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April
4

Spend the Day in Woodinville

Woodinville

Looking for a break from the fast pace of Seattle? The picturesque and peaceful wine country of Woodinville is less than 30 minutes away. Spend a refreshing day visiting these attractions that are favorites of our brokers

  • Woodinville Farmers Market - 13205 NE 175th St., Woodinville, WA 98072
    Woodinville Farmers Market is more than just a place to get fresh, locally-grown fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Vendors are on hand with baked goods, specialty foods, and unique craft items. Add live music and kids' activities and you've got a fun day for the whole family. This year, the market moves to its new location, with triple the space and room for several new vendors. Hours are 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. each Saturday from May through November. 

  • Over the Rainbow - 16509 140th Pl. NE, Suite B, Woodinville, WA 98072
    If you think Washington is a beautiful state, just wait until you see it from up above. Over the Rainbow offers hot air balloon rides at sunrise and sunset, when the landscape can be seen in the most flattering light. Sunrise flights conclude back on solid ground with a champagne toast, while sunset flights are followed by a wine tasting at Suite C's Vino. Private flights for couples or groups of up to eight people are also available. Visit the website for reservations and pricing.

  • Molbak's Garden + Home - 13625 NE 175th St., Woodinville, WA 98072
    When you see Woodinville homes for sale with great curb appeal, chances are it was created with plants and supplies from Molbak's Garden + Home. Neighborhood gardeners and landscapers have been purchasing shrubs, perennials, and fertilizer from this family-owned store since 1956. But at Molbak's, it's not just the outside that counts. Their full-size gift store is chock-full of home decor, kitchen goods, bath and body care products, jewelry, and books. Take a break for a sandwich or coffee and a muffin at the Garden Café. Molbak's is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. -  6 p.m.

  • Chateau Ste. Michelle - 14111 NE 145th St., Woodinville, WA 98072
    Woodinville boasts more than 100 tasting rooms, but presiding over all the others is Chateau Ste. Michelle, the oldest winery in Washington. As the story goes, back in the early 20th century, the Chateau's founding fathers were motivated to show that great wine wasn't limited to France and California. Today, the Chateau is one of the few premium wineries in the world to have two separate facilities for red and white wine. Available tasting experiences include Charcuterie-Making, Chateau Igloos, and Sunken Garden. The tasting room is open 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily except on weekends when hours are extended to 7 p.m. Visit the website for information and pricing of tasting experiences. 

  • The Herbfarm - 14590 NE 145th St., Woodinville, WA 98072
    The accolades bestowed upon The Herbfarm are usually reserved for restaurants in New York, Paris, or London, but this unique spot is firmly ensconced in the list of elite restaurants in the United States and around the world. Each evening, a single seating is held in the elegant dining room, with a nine-course themed dinner accompanied by five or six matched wines. Before service begins, guests are treated to an outdoor hosted garden tour. Make it a romantic weekend with an overnight stay in one of The Herbfarm's luxurious guest suites. Prices vary based on the current menu.

  • Sammamish River Trail
    Spanning 11 miles from Marymoor Park to Blythe Park, the Sammamish River Trail provides a welcome opportunity to explore the green spaces and waterfront scenery that are a significant part of Woodinville's charm. The pet-friendly paved trail accommodates walkers, runners, skaters, and bikers, while there is an adjacent soft-surface trail for horseback riders. If you prefer, venture out on the river itself for kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding. People who want a more challenging workout can continue on to the connection with the Burke-Gilman Trail, which proceeds for another 18.8 miles into Seattle. Trail hours are dawn until dusk and there is no fee for use.

  • The PicNic Table - 18672 142nd Ave. NE, Woodinville, WA 98072
    Inspired by the Mediterranean cafés of his native Tuscany, Chef Danilo Amato brings the same bright flavors and casual elegance to The PicNic Table. Enjoy upscale dishes such as duck rillettes and wild salmon BLT on-site, or get one of the gourmet picnic baskets to go for a day of touring wineries. The PicNic Table is open 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday.

