Q1 2019 Reports: How’s the Market?

Q1 Market Snapshot for Seattle and the Eastside

 

Be forewarned, this quarter’s report looks somewhat dismal. There are two very relevant facts that should be taken into consideration when reviewing it. The first is that Q1 is nearly always the worst performing quarter of any year because the sales completed in Q1 typically went under contract between late November and the end of February—a notably quieter time of year in our seasonal Seattle market.

 

The second aspect to consider is that Q1 of 2018 was an atypically strong quarter and likely marked the peak of the current real estate cycle as buyers approach this year’s spring market with cautious optimism rather than the reckless abandon that we witnessed in the first four months of last year.

 

Since then, mortgage interest rates rose in November to a seven-year high of 4.87% and then subsequently came down to 4.27% in March—creating enough of a stir to get buyers attention. Each 1% increase in mortgage interest rate is equivalent to a 10% increase in home price. Conversely, a half point drop in the rate is comparable to a 5% price reduction.

 

Sellers and buyers are beginning the second quarter on more equal footing than they’ve had since the late 1990’s as we’ve rapidly oscillated between a seller’s market, a buyer’s market, and then a seller’s market again with little breathing room in between. Sellers have enjoyed a seven-year run with double digit annual appreciation most of those years. Buyers have enjoyed record setting low interest rates and can purchase today at what amounts to roughly 60% of the monthly expense of the forty-seven-year average 8.09% mortgage interest rate.

 

The market has much to offer buyers and sellers this year. We believe those looking to make a move in the next few years should do so this year when they can still secure incredibly affordable mortgage financing. Today’s buyers should be prepared to stay in their home at least five years. Home sellers moving to lower cost regions may also benefit from selling now. We know that every situation is unique, and we are here to help you evaluate your personal real estate holdings and purchase strategy.

 

Click or scroll down to find your area report:

Seattle | Eastside | Mercer Island | Condos | Waterfront

 


SEATTLE

The number of homes for sale more than doubled in Q1 compared to one year ago giving buyers options and compelling sellers to put their best foot forward. Seattle’s overall Median Sale Price was down 5.8% from Q1 2018 to $725,000 and down 1.4% from Q4. The Average $ Per Square Foot was down 1.6% from Q1 last year to $422. Queen Anne-Magnolia and North Seattle were the most impacted markets with the largest decrease in median price. As disappointing as the numbers are, Seattle homeowners have seen a 60% increase in the Median Sale Price over the past five years.

Seattle Chart

Click here to view the complete report for a neighborhood by neighborhood breakdown of Average Sale Price, size, and number of homes sold.

Seattle Report

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EASTSIDE

Continued employment growth and planned expansion on the Eastside have benefitted homeowners as compared to Seattle as Bellevue, Redmond and Kirkland prepare for unprecedented development in the next decade. The Eastside’s Median Sale Price was down 1.8% from Q1 2018 to $927,000, but up 3.9% from Q4. The five-year Eastside median price trend is up 53% over 2014.

East Bellevue, East of Lake Sammamish, and Woodinville performed best in Q1—all with median price increases rather than reductions. A total of 1,209 home sales closed in Q1, which was down significantly from Q4, but down only slightly from the robust Q1 2018.

Eastside Chart

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

Eastside Review

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MERCER ISLAND

Following a 10% Median Sale Price increase in 2018, the Mercer Island median fell 1.9% in Q1 2019 from Q1 2018 and 10.9% from Q4. Fewer luxury sales—only one waterfront sold in Q1—and lower demand contributed to the off quarter. The lower velocity of luxury sales impacted the Average Sale Price even more so than Realistically priced homes in solid condition and with desirable lot amenities and settings will do well in Q2 as they are met with demand from the greatest segment of buyers.

Mercer Island Chart

Click here to view the complete report for a neighborhood by neighborhood breakdown of Average Sale Price, size, and number of homes sold.

Mercer Island Report

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CONDOS – SEATTLE & EASTSIDE

Affordability and access to transportation and amenities continues to drive condo desirability, but a nearly three-fold increase in the number of units for sale and softening apartment rents have tempered demand in some areas.

Seattle’s Condo Median Sale Price was down 4% from Q4 and 10.7% from Q1 2018 to $460,000 following a 12.8% median price increase in 2018. The Average $ Per Square Foot was $577. West Seattle and Queen Anne condos fared better than average while condos prices to the north softened a bit more.

