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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.

June
21

Where to go Horseback Riding Near Seattle

Horseback Riding Seattle

What could be better than a pleasant summer day spent on horseback exploring the natural beauty of the Seattle area? Whether you want to learn to ride for the first time with the help of an experienced instructor or enjoy an exciting trail ride with the whole family, our brokers know that Seattle is home to an extensive selection of equestrian facilities that offer everything you need for a fun day outdoors. Find your new favorite farm with our list of 6 great equestrian facilities located in the Seattle area.

  1. Seattle Farm – 9761 Beacon Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98118
    Find everything you need for a great day of horseback riding near Seattle homes for sale when you visit the popular Seattle Farm. This farm has been owned by the same family for more than 100 years, and that experience shows in everything that they do. There are lessons available for riders of all experience levels, along with both indoor and outdoor riding facilities.

  2. Mercer Island Saddle Club – 8635 SE 68th St., Mercer Island, WA 98040
    With a strong community spirit and a dedication to helping riders of all experience levels fall in love with horseback riding, Mercer Island Saddle Club is the perfect place for a ride close to Mercer Island homes for sale. This farm is a non-profit organization with a focus on enriching the community through horseback riding, lessons, shows, and a cooperative, community-focused atmosphere that makes riding an accessible experience for all.

  3. Overlake Farm – 5652 132nd Ave. NE, Bellevue, WA 98005
    Overlake Farm 
    has been a local favorite near Bellevue homes for sale for more than 80 years, thanks to the excellent instruction and expansive riding areas that you can enjoy whenever you visit. The farm features more than 480 acres to explore, with beautifully maintained trails and modern, well-equipped arenas perfect for learning to ride.

  4. Brackenhollow Stables – 6367 208th Ave. NE, Redmond, WA 98053
    Have your kids been clamoring for horseback riding lessons? The mother-daughter instruction team at Brackenhollow Stables makes it fun and easy to learn to ride, with a location that's easy to reach from Redmond homes for sale. In addition to riding lessons, the team here is happy to teach all riders about caring for horses and spending time around the stables.

  5. Wacky Nut Farm – 10821 NE Wacky Nut Way, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
    Don't let the name fool you! Wacky Nut Farm offers a fun riding experience, but the quality of instruction here makes it easy for anyone located near Bainbridge Island homes for sale to fall in love with horseback riding. Enjoy individual lessons with guidance from experienced instructors, or sign up for a group clinic to sharpen specific riding skills.

  6. Deerfield Farm – 11432 Upper Preston Rd. SE #8748, Issaquah, WA 98027
    Whether you're interested in helping your kids learn to ride for the first time or rekindling your own love of horseback riding with fun adult lessons, the team at Deerfield Farm can assist with all of your equestrian needs in a convenient location around the corner from Issaquah homes for sale. Thinking about activities for your kids this summer? Deerfield Farm offers fun summer camps for kids of all ages that include a variety of nature-focused activities in addition to developing riding skills.

Ready to find a home that makes it easy to enjoy horseback riding and all of the great family attractions around Seattle? Our experienced, local team can help. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Seattle, WA area.

June
7

Upcycle Your Furniture With This Guide

Upcycle TipsUpcycling has seen a surge in popularity in recent years, with more people looking for ways to reuse materials and save money. It is a great way of transforming unloved, outdated, or unused pieces of furniture into something fresh, unique, and perfectly suited for your space. The good thing about upcycling is that no previous skills are required, and there are really no limits to what you can create. Upcycling is not just a cost-effective way of breathing new life into your old furniture, but it's also a great way to expand your creativity and reduce your impact on the environment. Our brokers have put together their top tips, which will help you create your ultimate upcycling adventure.

  1. Choose Your Furniture Piece
    The first step in your upcycling adventure is to choose what you want to upcycle and the purpose you want the improved piece to serve. You may have some old furniture lying about in the house that needs a new look, or maybe you've seen something in a thrift store or garage sale that would be perfect with a little creativity. Either way, you want to make sure the piece can easily be upcycled at just a fraction of the price if you bought it new.


  2. Make Sure the Piece is Structurally Sound
    It's important to look beyond the surface or the idea you have in mind when choosing a piece of furniture for your upcycling project. You don't want to spend time on something that will become useless or fall apart the next day. Look at the joints and structure of the piece before you buy or start the transformation. Good bones are important for extended use.


  3. Keep Your Eyes Peeled
    Be imaginative when you see old pieces. Almost every item can be an upcycling opportunity, no matter how it looks on the surface. Something might look ugly at first glance, but you have to look past the flaws to find the potential. 


  4. Plan Ahead
    Whether you're upcycling a small stool or a complete dining set, you can definitely help yourself by preparing ahead of time. Have an end goal for your project and ensure you have all the tools and supplies needed to do the job. Give your piece a quick wash, sand it down and wipe it to get a smooth surface and get the perfect finish. Paint might hide many problems, but if your furniture has dents, holes, peeling paint, or scratches, these will be visible when painted over.


  5. Don't Get Carried Away
    While it's exciting to get started on transforming your furniture, you'll end being frustrated if you bite off more than you can chew. Choose something simple, like a small table that needs painting, and don't rush.


  6. Paint and Make Perfect
    If you're not after that distressed furniture look, a fresh coat of paint can go a long way in breathing some new life into your furniture piece. If your piece looks old and dated, a little sanding and paint may be all that you need to achieve a unique and stylish addition to your home. Make sure you use good quality brushes that give good coverage and don't leave bristles in your work.


  7. Get That Distressed Look
    Old dressers, drawers, cabinets, or cupboards are ideal for distressed looks if that's your style. Sand down the furniture and use chalk paint for a matte or chalky finish. Chalk paints are also great for covering a dark stain. Once you've applied the paint, sand the surface for a distressed look that will add character to the piece. Target the areas that would see the most wear and tear, like the edges.


  8. Try Stenciling
    Stenciling is an easy step to full personalization. It's a way to get creative and add a personal touch to your furniture. You can find stencils online or designs yours if you have the right equipment. Use a stencil brush to stamp your creativity onto the furniture piece and add a coat of wax for protection. Don't worry if your work doesn't turn out as expected, you can always stencil or paint over it again.


  9. Don't Forget the Little Touches
    Perhaps you've decided to upcycle a piece of furniture that has knobs on it. Replacing the knobs with some creative pieces can make a huge difference to your piece. You can use anything from door knockers to big keys or just any piece that catches your fancy. And even though you're going to replace your knobs, it's good practice to remove the old ones to make sure your paint job is a clean and smooth as possible. It will also save time if the new ones are smaller and there's a space with no paint.

If you're planning to sell or buy in the area, our team can help make the process easier for you. Contact us today.

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.

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.

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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