Whatever your lifestyle, you'll find a perfect fit among the amazing Seattle homes for sale. For experienced help and up-to-the-minute market information, contact us at Coldwell Banker Bain.

September
13

Best Home Security Upgrades

Home Security TipsMaking your home secure is rarely a one-and-done project, but it should be a top priority. As technology advances and criminals develop new techniques, it's important to regularly upgrade your home's security features. This can prevent break-ins, protect your loved ones and property, and give you peace of mind. If you're wondering where and how to start, the following suggestions by our brokers will help you take the right steps to protect your home against intruders.

  • Video Doorbell
    Simple to use, easy to use, and immediately obvious to anyone who approaches your door, video doorbells are a popular home security option. The doorbell has a camera, speaker, and microphone, so you can see, speak to, and hear visitors through an app on your phone or tablet, no matter where you happen to be. You can receive notifications and a live feed from your front door when someone walks by or presses the bell. When buying a video doorbell, look for two-way audio, high-resolution video, infrared night vision, and motion sensing.


  • Smart Cameras
    If you're worried about the security of your backyard, side alley, or garage, smart cameras can provide peace of mind. They come in a range of sizes, capabilities, and prices, with most having speakers and mics. The cameras connect straight to the Wi-Fi and can be controlled and viewed remotely using a smartphone app. Indoor options are smaller and more discreet and a great option if you want to keep an eye on the inside of your home. Features you'll want to look for in a smart camera include a wide field of view, audio recording, motion detection, and high resolution.


  • Alarm System
    A smart alarm system is another great security upgrade to consider for your home. There are many options available, from a range of battery-powered sensors you affix to your windows and door to motion sensors for hallways, rooms, and landings. The system will send you a notification if any movement is detected while it's armed.


  • Smart Lights
    Smart lighting combines convenience and enhanced security, but it isn't an obvious intrusive device. The Wi-Fi-enabled LED lightbulbs are simple to install and can be controlled from a smartphone app. You can dim the bulbs, choose their color, and turn them on or off – manually or on a schedule. To make things a little less predictable when you're away, you can set the system to light up at a random time and make it look like someone's home. Smart lights can also be linked to smart cameras, motion sensors, and alarms for enhanced security.


  • Solid Doors
    Most burglars use the door to gain entry into a house. It's also easier to carry valuables out the door. If your doors are weak and flimsy, a well-placed kick or slam could be enough to allow someone inside in seconds. Some of the best security doors are made of metal or solid core wood. Avoid hollow-core doors or those with a lot of glass. You can also reinforce your door with a barricade or a strike plate installed with 3-inch screws for greater strength.


  • Door Locks
    While you're at it, conduct an inspection and change your locks if they're damaged or easy to pick and bump open. This is also important if you have extra keys floating around with friends or strangers. Re-key your locks or replace them with smart locks. Smart locks communicate with your phone via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, allowing you to lock and unlock your doors from anywhere. Traditional smart locks have a number pad or touchscreen, and then some rely on an app on your phone to handle the locking and unlocking functions. When buying a smart lock, it's important to know whether or not it can also accept keys.

  • Secure Windows
    Windows are also common entry points for intruders because they're often left open, and the latches aren't always effective. To improve the security of your windows, install key-operated levers or locks. Some other ideas to burglar-proof your windows include burglar bars, reinforced glass, shatterproof glass, sensors, and cameras. Prickly bushes can also help make your windows less desirable and harder to access.

Bonus Tip: Make sure to lock down and hide your Wi-Fi network, rename it, install anti-virus protection, create a strong password, and install a firewall. You don't want to leave your security system or smart home gadgets open to cyberattacks.

Are you in the market for a new home with smart security features? Contact us today, and we'll be happy to show you beautiful and secure properties in the Pacific Northwest. We can also provide expert advice and help you find the best value if you're looking to improve your home's security before selling.

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.

August
23

Rainy Day DIY Projects

Rainy Day DIYDepending on your point of view, rainy days can be either the best or the worst. It's frustrating being stuck in the house with nothing to do. But with a little creativity, there are all kinds of activities you can participate in while waiting for the weather to clear - especially for new homeowners who are working to make their new house their own. Here are a few DIY projects that can help you pass the time and feel productive on a rainy day.