The Eastside’s Condo Median Sale Price was down 5.5% from Q4 and 4.2% from Q1 2018 to $460,000—the same as Seattle—following a 17.2% median price increase in 2018 and a 20.6% increase in 2017. The Average $ Per Square Foot was $431. South Eastside and Mercer Island condos performed better than average while Kirkland condos struggled in Q1.

Check out all of these factoids and more in the full condo report.

Condo Report

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WATERFRONT

The Eastside had more private waterfront activity than Seattle, Mercer Island & Lake Sammamish combined. Seattle and Mercer Island sales were far slower than typical in Q1 with only two sales in Seattle and one sale on Mercer Island reported to NWMLS. Mercer Island had eight Q1 sales in 2017 and five in 2018. Seattle had six Q1 sales in 2017 and 3 in 2018.

The highest Q1 sale was a 1963 Yarrow Point home on 80 feet of waterfront sold at $8,650,000 after only 5 days on the market. The lowest sale was a 1940 Pleasure Point bungalow in South Bellevue with 45 feet of waterfront for $1,560,000 on the market for 7 days. Waterfront homes sold in Q1 tended to either sell immediately or languish on the market for months with very few finding middle ground.

This top-level overview of the entire Seattle-Eastside private waterfront market, including Mercer Island and Lake Sammamish, provides a glance into the trends occurring in our region over time. Interesting, and certainly insightful, it in no way replaces an in-depth analysis on waterfront value provided by a savvy broker with years of local waterfront experience.

Check out the full Waterfront Report for a complete list of waterfront home sales by address and community.

Waterfront Report

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ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

 

© Copyright 2019, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Information and statistics derived from Northwest Multiple Listing Service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.

Posted on April 17, 2019 at 2:30 pm
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Preparing Your Garage for an Electric Car

Electrify Your Home: How to Prep for an Electric Vehicle

 

Electric cars help lower emissions and fuel costs, improve fuel economy, and bolster energy security. And considering the volatility of gas prices—and their general skyward trajectory—electric fuel shows promise as an economic alternative.

But switching to an electric vehicle entails more than new driving habits and a conversation piece with strangers. It’s also a lifestyle update.

From setting up a charging station in the garage to maintaining optimal temperatures therein, check out these useful garage preparation tips to assure your electric vehicle battery is in tip-top shape.

 

Selecting a Charger: Level 1 vs. Level 2

Unfortunately, charging an electric vehicle might be a tad more involved than charging your smartphone. And unless you own a Tesla Model X, which can travel upwards of 300 miles on one charge, your electric plug-in vehicle could benefit greatly from a home station charger. That said, make sure you familiarize yourself with the two main levels of electric vehicle chargers supplied by home-based charging equipment and most public charging stations.

 

Level 1 vs. Level 2 Chargers

 

Level 1 Chargers

A Level 1 cord set charger delivers a standard household current of 110 or 120 volts and comes with most plug-in vehicles upon purchase. It’s outfitted with a three-pronged, household plug at one end that’s connected to a control box by a short cord. A longer 15-to-20-foot cord running from the other side of the box connects directly to the vehicle itself.

  • If time is not of the essence, a Level 1 could be the way to go. But be forewarned: What you get is, more or less, a trickle charge that affords roughly three to five miles per charging hour. For instance, the Nissan Leaf takes around 24 hours to fully charge on a standard 120-volt household outlet.
  • The upside is, Level 1 equipment doesn’t entail an elaborate setup of high-power circuit breakers or dedicated electrical lines, which are required by major appliances and Level 2 chargers.
  • Because cord sets are portable, plug-in vehicles can be charged virtually anywhere there’s a standard outlet, provided it isn’t a household outlet that’s patched into the same circuit as other demanding appliances—in which case the excess amperage could trip a circuit breaker.

 

 

Level 2 Chargers

If time is of the essence, consider installing a Level 2 charger, which delivers 240 volts and replenishes pure electric vehicles in about three hours—which is about seven to eight times faster than Level 1 equipment. Unlike the simplicity of Level 1 setups, though, Level 2 chargers will warrant the services of a professional due to the rigmarole of electrical codes, equipment setup, and necessary inspections.

  • Level 2 chargers cost anywhere between under $300 to over $1500, the price ultimately depending on cord length and amperage.
  • Level 2 outputs typically range between 16 to 30 amps, but professionals often recommend around 30- to 40-amp systems—an adequate overnight charge for most plug-in electric cars.

