seven days a week from 4 a.m. - 11:30 p.m.

  • Pittock Mansion - 3229 NW Pittock Dr., Portland, OR 97210
    In 1853, 19-year-old Henry Pittock heeded the call to "go west, young man." After moving from Pittsburgh to Portland, Henry became a successful businessman and built Pittock Mansion. Today, the stately home serves as a museum dedicated to the legacy of Henry Pittock and the story of Portland's development over the years. The 46-acre grounds include trails for viewing trees, flowers, and panoramas of the city skyline and the Cascade Mountains. Pittock Mansion is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. except for Tuesday, when doors open at noon. Admission is $12 for adults and $8 for ages 6-18.

  • Hoyt Arboretum - 4000 SW Fairview Blvd., Portland, OR 97221
    When Portland purchased 189 acres of land for $10 in 1922, the property was earmarked for development. Thanks to the efforts of key supporters, the land became the home of Hoyt Arboretum. More than 2,300 different tree species from more than six continents can be seen on the grounds, which is a greater number than any other arboretum in the country. Twelve miles of hiking trails provide opportunities to view Japanese maples, redwoods, flowering dogwoods, and many rare species. Watch for hawthorne fruits, magnolia cones, and snowberries, which take center stage during fall months. Hours are 5 a.m. - 10 p.m. daily, and there is no charge for admission.

  • South Park Blocks - 1436 SW Park Ave., Portland, OR 97201
    Don't have time for a day trip? Just head downtown to the South Park Blocks, a charming green space just north of Portland State University. The 12-block area was one of the city's first parks, dating back to 1852, and the tree-lined corridor is still a popular spot to enjoy a slice of nature. Mosaics, sculptures, and other artworks along the way add to the visual appeal. Park hours are 5 a.m. - 9 p.m. daily.

Whether you're looking for natural or urban delights, the Pacific Northwest has it all. Contact us at Coldwell Banker Bain for help with all your real estate needs.

August
16

National Honey Bee Day: Plants Bees Love on the West Coast

Honey bee gardensOne of the best reasons to buy a home is to have enough land to practice all your hobbies. Gardeners know it's crucial to have enough space for their plants to flourish. By choosing the right plants and nurturing them in the right ways, they make a positive impact that reaches far beyond their own home.

Never is this more obvious than when it comes to the humble honey bee!

Support Your Local Honey Bee Population with Bee-Friendly Gardening

National Honey Bee Day, also known as Honey Bee Awareness Day, is observed every August 21 in the United States. What better time than now to learn precisely what you can plant to attract bees and other pollinators? After all, the great majority of plants need pollinators like the bee to help them thrive!

When gardening to attract honey bees, remember that these little creatures have preferences. Flowers that consistently attract honey bees have visible pollen or nectar, making it easy for them to reach. Long, thin flowers don't appeal to bees, whose short tongues can't reach in. 

Hybrid flowers bearing big, showy blooms tend to have less nectar and attract fewer honey bees.

In addition to bees, hummingbirds and butterflies are common pollinators. Just because you see one type, it doesn't mean that the other types have been scared off. Plant a variety of flowers and you will get plenty of different pollinators. For those who are wondering, blue is widely believed to be honey bees' favorite color!

For a more bee-friendly garden, our brokers encourage you to consider these additions:

  • Bee Balm
    These colorful flowers have a unique "frilly" appearance and attract a wide range of pollinators. In addition to bees, you can expect to see more butterflies and even hummingbirds. Their distinctive dark green leaves hold a surprise: When crushed, they provide a surprisingly strong citrus-mint smell.

  • Joe Pye Weed
    Don't be put off by the name – this perennial plant is far more than a simple weed! Beloved by butterflies, in particular, Joe Pye Weed adds a pop of vivid pink, purple, and white all throughout late summer and fall. The dome-like flower growths are supported by lovely vanilla-scented leaves.

  • Yarrow
    Throughout history, Yarrow has been prized in many areas of the world as a plant associated with healing. These days, this perennial is appreciated as a drought-tolerant and colorful addition to any garden. It is highly attractive to both bees and butterflies. Beginning gardeners love yarrow because it is so easy to care for.

  • Delphinium
    This flowering plant adds texture to a garden thanks to its tall spires of colorful flowers. Those flowers come in a full spectrum of colors including blue, lavender, red, pink, purple, and white. A delphinium is sure to attract its share of admirers of all kinds – but it is particularly favored by hummingbirds.