  • Build a Birdhouse
    This is a simple but rewarding project that you might even be able to get your kids to help you with. All you need are a few small wooden boards and some basic tools like a saw and a drill. Build the house, decorate it, and when the rain stops, hang it in the yard to give the local birds a place to hang their proverbial hats. Be aware: if you paint your birdhouse, sometimes the paint smell can keep birds away the first year. If you do choose to paint your birdhouse, go with light, muted colors that reflect heat rather than absorbing it and won't attract predators. And be sure to use non-toxic paint.

  • Make a Chalkboard Wall
    This one is much simpler than it looks. It doesn't require a large, unwieldy board or even the use of nails or screws. Rather, with a special kind of paint, you can give a wall or section of a wall in your house the look and feel of a chalkboard. Clean the wall thoroughly first, then apply a coat of chalkboard paint. Wait a couple of hours, then apply a second coat, then a third coat after another couple of hours. Let it dry for three days before marking it with chalk. Once the wall is ready, though, you can use it to make shopping lists, leave notes for family members, and more. Plus, you and the kids can use it for future rainy day activities, like playing tic-tac-toe or even just doodling. It's the rainy day gift that keeps on giving.

  • Change Knobs and Handles
    Look at your drawers and cabinets. Do you like the way the handles and knobs look? Maybe they're showing their age, or maybe they just don't fit with your aesthetic. The good news is, they're easy to remove and switch out for new ones. If you have the replacements handy, most likely, all you'll need is a screwdriver and maybe some new screws.

  • Do Some Odd Jobs
    There are probably plenty of small jobs around the house that you've meant to get to but just haven't had the time. Well, a rainy day is a perfect time. Take a screwdriver and tighten up that wobbly chair. Change the burnt-out bulb in your light fixture. Rearrange your pantry to make things easier to find. There are also several jobs that homeowners should perform periodically but most people tend to forget. A rainy day is a great opportunity to catch up. For instance, check your HVAC system's air filter and see if it's time to replace it. If the filter is white and translucent, it's still good. If it's dingy, gray, and opaque, then it's time for a new one. Another task that's relatively simple but a bit time-consuming is doing a deep clean of your dishwasher. Remove the bottom rack and do a quick clean of the drain on the bottom. Then, put a cup of vinegar on the top rack and run it through the cycle. Once it's done, sprinkle baking soda on the inside, and run it through a rinse cycle. When it's done, your dishwasher will not only be cleaner but function more efficiently.

  • Get Your Kids Involved
    Let's face it. The ones who are most likely to be bored on a rainy afternoon are your kids. You can let them sit and watch Netflix all day while you do home improvement tasks, or you can get them to help you. If they're old enough and responsible enough, take the opportunity to show them some basic DIY skills: how to use different tools safely, the importance of some of those odd jobs, etc. You can spend some time constructively and bond with your children at the same time. Then when the next rainy day rolls around, you've got a built-in helper for the next set of DIY tasks.

These are just a few things you can do on a rainy day to make your house feel more like home. Our brokers can get you set up in the perfect house to meet your needs. What you do with it after that is up to you. Contact us anytime, rain or shine, to learn more!

June
29

Gutter Maintenance Tips for the Summer

Gutter Maintenance

Knocking out a few simple tasks this summer will help ensure you don't run into any unexpected problems caused by poor gutter maintenance. This may include leaks, damage to your insulation, siding damage, and more. Don't let this happen to you! Follow these simple tips, and you'll be ready for whatever Mother Nature brings. 