 

 

Installing a Charging Station

It’s worth mentioning that the “charger” you’re installing is technically referred to as Electric Vehicle Service Equipment (EVSE). This is the wall-mounted box with cord and plug that delivers electricity and functions as a communication and safety unit for the actual charger situated inside the vehicle itself. The EVSE ensures the battery doesn’t overheat and shuts the charging session down if there’s a short circuit, power surge, or any other type of faulty hardware.

If you’ve opted for a Level 2 ESVE, you’ll likely need to reach out to a professional electrician to wire up equipment and determine where the ESVE should be situated in regards to where your vehicle is parked. Notwithstanding factors like outdated wiring, meters, and breaker panels, updating the garage for your electric ride should actually be pretty straightforward.

In rare instances, old wiring may need to be replaced. But by and large, the process is fairly easy and uncomplicated. What’s more, the plug itself isn’t any more difficult to install than a standard dryer outlet. For electric vehicle owners, installing a Level 2 ESVE is definitely the way to go.

 

Cost of Installation

The installation cost generally hinges on the work involved—such as the amount of wire that needs to be run, whether additional or replacement breaker panels are necessary, and the cost of labor in your area. This could vary between just a few hundred dollars to a couple thousand. However, you may be able to snag special rates from your utility company for installing an EVSE, so make sure you inquire.

 

Maintain Optimal Charging Temperatures

Even in the Seattle area, temps regularly drop below freezing in the winter. Recent studies suggest that charging time increases significantly as the weather goes down. If your garage is currently unheated and you want to keep charging time to a minimum, consider these tips from Family Handyman on the best ways to add a heating system.

 

 


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

 

 

© Copyright 2019, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Text originally posted on Windermere.com.

Posted on March 6, 2019 at 3:53 pm
Windermere Mercer Island | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , ,

Should I Move or Remodel?

Remodel or Move?

 

There are a number of things that can trigger the decision to remodel or move to a new home. Perhaps you have outgrown your current space, you might be tired of struggling with ancient plumbing or wiring systems, or maybe your home just feels out of date. The question is: Should you stay or should you go? Choosing whether to remodel or move involves looking at a number of factors. Cost vs. value is a big consideration—check out the chart below or click here to view Remodeling Magazine’s full 2019 Cost vs. Value Report showing the cost and resale value of 21 projects in the Seattle area.

 

Cost vs. Value Chart for Common Remodeling Projects

 

Here are some things to consider when making your decision…

FIVE REASONS TO MOVE:

1. Your current location just isn’t working.

Unruly neighbors, a miserable commute, or a less-than-desirable school district—these are factors you cannot change. If your current location is detracting from your overall quality of life, it’s time to consider moving. If you’re just ready for a change, that’s a good reason, too. Some people are simply tired of their old homes and want to move on.

2. Your home is already one of the nicest in the neighborhood.

Regardless of the improvements you might make, location largely limits the amount of money you can get for your home when you sell. A general rule of thumb for remodeling is to make sure that you don’t over-improve your home for the neighborhood. If your property is already the most valuable house on the block, additional upgrades usually won’t pay off in return on investment at selling time.

3. There is a good chance you will move soon anyway.

If your likelihood of moving in the next two years is high, remodeling probably isn’t your best choice. There’s no reason to go through the hassle and expense of remodeling and not be able to enjoy it. It may be better to move now to get the house you want.

4. You need to make too many improvements to meet your needs.

This is particularly an issue with growing families. What was cozy for a young couple may be totally inadequate when you add small children. Increasing the space to make your home workable may cost more than moving to another house. In addition, lot size, building codes, and neighborhood covenants may restrict what you can do. Once you’ve outlined the remodeling upgrades that you’d like, a real estate agent can help you determine what kind of home you could buy for the same investment.

5. You don’t like remodeling.

Remodeling is disruptive. It may be the inconvenience of loosing the use of a bathroom for a week, or it can mean moving out altogether for a couple of months. Remodeling also requires making a lot of decisions. You have to be able to visualize new walls and floor plans, decide how large you want windows to be, and where to situate doors. Then there is choosing from hundreds of flooring, countertop, and fixture options. Some people love this. If you’re not one of them, it is probably easier to buy a house that has the features you want already in place.

FIVE REASONS TO REMODEL:

1. You love your neighborhood.

You can walk to the park, you have lots of close friends nearby, and the guy at the espresso stand knows you by name. There are features of a neighborhood, whether it’s tree-lined streets or annual community celebrations, that you just can’t re-create somewhere else. If you love where you live, that’s a good reason to stay.