  • Hardy Fuchsia
    With long, tubular flowers, the hardy fuchsia is another plant that calls out to pollinators of many different kinds. Bird-lovers enjoy planting it as a rest stop for hummingbirds and other feathered friends. Multicolored flowers are not uncommon with the hardy fuchsia, which usually blooms from late spring until frost.

  • Penstemon
    Bees can be attracted to the gently fragrant penstemon in surprising numbers, visiting its tubular flowers from far and wide. Butterflies often choose to alight there, too. Penstemon is well known among gardeners for its propensity to thrive in hot, sunny conditions. Beware that it does require regular watering.

  • Catmint
    A distant relative of the catnip plant, catmint won't be quite as compelling for your feline friends – bees, on the other hand, adore it. Bees are by far the most common catmint pollinator and will be visiting from late spring through the summer. Catmint's loose spikes of pink, lavender, or white can fit in many places in your garden.

Plant a few of these flowers and you're more likely to see honey bees buzzing along happily in your garden. Local, native plants often get lots of attention from bees. You can make their job easier by creating a water source in your garden. Bees use the water to cool their hives.

Looking for a new home with a yard perfect for putting your green thumb to the test? Contact us at Coldwell Banker Bain to discover real estate opportunities throughout the area.

April
12

9 Reasons to Live Near a National Park

National Park

National parks are a true American treasure, handed down from one generation to the next.

The Pacific Northwest has so many wonderful national parks to visit, or better yet, live near. 

Stunning Crater Lake National Park is less than half a day's drive from Portland homes for saleOr explore 73 miles of Pacific Coast at Olympic National Park, roughly a two-hour drive from Seattle homes for sale

Our brokers share nine top benefits of living near a national park. Do some of these surprise you? 

  1. More Opportunities for Quality Family Time
    In today's families, both kids and parents are likely to have fast-paced schedules that have them moving in different directions. Even gathering around the dinner table can be hard. National parks offer accessible hours along with a wide variety of activities and attractions to suit everyone. Simply packing a picnic lunch to enjoy after a pleasant hike is a relaxing getaway. Admission fees are nominal, with several free days during the year, to fit any budget. And most parks are pet-friendly so that Fido can tag along!

  2. Low-Cost Outdoor "Health Club"
    Do you pay ever-increasing membership dues to a conventional health club to fight for a parking spot and wait in line for a treadmill or elliptical machine? National parks are incredible open-air "fitness centers" that aren't confined by four walls and a roof. Available activities range from hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing in the summer to cross-country skiing, sledding, and snowboarding in the winter.

  3. Good for Mental and Emotional Health
    Physical fitness is only part of the equation for overall health. Spending time around nature has been proven to reduce stress and depression. In one study conducted in 2015, researchers examined the brain activity of two groups of people who took 90-minute walks, with one group in a natural setting and the other in an urban setting. The group from the outdoor setting had lower activity in the prefrontal cortex, which is where negative self-talk usually occurs. 

  4. Greater Earning Power
    According to experts, areas with national parks tend to have a thriving tourist industry, which in turn creates more jobs and better financial opportunities.

  5. Promotes Childhood Development
    In another revealing result from the OSU study, researchers discovered that kids under the age of 5 who lived near national parks were 10 percent taller than their peers who lived further away. While this is no guarantee for your child's height, there's no question that youngsters who have frequent exposure to nature gain physical and mental benefits, such as the development of cognitive skills that help with classroom learning.

  6. Less Risk of Natural Disasters
    When you respect Mother Nature, she returns the favor. Forested areas in national parks remain untouched, which allows the trees to protect water sources. In addition, the West Coast is vulnerable to flooding, landslides, and other natural disasters that endanger the environment, along with humans and animals. Protected habitats stabilize the surrounding land, reducing the risk of such devastating incidents. 

  7. Eco-Friendly Access to Nature
    There has been a long struggle finding a balance between outdoor activities that are enjoyable and accessible without causing damage to the environment. National parks provide a venue to spend time outdoors with minimal impact on our natural resources.

  8. Maintains Biodiversity
    Over the years, society mistakenly believed that natural resources were infinite. Fishing, hunting, mining, and other practices were conducted with no thought about their long-term effects. Sadly, a number of ecosystems and animal species are now endangered today due to this behavior. National parks create protection for wetlands, forests, and other ecosystems and endangered animals such as gray wolves. 