  1. Remove Collected Debris
    If it's been a while since you've performed any gutter maintenance, a lot of leaves, sticks, and other debris may have accumulated in there. Start by putting on a pair of thick gloves and pulling out debris by hand. This is the first step to ensuring water has a clear path to flow off of your roof and out the downspouts. This allows it to move safely away from your home, so it doesn't cause damage. 
  1. Check for Nests
    Birds often like to make their nests in gutters since it offers them a high perch that is relatively undisturbed. By summertime, the babies have usually flown away, making now a great time to remove the empty nests from your gutters. Just be sure to check carefully for any signs of life before pulling them out. If you notice babies are still living there, consider leaving them undisturbed and checking back in a few weeks. 
  1. Clean Off Your Gutters
    Now that you've removed the large items from your gutters, use a gentle abrasive cleaning product or soap and water along with a scrub brush to give the inside of your gutters a thorough cleaning. This will allow you to remove any moss, mold, or algae built up inside your gutters. If you notice areas where there's a lot of growth, pay attention. This could be a sign that you have a drainage problem. 
  1. Check for Damage
    Once your gutters are clean, you'll be able to tell if there are any damaged areas you need to address. Carefully check all of your gutters for holes that need to be filled, areas of rust, or anything that's sagging or askew. You can typically fix sagging gutters by pulling them upward using a pair of pliers. If you notice any sections of your gutter that are extremely rusty, consider replacing them. 
  1. Repair Any Leaks
    As you're checking for damage, there's a good chance you'll come across some leaks. This often happens when there are visible holes or areas that are buckling. You can also check for smaller leaks along the cracks and seams by using a hose to run water through the gutters. Watch out for any areas where water comes out before it reaches the downspout. You can effectively fix most gutter leaks with a waterproof sealant, like silicone caulking. Depending on the type of damage, you may also use some metal flashing and attach it using roofing cement. Once the repair has dried, run water through again to make sure it's sealed. If not, you'll want to call in a gutter professional to take care of the problem. 
  1. Visually Inspect Your Roof
    Since you're already up on a ladder, take a moment to visually inspect your roof. Keep an eye out for loose shingles, which can cause leaks. If your gutters haven't been maintained for a while, this may also cause water to pond on your roof, leading to additional problems. Catching issues early can help you get them fixed before they become a much bigger deal. For safety reasons, avoid getting up on the roof yourself. If you notice any potential issues, call a professional roofer to come out and take a look. 
  1. Install New Equipment
    If you've been thinking about installing new downspouts or gutters, the dry season is the perfect time to take on this project. You may also want to consider installing gutter covers. This upgrade prevents leaves and debris from falling into your gutters. While it will take some effort to install, you'll love how much it cuts down on your future gutter maintenance! 

Whether you're planning to stay in your home for the long term or you're thinking about moving soon, our brokers encourage you to keep up with basic maintenance tasks. This will help ensure your home maintains its current value and its curb appeal. 

We're here to help. Your dream home is waiting for you, so don't wait. Contact us today to discuss your goals and get started.

May
17

What You Need to Know Before Adding a Fireplace

Adding a FireplaceWhen you love your home, it's only natural to want to make it even better. Life in the beautiful Pacific Northwest almost demands the comfort only a fireplace can provide, but how do you know it's a good investment for your home? You don't hesitate to make simple changes, like a fresh coat of paint. When it comes to something as significant as adding a fireplace, however, there are several factors to consider before making a final decision. 

  1. Can it be done?
    Local building codes are full of restrictions relating to construction. Ceiling height and fireplace emissions will all impact the cost and plausibility of adding a fireplace to an existing structure. Fuel source also needs to be considered. Will you be using natural gas, propane, or wood? Wood must be stored safely away from the exterior wall of the house and must be kept dry. Is the house already equipped for gas or propane? A general contractor can best advise a homeowner on the feasibility of adding a fireplace and provide estimates of both cost and time for execution.
     
  2. What are you willing to spend?
    Your options run from about $1,400 for a ventless gas unit to a traditional wood-burning fireplace for $20,000 or more. The former requires a unit for about $400 and installation costs of about $1,000. The latter required extensive materials, a mason skilled in the specific work required, and other skilled laborers to complete the changes to the surrounding walls. Wood and natural gas are the most common fuel sources. When determining which is most economically sound, consider not only the cost of wood but also the cost of maintenance. An annual inspection service is not expensive but critical to safe operation. A gas fireplace may be the best decision, financially speaking, if it is an option. It's also much kinder to the environment and requires less maintenance than its wood-burning counterpart.
     