2. You like your current home’s floor plan.

The general layout of your home either works for you or it doesn’t. If you enjoy the configuration and overall feeling of your current home, there’s a good chance it can be turned into a dream home. The combination of special features you really value, such as morning sun or a special view, may be hard to replicate in a new home.

3. You’ve got a great yard.

Yards in older neighborhoods often have features you cannot find in newer developments, including large lots, mature trees, and established landscaping. Even if you find a new home with a large lot, it takes considerable time and expense to create a fully landscaped yard.

4. You can get exactly the home you want.

Remodeling allows you to create a home tailored exactly to your lifestyle. You have control over the look and feel of everything, from the color of the walls to the finish on the cabinets. Consider also that most people who buy a new home spend up to 30 percent of the value of their new house fixing it up the way they want.

5. It may make better financial sense.

In some cases, remodeling might be cheaper than selling. A contractor can give you an estimate of what it would cost to make the improvements you’re considering. A real estate agent can give you prices of comparable homes with those same features. But remember that while remodeling projects add to the value of your home, most don’t fully recover their costs when you sell.

 


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

 

 

© Copyright 2019, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Text originally posted on Windermere.com. Remodeling data © 2019 Hanley Wood Media Inc. Complete data from the Remodeling 2019 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at www.costvsvalue.com.

Posted on February 7, 2019 at 3:55 pm
Windermere Mercer Island | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Annual Seattle-Eastside Real Estate Report: A Look Back at 2018

Annual Market Snapshot for Seattle and the Eastside

 

An increase in homes for sale coupled with rising interest rates have created a far more balanced market than we started 2018 with. This is a good thing as it will help our region tame affordability and create a sustainable marketplace. More homes came to market in 2018 than in any year since 2011. This provided home buyers with plentiful choices and forced home sellers to competitively position their homes to compete with other homes for sale—something they haven’t had to give much thought to in the last seven years.

 

The cost of a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage began the year at 3.95% and ended at 4.64%. Indications show rates could rise to 6% by the end of 2019. Mortgage rates are a far bigger factor than most people consider. A 1% increase in mortgage interest rates decreases buying power by 10%. Or said differently, a 1% rate increase has the same net effect on monthly payment as a 10% increase in the sale price. That also means if prices fell 10% but rates went up 1% the monthly mortgage payment would remain the same.

 

Our 2019 market will be driven by buyers motivated to beat interest rate hikes nipping at their heels and by sellers who will choose to price moderately following a seven-year appreciation growth run. Properly-priced homes in good condition and in desirable settings will do well, as will affordable homes on the periphery of the metro region. Strategic positioning, savvy marketing, and expert negotiation have never been so important as they are now.

 

2018 Market Averages for Seattle

 

Click or scroll down to find your area report:

Seattle | Eastside | Mercer Island | Condos | Waterfront

 


SEATTLE

2018 was a year of transition from an ultra-competitive seller’s market to a more balanced market. The first four months of the year saw dramatic price acceleration—arguably far beyond the comfort of Seattle area home buyers—as home values skyrocketed each month through the spring market. Around the beginning of May, home buying activity slowed as the number of homes for sale increased and buyers had more choices for the first time in years. Home prices have declined since that peak in most neighborhoods, but still ended the year up comfortably over 2017 values.

Seattle’s overall Median Sale Price was up 8.8% to $769,950, while its Average Sale Price was up 10.4% to $883,590. The Average $ Per Square Foot increased 9.7% to $437, with Lake Forest Park/Kenmore the most affordable region at $327/sq ft and Madison Park/Capitol Hill the most spendy at $561/sq ft.

Three Seattle neighborhoods had double-digit median price growth in 2018: Lake Forest Park/Kenmore at 14.4%, West Seattle at 12.7%, and Queen Anne/Magnolia at 12.2%.

Seattle Chart

Click here to view the complete report for a neighborhood by neighborhood breakdown of Average Sale Price, size, and number of homes sold.

Seattle Report

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EASTSIDE

Even with Eastside expansion announcements from several notable tech companies, 2018 saw a shift from an ultra-competitive seller’s market to a more balanced market. While the sky is not falling, price growth has slowed to a more modest and sustainable pace. After rising astronomically at the beginning of the year, prices have generally softened as buyers and sellers find their new norms.

The Eastside’s overall Median Sale Price was up 8.2% to $939,129, while its Average Sale Price was up 9.3% to $1,143,557. The higher average sale price reflects the impact of luxury home prices at the upper end of the market. The median sale price is attributed to the larger volume of mainstream sales at more moderate price points.