  9. Strengthens Friendships and Social Interactions
    How often do you attempt to plan an outing with friends and spend most of the time debating over dinner, a movie, or a ball game? A lively walk or vigorous bike ride on the trails of a national park are activities everyone can agree on. Being outdoors is also a great way to escape the pressures of daily life and focus on communicating with friends and loved ones.

Want to learn more about the parks around the Pacific Northwest? Contact us at Coldwell Banker Bain for more information.

November
9

Staging Your Home During the Holiday Season

Holiday Season Home Staging

Staging your home is as important as ever when it comes to homes for sale. Staging has a valuable role to play in traditional showings and virtual ones.

A well-staged property has the potential to sell faster and claim a higher closing price. Our brokers use staging as part of our commitment to get our clients great results.

One of the most valuable aspects of staging is that it allows potential buyers to imagine their own future life in the home. Creating the right mood means striking a balance: As the seller, you can't be in the way, but the home must still look welcoming – that is, as if someone lives there.

Never is that balance more vital (or trickier) than during the holiday season.

The Best Ways to Stage Your Home for Selling During the Holidays

Opinions and backgrounds differ, of course, but most people have strong positive feelings around the holiday season. It's a wonderful time to come together in a spirit of giving and joy. With the right approach, you can harness that positivity within your own staged home.

But what's the best way to do it without going overboard?

These proven home staging techniques can help:

  1. Always Start with Cleaning
    No matter what, cleaning is always step one for staging a home. That should include decluttering floors, emptying closets at least halfway, and doing a deep cleaning of carpets and upholstery. That ensures better indoor air and prevents pet odors or allergens from bothering your visiting buyers.
  2. Maximize Your Curb Appeal
    Curb appeal sets expectations for the rest of the home. Make sure the lawn is cut and free of debris as you would in all seasons. Consider emphasizing the pathway up to the door using decorative shrubs, paving stones, or – yes – just a hint of simple lights outlining the way.
  3. Make Your Front Door Welcoming
    Your door is the true beginning of the buyer's journey, so make it count. This is the perfect place for a nice, fresh wreath – go with live plants over plastic – or a decorative bow. A welcome mat is also key, but choose something appropriate for all seasons.
  4. Consider the Temperature
    Think seriously about the time of day and climate as you're getting your home ready. There's nothing quite as comforting as a warm home on a cold day. If you have one, set the fireplace. Warm refreshments, such as holiday cider, can also create an enjoyable atmosphere that reflects well on your home.
  5. Create a Festive Atmosphere
    When it comes to decorations, less may be more – but that doesn't have to mean none! Subtle touches like a tasteful wreath or a bowl of pinecones are always nice to see. And now is the time for one of the most beloved staging tools of all: Fresh holiday cookies baking in the oven.
  6. Match Decorations to Current Décor
    Tinsel, icicles, and tasteful holiday balls are all fair game for decorating a home that's on the market. To maximize flair, be sure the decorations you select either closely match or gently complement your existing décor. If in doubt, always aim to create a soothing environment to "come in from the cold."
  7. Draw the Eye with Strategic Touches
    It's a wise idea to pare down the trimmings before buyers arrive. That heightens the visual impact of what's left and allows you to use elements in more creative ways. For example, a spring of mistletoe might draw the eye to a beautiful arched doorway, or a small display could accentuate the views of a bay window.
  8. Break Out the Simple String Lighting
    Light displays are an iconic part of the holidays, but they can be distracting when buyers are touring a home. Simple string lighting is a good compromise: It provides a little light and serves the same function as tinsel in outlining the things you'd like buyers to take a good look at.
  9. Show Off Your Tree
    Worried about the tree? It can make a terrific impression if it meshes with the space it's in. Be wary of broad-based trees that can take up too much floor space and make the room seem smaller. Decorate tastefully with simple glass ornaments and lights, and keep the present pile discreet.

Spring and summer make up the traditional "high season" for real estate. But just because the weather is cold, it doesn't mean the market can't be hot! Contact us to find out more today.

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 09/29/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 09/29/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of RMLS (last updated Thu 09/29/2022 12:50:32 AM EST) or Willamette Valley MLS (last updated Wed 09/28/2022 11:51:47 PM EST) or COAR/MLSCO (last updated Wed 09/28/2022 11:31:24 PM EST) or NWMLS (last updated Thu 09/29/2022 1:23:54 AM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Coldwell Banker Bain may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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