  3. What can you expect as a return on investment?
    Much depends on other homes in the area. The National Association of REALTORS® tells us that about 46% of homebuyers nationwide are willing to pay extra for a fireplace. But the median amount they are willing to pay is $1,200. That's not good news to a homeowner that spends $10,000 to $20,000 to add a fireplace. Another consideration is the cost of the fireplace relative to the value of the house. In a million-dollar home, a $10,000 feature is a far more acceptable price increase than in a less expensive model.

  4. Where will you locate the fireplace?
    You have a lot of options! Your first thought might be the traditional living room or den, but you may prefer a cozy space in your bedroom where you can curl up with a pillow and a good book. If you have a "dead" zone in your home, far from the central heat source that is uncomfortably cold, a fireplace can be a great solution. The current trend of outdoor living spaces creates a wealth of luxury opportunities. Even though the unit won't provide additional comfort to the house itself, it means extending entertainment options to an exciting new level. You can, however, expect the total installed cost to be comparable to an indoor fireplace. 

  5. Can you expect energy efficiency?
    The decisions you make regarding the type and location of the fireplace will affect the level of energy efficiency. The outdoor fireplace will do nothing to heat the home itself, for example. A well-placed unit will allow you to focus the energy to heat the home in the space being used instead of heating the entire house at once. The traditional fireplace sends more of its heat up the chimney than into the room. But a sealed unit uses outside air to heat and transfer warm air into the room. This reduces the energy demands made of the central furnace or heating system. The question would then be whether the decrease in utility bills for the central air system is greater than the cost of managing the fireplace. 

While chilly fall and winter nights are quite a ways away, if you plan on adding a fireplace, now is the time to start doing your research.

And if you're looking for a new home with a fireplace or getting your house ready to list, contact us for professional assistance. Our brokers are always ready to help. 

March
1

Set up a Home Library for World Book Day

Home Library Tips

This year, don't just head to the library, consider setting up your personal home library. Whether you have a small or extensive collection, creating an at-home library can provide a wonderful way to display your favorite volumes. It can also make your home feel grander! All it takes is a little planning to create a comfortable, personal, and unique space. Here, our brokers share their best tips for setting up a home library fit for any space.

  1. Choose Your Spot
    Do you want to create a designated library room or transform an area within a room into a functional retreat? What you choose depends on how you want the room to function and the amount of square footage that's available. Also, consider the current size of your book collection and if you plan on adding more books in the future. Some good room options for your library might be a spare bedroom, home office or even consider displaying your books near the kitchen. Especially if a good portion of your library includes cookbooks! Looking for something a bit smaller? A personal book oasis can be carved out from an unused space such as a window seat, corner, or the area under a staircase. Another thing to remember when picking out your spot is you don't want to damage your books. To prevent this from happening, avoid places that are exposed to high levels of humidity and too much natural lighting.


  2. Focus on Your Display
    While your personal preference is essential, the types and quantity of your books will determine how you organize your book collection. Make sure the location you've picked has the space for them all. If you have large quantities of books, floor-to-ceiling shelving units, or rows of horizontal wall shelves will be your best options. Alternating vertical and horizontal book arrangements can add structure and visual breaks. For a smaller collection, you can use floating shelves or a free-standing bookcase that's properly secured to the wall.


  3. A Place to Sit and Read
    Proper seating is an important part of a home library. Whether your space will accommodate a single chair or an oversized chaise lounge, your seating should be comfortable because you're creating a setting for getting lost in a book. The type and size of furniture you choose will depend on how you intend to use the room. You can experiment with different seating arrangements based on the room's natural light or how well the furniture fits with lamps.


  4. Set the Mood
    The mood in your library will stem from its purpose and the ambiance you like during your reading time. This ambiance will be created by the combination of smaller design elements, including the color of your walls, the design of your textiles, the material of your furniture, as well as the plants, art, and accessories you choose to decorate with. You want to personalize your library, bring comfort to the room, and create an atmosphere that compels you to curl up with a book and escape from the stresses of everyday life.