Four Eastside neighborhoods had double-digit median price growth in 2018: Kirkland at 23.8%, Woodinville at 12.9%, West Bellevue at 12.4%, and Mercer Island at 10.0%.

Eastside Chart

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

Eastside Review

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MERCER ISLAND

The Island, much like the region surrounding it, saw a shift from an ultra-competitive seller’s market to a more balanced market as the number of homes for sale increased markedly following a strong spring market. Home values have softened since the peak market of 2018, but still ended the year with a hefty increase over 2017 values.

The number of home sales were down in 2018: 285, as compared to 330 in 2017. Modern, turn-key homes and highly desirable settings were most sought after while those lacking essential attributes were often passed over, ending the year unsold.

Uniquely situated near both the Seattle and Eastside metro areas, the Island has always tended to fare better than most in a transitioning market. Mercer Island’s Median Sale Price was up 10.0% to $1,700,000, while its Average Sale Price was up 10.5% to $2,059,996. The higher average sale price reflects the impact of luxury home prices at the upper end of the market. The Average $ Per Square Foot increased 11.3% to $606.

Mercer Island Chart

Click here to view the complete report for a neighborhood by neighborhood breakdown of Average Sale Price, size, and number of homes sold.

Mercer Island Report

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CONDOS – SEATTLE & EASTSIDE

New construction added to the more than two-fold increase in the number of condos for sale during the year compared to 2017, from 2,131 to 4,857 units listed throughout the year. Even so, regional affordability issues drove condo desirability to all-time highs and fueled price increases that outpaced single-family homes.

Seattle’s Condo Median Sale Price was up 12.8% to $505,500, while its Average Sale Price was up 10.5% to $582,163. The Average $ Per Square Foot increased 7.5% to $601. Three regions saw increases above 20%: Richmond Beach/Shoreline at 26.8%, Ballard/Green Lake at 24.1%, and South Seattle at 24.0%.

The Eastside’s Condo Median Sale Price was up 17.2% to $480,500, while its Average Sale Price was up 17.0% to $576,061. The Average $ Per Square Foot increased 13.5% to $453. Two regions saw increases above 20%: East Bellevue at 34.0% and Kirkland at 25.0%.

Check out all of these factoids and more in the full condo report.

Condo Report

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WATERFRONT

While the number of sales in 2018 was down markedly compared to recent years as a result of fewer international buyer purchases, a handful of notable sales drove value markers up, creating the artificial appearance of appreciation when price growth was relatively flat in 2018. Those sales include three Media and Points properties sold above $14 M, a record Lake Sammamish sale above $11 M, a Mercer Island sale above $13 M, and a Laurelhurst sale at $11 M.

This top-level overview of the entire Seattle-Eastside private waterfront market, including Mercer Island and Lake Sammamish, provides a glance into the trends occurring in our region over time. Interesting, and certainly insightful, it in no way replaces an in-depth analysis on waterfront value provided by a savvy broker with years of local waterfront experience.

Check out the full Waterfront Report for a complete list of waterfront home sales by address and community.

Waterfront Report

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ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

 

© Copyright 2019, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Information and statistics derived from Northwest Multiple Listing Service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.

Posted on January 16, 2019 at 2:31 pm
Windermere Mercer Island | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Give Back This Season

Thanks & Giving: Charities That Would Love Your Help

 

Looking to share your bounty this holiday season? Below are some of my favorite Seattle-area organizations who can use your time, household items, toys, and more to help improve the lives of homeless and low-income families in our area. You might also check out these tips on how to make the most of charitable giving.

 


Northwest Harvest

Northwest Harvest’s mission is to end hunger in Washington. They partner with 375 food pantries, meal programs, and high-need schools across the state to provide nutritious food and promote good health for those in need. You can help by volunteering at the Cherry Street Food Bank in Seattle (children in 3rd grade or older are welcome to volunteer with you!). You can also host a virtual food drive or make a cash/vehicle donation.

http://www.northwestharvest.org/
1 (800) 722-6924
Cherry Street Food Bank: 711 Cherry Street, Seattle
Kent Warehouse: 22220 68th Ave S, Kent

 


 

Mary's Place

 

Mary’s Place helps homeless women, children and families from the greater King County area. With a list of families that has double this year, the need for help is higher than ever. You or your organization might consider supporting their giving tree (donations due by December 7th) or joining in the Brooks Holiday Fun Run on December 1st benefiting the No Child Sleeps Outside campaign. You can also volunteer your time, donate wishlist items, or share your used clothing, blankets, and coats.

