How Homeownership Impacts the U.S. Economy
Windermere’s Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, explains how a strong, stable housing market is critically important to the overall U.S. economy.
Weather in early spring can be a fickle beast, and sometimes keeps us from enjoying the beauty of the Hood Canal region.
Hoping to get a clear sunny day for a mountain hike, a warm day to go clamming or work in the garden, a calm day to take the boat out, or a clear night to have a campfire and view the stars, we sometimes curse the beast! Maybe it just feels worse this year because February and March were more rainy than normal.
But just like the movie, the secret to welcoming the beast is to accept it for what it does; creates Snow-capped Olympic mountains, cascading waterfalls, rainbows, and the lush Olympic Forest with all its inhabitants. Including Skunk Cabbage as long as its down-wind.
Winter days at Hood Canal can be cold and clear, making for wonderful hiking. The summer crowds are gone and the local elk can often be seen.
On the flip side, winter storms come through whipping up whitecaps on Hood Canal and sometimes hammering us with rain. This is a great time for inside home projects, like Artfully Organizing your Bookshelf. When you are done with that, put you feet up and enjoy a good book…
Looking for inspiration for a new read? My go-to places are:
The Library and Overdrive
Barnes and Noble
Before the wet and cold weather arrives, makes fall the best time to tackle home maintenance projects that are vulnerable to the weather.
For ideas, check this list of the top things to take care of before the bad weather sets in: The List
Even the best handyman or woman doesn’t know it all. So we’ve put together a list of local service providers that may be able to help: Service Providers
Of course, you can always search the internet for fixit tips and home maintenance “how-tos” We’ve put together some popular ones below.
September 5th is the last day of the summer crab season on Hood Canal. Here are helpful crabbing tips. Enjoy!
We are very excited to announce to all of you that Windermere is now the Official Real Estate Company of the Seattle Seahawks!
Hood Canal is a favorite vacation getaway. It's only two hours from Seattle and offers so much in the way of waterfront enjoyment like boating, fishing, shellfish, kayaking and beachcombing. Its a hiker's paradise here in the foothills of the Olympic National Forest and National Park. It is remote, yet only two hours from the Seattle metropolitan area. Our market is primarily second homes, vacation properties and is home to many retirees. If you are considering purchasing a vacation getaway, here are some things to think about and get you inspired:
Location. How often will you use it? Is it easy to get to? Do you have to wait in ferry lines or take a plane to get there? The harder it is to get to, the less likely you will use it. If you can't be there very often, can you hire someone to keep it maintained? Is it on a sunny hillside or in a cool valley. How will the weather impact the location. Will your view be affected by anything in the future? Are there any safety issues like weather, floods, fire? How about the crime rate. The great thing about having a weekend getaway is that you can keep it supplied so you don't have to pack and unpack every time you go there. Be sure your stuff is safe and not vulnerable to theft.
Fun and Recreation. What is your lifestyle? Do you need movie theaters, concerts, restaurants or other venues to keep you entertained? Or are you looking to get away from it all and experience the outdoors on a regular basis.
Services. What kind of services do you expect. Emergency response. Health care. Will you need good health services and if you do how far away are they? How far do you have to drive for groceries? Is there public transportation?
Costs. How much would you have to invest to get the kind of place you would enjoy? How will you finance it? Consider tax advantages. If you are looking at land, can you get utilities and how much will that cost you? Is the area a good investment in the long run if you have to sell? Would it be appealing to others as a vacation rental? If so, would the covenants allow short term rentals? Will you eventually retire there? If so, think about how you might handle spending your old age there.
Spend some time there. Stay in the peak season and during the slow season. Talk to the locals. What do they like about the area? Anything to watch out for? Get to know the prime neighborhoods and the ones to avoid. To save time, make sure to work with an agent that knows the area well.
Family and Friends. Do you have friends and family that will come and visit? Do they have campers, or do you need to put them up? During the peak season expect regular visitors. Its part of the fun to have friends and family over. How will that affect what you buy?
If you do your homework up front you will find that your getaway will reward you with fun and relaxation for years to come. You'll continue to discover special places to explore and create heart-warming memories for you and your family.
According to the National Association of Realtors annual Vacation and Investment Home Buyers Survey for 2014, vacation home sales increased by a whopping 57% over 2013. It states demand is particularly high among baby boomers who are prepositioning for retirement.
We can relate! Hood Canal has always been a vacation home/second home market. Not only because of the beautiful water and mountain setting which offers so much in the way of outdoor activities. But also because it's only two hours from major metropolitan areas. It's easy to get here for weekend getaways.
And those that decided to move here full-time find, like many of us, that being only a couple hours away from Seattle means you can still go to Seahawk, Mariner and Sounder games, concerts, operas or other major events. Many times we rendezvous with old friends in Seattle by leaving our car in Bainbridge Island or Bremerton and walk on the ferry to go to Pike Place Market or catch a bus or train to other destinations.
Here is a link to the National Association of Realtors article and Infographic: Vacation Home Survey. If you are considering buying or selling a vacation rental, its sure to be of interest to you.
Properly preparing your home for sale is one of the best ways to make a favorable impression that will help it sell more quickly and for the best price. We can help you stage your home but there are a lot of things you can do yourself, both before and during showings, to improve its appeal. For instance, when preparing your home for sale, think about why you fell in love with your home in the first place, and what you still love about it. Did the entryway feel particularly welcoming? Do you love the flow of the living spaces? Perhaps it’s how the sunlight pours into the kitchen? Enhancing and highlighting these details can help evoke the same feeling for prospective buyers.
Here are more quick tips:
- Turn on all interior lights, even during the day, and exterior lights at night.
- Make the temperature comfortable—approximately 68 degrees.
- Keep pets in a separate area, and change litter boxes daily.
- Put money and other valuables away and out of sight.
- Keep curtains, drapes and shades open.
- Open all doors inside the home, except closets.
- A buyer will likely spend more time previewing your home if you’re not there.
- If you can’t leave the home, try to stay out of the way, and keep children quiet and out of the way.
- Don’t precede or follow potential buyers through your home.
- Let the sales associate show and sell your home