  5. Prioritize Good Lighting
    Proper lighting can add comfort, sophistication, and utility to any room. With your library's design, you want to layer your lighting to ensure that you can comfortably see the words and also create a more inviting glow. Your lighting scheme should feature general, accent, and task lighting. Ensure you have task and ambient (general) lighting above or beside each spot in your seating.

Our team at Coldwell Banker Bain can help you find the perfect home for your book collection. Contact us today to start looking at available listings.

January
25

11 Tips for Upgrading Your Kitchen Appliances

Kitchen Upgrading Tips

At one time, kitchen appliances were considered primarily functional. They brought a new level of convenience to households, but style-wise, most designs were pretty limited.

Today's appliances have become equal parts, time savers, and decor statements. Keep your kitchen looking modern with these tips from our brokers for upgrading appliances. 

  1. What Is the Born-On Date?
    Nothing lasts forever, and that's certainly true for appliances, no matter how expensive or advanced they are. Don't hold your breath, hoping your 10-year-old dishwasher can hang on. It may still be operational but most likely running at a sub-par performance. Know the average lifespans of appliances and make plans to replace them when the time comes.

  2. Repair or Replace?
    Uncertain whether a repair is preferable to a replacement? Experts recommend the 50-50 rule of thumb. If an appliance is more than 50 percent through its expected lifespan and repairs would run more than 50 percent of buying new, then go with a replacement.

  3. The Price Is Right
    Appliances are major purchases, so even if you've included them in your budget, you want to get the best value for your dollar. According to home improvement guru Bob Vila, stores want to clear out the old inventory when new models come out. Shop for dishwashers in September and October, refrigerators in May, and ranges/ovens in January. Holidays are also good times to watch for sales.

  4. Go Green
    When it comes to appliances, green is more than just a color. As appliances continue to become more energy-efficient, newer models can help preserve the environment and save you money on your utility bills. Check an appliance's Energy Star tag, which displays its Energy Star rating along with annual estimated energy use and cost.

  5. Mix and Match
    In the past, have your kitchen appliances been replaced piecemeal? Unfortunately, not all products share the same lifespan. As a result, they often end up being replaced at different times. The clashing styles cause an imbalance that throws the look of the whole kitchen off. If possible, it's best to replace all your appliances simultaneously for a coordinated appearance.

  6. Check the Warranty
    Before you purchase a new appliance, be sure to check out the warranty. If you're choosing high-end appliances, it may be worth the investment to buy an extended warranty that will cover potentially costly repairs. 

  7. Style and Substance
    The days of basic white appliances are in the rearview mirror. Of course, vintage is always in style, so you can certainly get hip, retro-styled designs. Stainless steel is high on the popularity list, but a color is also an option. Benjamin Moore has chosen Aegean Teal as the Color of 2021, while Pantone offers two: Ultimate Gray and Illuminating, a lemon yellow. Black, red, and brown are other good choices.

  8. Lifestyle Choices
    Do you love spending hours in the kitchen with Food Network how-to videos running on your iPad? Maybe you're a working parent who wants quick but healthy ways to feed your family. If your kitchen isn't compatible with your lifestyle, the net result is frustration. Consider the role you want the kitchen to play in your life and design accordingly.

  9. The Sounds of Silence
    No one wants to yell to be heard over a noisy dishwasher or clunky range hood. Even when working properly, older appliances are much louder than today's models that operate with barely a hum. Stop letting those annoying sounds drown out your latest Netflix binge.

  10. Higher Education
    Has your home become "smart?" Innovations such as voice-activated assistants like Alexa and programmable thermostats make it easier to manage your home, even when you're not there. Smart appliances let you keep an eye on what's in the oven or make extra ice when company's coming, all from an app on your phone or tablet.

  11. Lay of the Land
    A kitchen's layout and placement of appliances are intertwined. Maybe the original builder ended up putting appliances where they fit, rather than where they actually made sense. Between the current range of sizes, styles, and installation possibilities, it's much easier to create a logical flow more conducive to efficiency. 