http://www.marysplaceseattle.org
(206) 621-8474
Donation Center in SODO: 9 South Nevada St, Seattle
Family Center in North Seattle: 1155 N 130th St, Seattle

 


 

Hopelink

Hopelink provides critical services to homeless and low-income families, children, seniors, and people with disabilities on north and east King County. You can help by donating food or grocery gift cards to their food bank, contributing unwrapped toys to their holiday gift room, or volunteering to help with their holiday giving events.

https://www.hopelink.org/
(425) 869-6000
8990 154th Ave NE, Redmond

 


 

YouthCare

 

Each night in Seattle, 700-1,000 young people are homeless and most were traumatized before they reached the streets. YouthCare builds confidence and self-sufficiency for homeless youth by providing a continuum of care that includes outreach, basic services, emergency shelter, housing, counseling, education, and employment training. Lend a hand by volunteering, hosting a drive, or hiring a YouthCare graduate.

http://youthcare.org/
(206) 694-4500
2500 NE 54th Street, Seattle

 


 

Treehouse

 

Did you know less than 50% of Washington state youth in foster care graduate from high school? Treehouse seeks to level the playing field by providing academic and other essential support foster kids need to graduate at the same rate as their peers, with a plan for their future. You can help by volunteering, hosting a drive or donating to their holiday program.

https://www.treehouseforkids.org/
(206) 767-7000
2100 24th Avenue S./Suite 200


 

Emergency Feeding Program

 

With a mission to help people in need of immediate food assistance, the Emergency Feeding Program partners with 240 local agencies to distribute 50,000 bags of quality, nutritional food and ensure that no one will go hungry tonight. You can help by donating these most needed foods or making a cash contribution.

https://www.emergencyfeeding.org/
(425) 277-0300
851 Houser Way N, Renton

 


Eastside Baby Corner

 

Eastside Baby Corner was founded by a local pediatric nurse concerned about the large numbers of babies in her practice who began life without basic essentials like adequate food, clothing, beds, or safety equipment. Today Eastside Baby Corner’s location in Issaquah, Northshore and Bremerton collect, purchase, and distribute essential care items such as formula, diapers, carseats, warm coats, school supplies, and more for babies and children in need. You can help out by volunteering, donating, or organizing a drive.

Eastside Baby Corner:
http://babycorner.org

(425) 865-0234
1510 NW Maple St. in Issaquah
6524 NE 181st Street, Suite 6, Kenmore1463 NE Dawn Road, Suite B, Bremerton

 


https://fort-lewis-wa.toysfortots.org/images/lco-sites/lco-logos/tft-ZxAsQw-logo.jpg

Since 1947, The U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots program has distributed 548 million toys to 251 million children in need. Consider helping out this year by donating a new toy, volunteering, or asking your organization to become a toy drop site.

https://fort-lewis-wa.toysfortots.org
Click Here for Toy Drop Off Locations
Coordinator: Gunnery Sergeant James Wells, (253) 720-9858

 


Food Lifeline

Every year, nearly 40% of our country’s food ends up in landfills, while millions go hungry. Food Lifeline attempts to solve both problems by rescuing millions of pounds of surplus food from farmers, manufacturers, grocery stores, and restaurants. They then deliver this healthy and nutritious food to more than 300 food banks, shelters and meal programs across Western Washington–providing 97,000 meals every day. You can help by volunteering (opportunities are available for kids as young as 6, too!), donating funds or hosting a food drive.

https://foodlifeline.org/
(206) 545-6600
815 S 96th St, Seattle

 


Wellspring Family Services

Wellspring helps low-income and vulnerable individuals, children and families in Seattle and King County address issues such as mental health, family homelessness, early learning, basic needs, and domestic violence intervention. Each year they help thousands of children and families break cycles of instability, homelessness, and adversity to achieve positive, permanent change. You can help by donating to their Giving Together holiday campaign or getting your children involved in the Kids Helping Kids youth philanthropy program.

http://wellspringfs.org/
(206) 826-3050
1900 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle

 


 

Seattle Children's Hospital

 

Founded and run by a group of philanthropic women over 100 years ago, Seattle Children’s mission is to provide hope, care and cures to help every child live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible. You can help their patients by donating a new toy or gift card, volunteering, contributing funds, or supporting one of its guilds (such as the Project Kids Cancer Cure Guild).

http://www.seattlechildrens.org
(206) 987-2000
4800 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle

 


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

 

© Copyright 2018, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island.

