Liven Up Your Kitchen With Full Circle + Easy Updates For Your Home


First things first, Happy Hump Day! I want to start off by offering all of my readers an opportunity to win one month of organic produce delivered by Full Circle! How do you enter? If you aren’t already, follow my blog! Not only will you get the latest real estate news and useful home ‘how-to’s’, but you will automatically be entered to win the Full Circle drawing. Already a follower or not interested in the long term commitment? Shoot me an email with your name/phone number/address and I will enter you.  All I ask is that you be a Washington resident when the winner is announced on Monday, September 1st.

What is Full Circle?

“Each week we handpick fresh, certified organic fruits and vegetables to create your personalized order. We build relationships with growers using sustainable farming practices and source our produce as locally as the season allows. We also source from organic growers in warmer climates for increased variety throughout the year. It’s like having the farmers market come to you—all year long!”  What’s not to love about that?

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Easy Updates For Your Home

Enhance the entry

First impressions matter. Invest in a new front door or paint your old one, it can dramatically change the look of your home and enhance curb appeal. Try other easy DIY fixes like repainting the exterior trim, replacing the house numbers or installing new outdoor lighting.

Build a Headboard

Headboards can be made out of anything – find something you’re passionate about and turn it into a headboard. Use old skis or skateboards; or make a collage by decoupaging magazines or attach family photos to an old headboard. Also, think about using salvaged materials such as fencing, old doors etc.  There are literally thousands of examples on Pinterest and is a great weekend project!

Illuminating Ideas

New kitchen lighting or a new fixture over the dining table is sure to brighten up any meal. Try one of these projects: Make a fabric-covered drum shade to match your decor. Install a dimmer switch to make your current lighting more versatile. Use a few cans of spray paint to give an old chandelier new life. Replace or paint the blades on a ceiling fan. Also, if you’re thinking about selling your house, remember that light creates an atmosphere that people either want to be in or not.  Think about creating a warm, inviting space with as much natural light as possible!

Paint Cabinet inside cabinet

Cabinet Facelift

If your cabinets need more than new hardware, paint them. It can be a time-consuming project, but if done right, your kitchen will look brand new and add value to your home.

Market Monday’s: Kirkland Condos

I’ve been watching what’s happening in the Kirkland condo market closely as of late, it’s fascinating that such a desirable location can have A LOT of affordable condos still on the market for people looking to make a great investment in their future, or get into their first home. Not only that, the rental market is creeping up in the area making it challenging to find an affordable place to live, which makes buying a condo even more appealing.  So, what’s happening? As of August 18th, 2014 there are 65 active condo listings ranging between $105,000 to over $6 million! The median list price is $315,000 while the average list price is $525,000, it’s pretty clear that the big listing prices are skewing the data.  There were 127 condos sold in the past 90 days in Kirkland, with the sale price being 98% percent of the list price.  This means that people are paying the list price, and in some cases more depending on the property and demand for that location.  

The graph below demonstrates the for sale/sold/pending condos through July 2014:

As of August 18th, 2014 the Kirkland condo market is at 1.54 months of inventory based on closed sales.  This is down slightly from 1.8 months of inventory in July of this year.  Interest rates dropped slightly last week, making buying a home even more appealing as well as affordable.  

The list/sale price ratio has been fairly consistent since last year, being close to 100%.  Again, this data is skewed slightly due to the million dollar + condo listings that aren’t seeing that kind of ratio (the million + residential home market, however, is seeing a 100% + list/sale ratio).

Months of inventory was up slightly in July to 1.8 months, although August is currently looking at 1.54 months of inventory.  This is definitely a hot market, with no signs of it slowing down anytime soon.  It is a great time to get into a condo either as a  first time home buyer or as an investment property.  The listing below is one of the many great condos available in Kirkland…

 

 

 

Open House (1)

 

Stay tuned for a post on financing and a big announcement this week! I have partnered with Full Circle organic produce delivery for an opportunity to give my followers! So, if you haven’t already…follow my blog via email for a chance to win some awesome, organic produce delivered to your door! Have a great week everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spruce Up Home Value: Low Cost Bathroom Updates!

Over the past few decades, the kitchen was the average home buyers focal point when buying a home.  That is not the case anymore, in 2014 bathrooms are more important to buyers than kitchens.  That being said, an additional bathroom, even a half bathroom, adds significant value to your home.  Growing up with a real estate Appraiser as a father, I heard horror stories about homeowners irate over the news that their special remodel project added ZERO value to the resale of their home.  Many times, it’s hard to differentiate between what we think is value based on our emotional involvement vs. what the market wants, the difference is sometimes surprising!

For starters, A half bath may add up to 10.5 percent to a home’s value, while a full bath can tack on an additional 20 percent. Of course, the amount of additional value you will receive varies according to the home’s other features.

Tip: If you’re on a tight budget and can’t afford a bathroom addition, give the existing bathrooms a little TLC with a few of the following suggestions.

Install a Dose of Tile

Install a dose of tile! Give your bathroom sink an upgrade with some intentional detailing. Rather than tiling a whole tub surround or wall, add just a border of tile above the sink vanity. Here, elegant blue, white, and brown tiles introduce color and pattern into the bathroom. The small mosaic tiles make the vanity area look luxurious and rich.

Update Cabinet Hardware

Cabinetry’s handles, hinges, and doorknobs are the final touches and style setters for any vanity. Luckily, they’re simple to replace whenever you want a fresh look — and cabinetry hardware is available at any price point. Give your cabinet doors and drawers a good cleaning before installing new hardware. Or freshen them with paint or stain to best display the new accents.