Whether you're the owner or buyer of Portland homes for sale, we provide friendly and experienced assistance. Contact us at Coldwell Banker Bain for more information.

December
7

Pick the Perfect Tree From These Christmas Tree Farms Near Seattle

'Tis the season that the Pacific Northwest turns into a winter wonderland, and our brokers love every minute of it! One of our favorite activities throughout December is to throw on our favorite holiday sweater, grab a thermos of hot cocoa, and take a stroll through a Christmas tree farm. Whether you're searching for the perfect tree for your home or if you love surrounding yourself in Washington's wonderful outdoors, we suggest you stop by these Christmas tree farms near Seattle this winter.

  1. McMurtrey's Red-Wood Christmas Tree Farm — 13925 Woodinville-Redmond Rd. NE, Redmond, WA 98052
    For nearly 50 years, the McMurtrey family has invited families to make special memories at their Red-Wood Christmas Tree Farm. Serving up complimentary cider, hot chocolate, and candy canes, their farm is the perfect place to shop for local, fresh-cut Christmas trees. After you see some of our Redmond homes for sale, you can bring your children and even the dog for a few family photos in McMurtrey's winter wonderland. With small tabletop trees and large 15-footers that can be delivered to your door, McMurtrey's Red-Wood Christmas Tree Farm will provide the perfect tree alongside picture-perfect memories.

     
  2. Olalla Valley Farms — 3655 34th Ave. W, Seattle, WA 98199
    Specializing in Nobel Firs, Olalla Valley Farms is a quaint Christmas tree lot located in the Magnolia neighborhood. Over the last 20 years, they've paired their Natural Noble Firs with Douglas Firs and Nordmann Fir trees to offer some of the most premium-quality trees near the city. A quick ride around the corner from our Seattle homes for sale, a visit to Olalla Valley Farms is one of the easiest ways to pick out and pick up your Christmas tree on a busy schedule.

     
  3. Seattle Christmas Tree — 3839 Stone Way N, Seattle, WA 98103
    Whether picking out your Christmas tree is the first or final step in your holiday decorating plans, Seattle Christmas Tree wants you to know that they're ready to make your holiday traditions memorable. Their Noble Firs are among the highest-quality trees in the Pacific Northwest, each of them fresh-cut, super full, and perfectly shaped for any size space. Seattle Christmas Tree also sells tree stands and tree lights, so you can conveniently find everything you need in one quick stop. Best of all, they offer free delivery within three miles so you can pick out your tree without ever leaving your cozy living room.

     
  4. Andy Smith Christmas Trees — 210 NW 101st & Holman Rd. NW, Seattle, WA 98177
    Pay a visit to Andy Smith Christmas Trees and walk out with the perfect fresh-cut tree for your home. Their knowledgeable staff will give you advice on how to keep your tree healthy throughout the season and how to ensure that your tree doesn't create any safety hazards for your family. Make the holidays a little more romantic around the house by grabbing some of Andy Smith's fresh mistletoe as well.
     
  5. Buttonwood Farm — 14500 NE 116th St., Redmond, WA 98052
    Buttonwood Farm is one of the few Christmas tree farms in the area to sell certified organic trees. No pesticides, herbicides, or other chemicals are ever used, so you can rest assured that your tree is safe for everyone in your family to admire, pets included! This year, they're opening up their farm by appointment only, so make sure to schedule a visit around your Redmond homes for sale viewings.

     
  6. MJW Christmas Trees — 12120 NE 85th St., Kirkland, WA 98033
    If you're looking for a tree for your business or your home, MJW Christmas Trees has you covered. Their lot is near many of our best Kirkland homes for sale, but you can also shop their selection of trees, stans, wreaths, treatments, and disposal bags on their website. MJW's delivery service also includes an in-home tree set up featuring placement, pruning, watering, and clean up. As an added bonus, MJW also offers a tree removal service, making holiday clean-up a breeze and ensuring that your tree is recycled into garden mulch.