 

Posted on November 14, 2018 at 4:51 pm
Windermere Mercer Island | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Protect Your Investment: 5 Fall Maintenance To-Do’s

Protect Your Home | Fall To-Do Checklist

Benjamin Franklin once wrote, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” While he was talking about fire safety, I think it applies equally well to home maintenance. One weekend of prevention this fall can save you many headaches (and a lot of money) down the road. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Gutters top to bottom: Water in the wrong spots can do a lot of damage. Start by ensuring that gutters and downspouts are doing their job. (You may want to hire a professional, especially if you have a two-story house with a steep roof.) If your home is surrounded by deciduous trees you may need to clean out your gutters a few times a year, especially in the fall. Check to make sure your gutters are flush with the roof and attached securely, repairing any areas that sag or where the water collects and overflows. Clean out the gutters and downspouts, checking that outlet strainers are in good shape, and are firmly in place. Finally, check that your downspouts direct water away from your house, not straight along the foundation.

Check for leaks: The best opportunity to catch leaks is the first heavy rain after a long dry spell. Check the underside of the roof, looking for moisture on joints or insulation. Mark any spots that you find and then hire a roofing specialist to repair these leaks. If you wait until spots show up on your ceiling, insulation and sheet rock will have also been damaged and you could have a mold problem too. You can find tips on how to solve roof & gutter issues in this great article from http://FamilyHandyman.com.

Don’t forget the basement and the caulking around windows & doors. Check your foundation for cracks, erosion and gaps in window and door weathering. Make sure to properly seal any leaks while the weather is nice. This will ensure materials dry properly.

Pest Prevention: Rodents are determined and opportunistic, and they can do tremendous amounts of property damage (and endanger your family’s health). As temperatures cool, take measures to prevent roof rats and other critters from moving in. Branches that touch your house and overhang your roof are convenient on-ramps for invaders, so trim back branches so they’re at least four feet from the house. If you do hear scuttling overhead or discover rodent droppings in your attic, crawl space or basement, take immediate action. The website http://www.thisoldhouse.com has several helpful articles on the topic.

Maintain your heating and cooling systems: Preventative maintenance is especially crucial for your home’s heating and air-conditioning systems. Fall is a smart time to have your systems checked and tuned up if necessary. Don’t wait for extreme temperatures to arrive, when service companies are slammed with emergency calls. Between tune-ups, keeps your system performing optimally by cleaning and/or replacing air filters as needed.

If you have a wood-burning fireplace, a professional inspection and cleaning will help prevent potentially lethal chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Even if you don’t use your fireplace often, it’s a good idea to keep a supply of dry firewood or sawdust-composite logs so you have a backup heat source in an emergency. Gas fireplaces should be serviced about every 2 years to lengthen their lifespans.

Insulate & seal: Insulating your home is a cost-efficient investment, whether you’re trying to keep the interior warm in the winter or cool in the summer. Aside from more major improvements like energy-efficient windows and insulation, there are some quick fixes that do-it-yourselfers can tackle. If an exterior door doesn’t have a snug seal when closed, replace the weather stripping; self-adhesive foam stripping is much simpler to install than traditional vinyl stripping. If there is a gap under the door (which can happen over time as a house settles), you may need to realign the door and replace the vinyl door bottom and/or door sweep. Air also sneaks inside through electrical outlets and light switches on exterior walls. Dye-cut foam outlet seals placed behind the wall plates are a quick and inexpensive solution.

Posted on September 4, 2018 at 11:44 am
Windermere Mercer Island | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , ,

Outdoor Living Trends for Summer 2018

Outdoor Living Trends for Summer 2018 - Windermere Mercer Island

 

The sun is back and summer is so close you can almost taste the s’mores being toasted around the fire pit…is this the year to spruce up your outdoor spaces? Fun new trends in alfresco design revolve around individuality of lifestyle and a desire to bring the inside out with rooms, furniture and lighting that would all be equally at home indoors. Cheesy, bulky and loud are out–quality, artisan and subtle are in. Here are some ideas to get you started:

 

1. Experiential Design

Newer outdoor concepts centered around the experiences of the owner–such as meditation gardens, outdoor movie screens, fireplaces/fire pits, children’s play spaces, and even life-size chess–are gradually replacing the cookie cutter yards of the past.