Install Wainscoting

Give bathroom walls interest by adding wainscoting. Crisp white-painted wainscoting provides contrast to the sunny yellow hue used on the upper portion of these walls. For humid rooms such as the bathroom, look for paints treated with mildewcide to eliminate worries about mildew.

Update Light Fixtures

Refresh a tired bath by replacing outdated light fixtures with modern versions. Online you’ll find hundreds of sconces that cost less than $100. For an even thriftier change, look for replacement shades to update the fixtures you have. If you like the style of what you have but the metal finish doesn’t work with your decor, tape off the surrounding areas and give the fixtures a fresh coat of metallic spray paint!

Replace Fixtures

Swap outdated light fixtures, medicine cabinets and faucets for up-to-the-minute versions. Fashion-forward fixtures will make your bath feel fresh and fabulous, and they can draw attention away from less-desirable areas of the bath.

There are so many inexpensive ways to update your bathroom, a fresh coat of neutral colored paint goes a long way and don’t forget to check the fan! That’s a simple update that can add functional value to your bathroom, skimping on quality can hurt in the long run.

Market Mondays: Edmonds

Edmonds is one of Washingtons most picturesque cities, with views of the Puget Sound, Olympic Mountains and Cascade Range.  One can see why it has become one of the Seattle area’s most desired locations to live. Come visit me this weekend at A Taste of Edmonds! A Taste of Edmonds is August 8th, 9th and 10th as well as Washington’s 3rd largest 3 day festival.  There will be arts and crafts, 35 food vendors, entertainment, beer/wine gardens as well as myself with John L Scott Real Estate if you are interested in getting to know me and the area a little more or know someone who is!

Scroll down the page for a snapshot of how home sales and prices have trended in Edmonds over the past  fifteen months. You’ll see sales and inventory levels, $ per square foot values, and inventory levels expressed in months of supply. I use $ per square foot averages as an indicator of how the overall market is trending. Bear in mind the percentages will differ within specific price ranges. It’s interesting to follow the “Pending” sales trend lines which is an indicator of which direction the market is heading. Note that June sales are down 10% from 2013, while Pending are up over 40%. That’s huge!

As of August 4th, the last 30 days have seen an increase in pending sales from 28 to 34 pending sales and a jump from 24 sold in June to 41 sold in July! August will be another big month of closed sales! 

Feng Shui Basics: How your space affects your mood

 

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How often have you walked into a room in your own home or someone else’s and thought things just didn’t “feel” right? Or, perhaps there are certain rooms that also feel exceptionally inviting and open.  It’s easy to forget how important the spaces we live in are to our health and well-being.  The Following are some insights into home decoration and how it can make you more peaceful, productive and happy.

Color:

Colors can alter your mood. It’s important to play around with colors to find the right balance for you. Here’s a quick color to mood chart for reference:

Red: Passion, power, stimulation, and high energy. (Suggestions: dining room, bedroom, or upholstery)

Orange: Creativity, happiness, enthusiasm, and communication. (Suggestions: accenting, throw-overs, or pillows)

Yellow: Cheerfulness, light-heartedness, and mental stimulation. (Suggestions: kitchens, not bedrooms)

Green: Growth, harmony, nature, safety, peace, and healing (Suggestions: bedroom, bathroom, or office)

Blue: Trust, loyalty, confidence, faith (Suggestions: accents around the house and in bedroom)

Purple: Romance, luxury, nobility, wealth, spirituality, and motivation (Suggestions: bedroom)

Black: Power, independence (Suggestions: picture frames)

Brown: Stability, humility (Suggestions: living room)

White: Cleanliness, vibrancy (Use sparingly; too much white can feel cold)

Use this as a general reference and then play around. Look at a color, its various tones, and notice your mood. Have fun and mix and match.

Furniture and Decor:

Many people simply put everything against the wall when it comes to furniture placement. I have been guilty of doing this after moving, leaving artwork to sit against the wall and allowing our busy lives to prevent us from taking care of one of our most important spaces. What I didn’t realize fully was that this creates negative energy and dead space.

Energy must always have flow, so you don’t necessarily need to make everything symmetrical at all times. Balance is more important than symmetry. The rule of thumb is to think outside the box and to decorate in a way that may not necessarily be the most obvious. Mix furniture and decor with a wide range of variety, vintages, and textures.

When it comes to the decor and furniture, if you want a strong and independent look, you may consider incorporating circular, oval, and arched shapes along with granite, marble, and flagstone. Artwork and decor with metal, stone, brass, iron, copper, or gold is integral as well.

For leadership and creating a healthy emotional interaction between people, it is suggested to use artwork that involves sunshine or any form of natural illumination along with pyramids, cones, natural sunlight, feathers, silk, or wool.

For more order and sensuality, use furniture with squares, rectangles, ceramic, tile, and brick.

For creativity, intuition, and flexibility, integrate more wood, floral upholstery, wall coverings, drapes, pillars, and columns.

For a more relaxed and spiritual environment, integrate anything with water, crystals, glass, or mirrors.

It’s important not to overdo too much of any element. Use variety and balance. HAVE FUN!

Using Scent to Uplift your Home Environment:

One of the greatest senses we have is smell. Smell is like touching or tasting something from a distance. It’s a subtle thing that can have a huge impact on our mood.

I am a huge fan of candles and notice that I am drawn to different scents at different times and seasons. Start lighting more candles, incense, and oils to produce pleasing smells throughout the day. You can also add more flowers like jasmine, violets, and gardenias throughout your home.

What’s wonderful about creating a pleasing home environment is that it’s not necessary to spend a fortune to make your space inviting and clear. Less is more. Just start experimenting with what feels good to you!

It’s time to take a look at your space so that you can remove anything that brings negative energy, add things that bring you positive energy, and that makes your family feel comfortable and happy around the house.

Remember, your home is your sanctuary.