Now that you've found the perfect tree, it's time to find the perfect house to display it in. We would love to help you with your search! Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

November
16

National Espresso Day: Coffee Shops in Seattle

Coffee Shops Seattle

Does your day not truly begin before your first cup of coffee? When you live in the Seattle area, that's no problem! With National Espresso Day around the corner, now is a great time to find out all that your local coffee shops have to offer. Our brokers have the details on 8 of the best coffee shops around Seattle, where you can find your favorite hot drinks and so much more.

  1. Dubsea Coffee – 9910 8th Ave. SW, Seattle, WA 98106

    Searching for a neighborhood coffee shop close to Seattle homes for sale? Try Dubsea Coffee, where you'll find a warm, welcoming atmosphere at a shop that strives to make every visitor feel like a part of the neighborhood. Dubsea Coffee offers a delicious lineup of coffee, tea, espresso, and so much more. There's also a great selection of food available, brought in from some of your favorite local dining spots. 

  2. Union Coffee – 2407 E Union St. Suite B, Seattle, WA 98122

    Whether you're in the mood for a unique coffee creation or something simple and familiar, the team at Union Coffee has you covered. Enjoy a fresh lineup of new drinks for every season, along with specialty coffees that are always on the menu. There are plenty of espresso varieties available and a great selection of tea when you're in the mood for something different. You'll also find plenty of delightful homemade pastries and other treats to pair with your coffee.

  3. Seattle Sunshine Coffee – 5508 35th Ave. NE, Seattle, WA 98105

    If you're looking for a coffee shop specializing in all things espresso, then Seattle Sunshine Coffee should be near the top of the list. The team at Seattle Sunshine Coffee is made up of espresso experts who know exactly how to create your favorite hot drinks. There's also a full lineup of tasty sandwiches, along with sweet treats from some of your favorite local bakeries.

  4. Slate Coffee Roasters – 602 2nd Ave., Seattle, WA 98104

    Interested in brewing your own espresso and coffee creations at home? Then be sure to check out the selection at Slate Coffee Roasters, which brings flavors from around the world directly to your door. Slate Coffee Roasters sells coffee beans, brewing equipment, and so much more, with subscription options available so that you'll always have something new to try.

  5. Elm Coffee Roasters – 240 2nd Ave. S, Seattle, WA 98104

    With two cafes in Seattle and delivery options available anywhere in the city, you can always find fresh espresso at Elm Coffee Roasters. You can order a wide variety of coffee-related products online from Elm Coffee Roasters, including brewing equipment and coffee from around the world. Or you can stop by the shop for an expertly crafted drink from a team that truly knows and loves their coffee.

  6. Caffe Vita Roasting Co. – 1005 E Pike St., Seattle, WA 98122

    In the mood for cold brew? Caffe Vita Roasting Co. has you covered, with boxed cold brew on tap that you can enjoy anytime from the comfort of home. Caffe Vita has 8 coffee shops located throughout the Seattle area, making it easy to find an espresso anywhere in the city. Or you can order from the online shop, where you'll find professional-quality brewing equipment along with an extensive collection of coffee and tea.

  7. Third Culture Coffee – 80 102nd Ave. NE, Bellevue, WA 98004

    When you're craving coffee close to Bellevue homes for sale, make the quick trip to Third Culture Coffee. With a full lineup of ethically sourced coffees, delicious teas, and coffee-infused cocktails, Third Culture Coffee has the right drink for every occasion. Third Culture's flagship location in Bellevue is filled with locally created art and a friendly staff that loves to serve your favorite drinks.

  8. Mercurys Coffee Co. – 8506 122nd Ave. NE, Kirkland, WA 98033

    Mercurys Coffee Co. is located near Kirkland homes for sale, with convenient online ordering so that your coffee is always waiting for you when you arrive at the shop. All of the coffee sold at Mercurys is 100 percent organic, and Mercurys locations have won "Best in Western Washington" awards year after year. 

Living in the Seattle area means that you're never far from your next great cup of coffee, and our team is here to help you find the perfect home. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Seattle, WA area.

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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