2. Chic Lighting

While Charlie Brown string lights have had their days in the sun, new trends are heading toward more sophisticated lighting fixtures. Shaded lamps, artisan and vintage fixtures are good choices for outdoor rooms and patios. We’re also seeing more indirect, low lighting that doesn’t compete with the stars.

 


3. Open Air Rooms

As weather-proof technology and materials improve, more homeowners are creating permanent outdoor living rooms, dining rooms, kitchens, and entertaining bars. Mildew-resistant curtains or folding glass doors can enclose the space as needed, while fireplaces or built-in space heaters keep things comfortable year-round.


4. Subtle Neutrals

We’re seeing a transition from bold stripes and colors to a softer palette with neutral tans, greys, greens, and dark blues. More discreet patterns follow the “indoors out” trend.

Photo courtesy of Kerry Joyce Associates.


5. Indoor Quality Furniture

Lighter fine-boned wood furniture with luxe upholstery is usurping those blocky, heavy, dark aluminum and plastic pieces that bake in the sun. Comfort and quality are key, with designer statement chairs and unexpected wicker pieces that are a far cry from your grandma’s wicker.


6. Alternative Flooring Materials

Many homeowners are moving beyond the rug, using new budget-friendly materials such as porcelain pavers or beechwood deck tiles to create a seamless indoor-to-outdoor look.


7. Smart Outdoor Tech

Whether it’s smart sprinklers that use soil moisture and weather data to adjust their water output, quieter & cleaner electric mowers, or 3D imaging programs that help landscapers develop and visualize designs, the world of smart technology is definitely making its way outdoors.

 

 


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

©2018, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island

Posted on June 7, 2018 at 4:11 pm
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Planning ahead: how tax reform will impact your home deductions next year

2018 Tax Changes for Home Owners

 

While you may still be busy filing your 2017 taxes, it’s important to look ahead and be aware of how the new 2018 tax reform laws will affect next year’s return–especially if you’re a homeowner. Those who itemize will need to note some big changes in what they can and cannot deduct. Many will instead choose to use the new higher standard deduction ($12,000 for single individuals and $24,000 for joint returns) rather than itemizing their deductions.

What can you do now? Check in with your accountant for advice specific to your situation and filing status. Also, you’ll probably want to update your withholding amount to reflect the new deduction amounts. In the meantime, here is the skinny on 5 changes that may affect you if you own a home…

 

1. Mortgage Interest Deduction

The deduction that allows homeowners to reduce their taxable income by the amount of mortgage interest they pay has been scaled back.

  • For loans taken out after 12/14/17, you can now only deduct mortgage interest paid on the first $750,000 of combined debt for primary and secondary residences (or $375,000 if married filing separately).
  • Current loans of up to $1 million are grandfathered and are not subject to the new $750,000 cap if they were taken out before 12/15/17 (or if you entered into your purchase contract prior to 12/15/17 and the sale closed by 1/1/18).
  • You can continue to deduct the interest on grandfathered loans even if you refinance.

 

2. Home Equity Loan Deduction

Under the former tax law, you were able to deduct the interest on up to $100,000 of home equity debt even if the proceeds were used for something other than buying or improving the home (for example, an equity line of credit used to pay college tuition). This is now no longer the case.

  • New 2018 law eliminates the deduction for interest on home equity debt unless it’s used to buy, build, or substantially improve the home that secures the loan.
  • Loans to buy second homes do not qualify for the interest deduction if they’re taken out against the equity of your primary home.

 

3. Deduction for Property & Sales Taxes

Tax relief for homeowners who pay property taxes has also been limited.

  • Itemized deductions for property taxes, sales taxes, state income taxes, and any other local taxes will now be limited to a combined total of $10,000.
  • The combined limit drops to $5,000 if married filing separately.

 

4. Deduction for Moving Expenses

While you used to be able to deduct some moving expenses when you moved for a new job, this deduction has been repealed for everyone except active-duty members of the armed forces.

 

5. Deduction for Casualty Losses

Under former law, substantial losses to your home and personal property through things like fires and robberies could be deducted from your taxable income. Under the new law, this deduction is eliminated for everything except presidential-declared natural disasters.

 

Want to know more?

 

The above article is presented for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace professional tax advice from your accountant.

Sources:
“The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – What it Means for Homeowners and Real Estate Professionals,” by the National Association of Realtors
“5 Homeownership Changes Coming Under New Tax Law” by NerdWallet
“Tax Reform” by the Internal Revenue Service


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

©2018, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island

Posted on March 12, 2018 at 2:19 pm
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