Brooks & Heinze Seattle Real Estate Team – August 2021 Newsletter

August 22, 2021

Seattle Market Update

We are seeing a cooling in the urban housing market but that doesn’t mean homes are now affordable or easily attainable. This statement can also not ring true for suburban homebuyers as the majority of those homes are still selling quickly and above list price, particularly in markets about an hour outside the city or in price ranges below $600,000. Competition for homes eased slightly in July but inventory is still tight and it is still a strong seller’s market.

There is usually a little slowdown of activity in August in the Seattle market as people enjoy summer and travel. This year, it feels like this slowdown happened a month sooner, coinciding with the lifting of many pandemic restrictions in the area at the end of June. Online home searches, in-person tours and mortgage applications have all been on the decline. It’ll be interesting to see if the pace picks up again in September or if this is a long-term trend.

In Seattle, the median single-family home price this July of $896,500 is up about 11% from last July but down from a $919,000 peak in May.

The current average mortgage rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage is 3.03 percent. At the current average rate, you’ll pay a combined $423 per month in principal and interest for every $100k you borrow.

Summer Home Maintenance Tips

We have 30 summer home maintenance tips, most of which you can do yourself. Following are four of them. Ask us for a complete list if you are interested:

1, Clean your dryer vent. Clean out all of the dust and lint trapped in the vent and exhaust duct. Dryers vents can be a fire hazard if they’re not cleaned and maintained.

2) Give your deck a once-over. Check your deck to see if there are any boards that look like they’re rotting. Have them replaced. Hammer any nails that are loose. Reseal your deck. 

3) Add a layer of mulch. Extra mulch will help fight off weeds and help your soil retain moisture during those scorching summer months.

4) Protect your home against unwanted guests. Cover any holes that are more than a quarter-inch wide. Get your tree branches trimmed back so they don’t create a highway for squirrels to your attic. Branches should be at least 8 feet from your roof. Do away with yard debris. Leaves and twigs are a haven for animals that might decide to invade your home.

Congratulations to our clients

Congratulations to AJ and Laura on the sale of their Greenlake Rambler!  

We’d love to hear from you

Any questions, comments, or feedback? Contact us any time.

Enjoy your summer,

Kerstin & Krisanne

Brooks & Heinze Team

at Skyline Properties, Inc.

Kerstin Brooks: 206.276.5827

Krisanne Heinze: 206.920.2541

Email: info@propertyinseattle.com

Web: www.propertyinseattle.com


What to Consider When Buying Hardwood Flooring – article by guest blogger Ron Anders

May 28, 2014

There are a lot of reasons to buy hardwood flooring: it’s easy to take care of, it looks nice, and it can increase the value in your home. Hardwood floors are also better for people with allergies than carpet. So, if you are convinced that installing hardwood floors is right for you, here are some guidelines to help you choose the right kind.

Your Style

Think about your design style when choosing hardwood flooring. Are you contemporary or more traditional in your design? Some woods like maple lend themselves to a contemporary design while oak is seen as more traditional.

Part of your style is dependent on your home. Look at how much lighting you have and the other hardwood in your home. Don’t forget the wall colors as well. Each of these is important when choosing a type and color of hardwood. If you have a bright, airy room with a lot of natural light coming in, you can go with dark hardwood on the floor and it will balance the space out. The same is true in the kitchen. White cabinets make a nice contrast with dark floors, but dark cabinets may look better with a lighter hardwood floor.

Consider Maintenance

While hardwood is seen as easier to care for than carpeting, it is not always maintenance free. Harder woods have more durability and don’t show scuff marks and dents as much as a softer hardwood. Look at the sheen on the hardwood, which comes from the type of stain used. A high sheen floor will make any scratches more noticeable than one with a duller appearance.

Appearance

Of course, the most important aspect of choosing a type of hardwood for your floor is how it looks and appeals to you. If you really like dark hardwood, then go with it. Just remember to compensate in other areas. The width of the planks is another thing to consider. While the trend may be on wider planks, you may prefer more narrow ones. Be aware that your choices not only affect you, but the value of your home if you should decide to sell.

A popular hardwood choice is acacia. It is an exotic hardwood that originates from Asia and features a mixture of lighter and darker tones. This is ideal for many homes because it blends with a lot of colors and styles. It also hides scratches and dings better because of the varied pattern.

Types of Treatment

Certain types of treatments alter the look of hardwood. For instance, oil-based stains penetrate deeper into the hardwood than polyurethane. They cost more upfront, but maintenance is reduced because you don’t have to re-stain very often. This type of finish does a better job of hiding marks and wear on a floor.

Some treatments give a new floor a worn look so that you can’t tell when it gets scuffed. These include hand-scraped treatments and wire brushes. They make the hardwood look roughened as if it has been around for a long time. You may want this look if you live in an older home and want the floor to look like it is the original.

All of these options have different price tags associated with them, so you will want to check out cost before making a final decision. Don’t be in a hurry to choose your floor. Instead, take your time and think about everything that goes into that decision so that you make the right one. After all, your floor is something you’re going to look at and hopefully love for a very long time.

This article is a guest blog entry by Ron Anders. For more information call Ron at 1 (800) 263-6363 or find more information online at http://www.hardwoodflooringstore.com

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What Color is your Garden? Guest blog entry by Susie Thompson (Landscape Designer)

April 25, 2013

What Color is Your Garden? If you said green, yes, of course, it is after all a garden. But besides green—is there a color that resonates through your garden and landscape, a color that makes a statement, a color that is repeated throughout and carries your eye all the way around and across the garden? Color is the element that can define the mood of a garden. White and pastels are quiet, reds and oranges are energetic hot colors, blues and purples are rich satisfying colors that suggest sky and water.

So what color should a garden be? Look at a color wheel and start with the color of the house; it provides a backdrop for the entire landscape. Colors directly across the color color wheelwheel provide a complementary color scheme—one warm and one cool color which provides maximum contrast. Just decide which one is the dominant color and then use only a little of the second color; lots of purple with a little yellow is my favorite. An analogous color scheme uses one color plus the two colors that are immediately adjacent to it. You’ll end up with a consistently warm or cool color scheme that provides an elegant look with minimal contrast. A triad color scheme uses three colors—one main color and the two colors on each side of its complement. Triad is easy and comfortable on the eye; it provides a softer contrast than a complementary scheme but more contrast that an analogous scheme. There are other color schemes and variations thereof, but I find the three mentioned are tried and true and reasonably easy to work with.

A few other considerations about color will go a long way in making a garden successful. From what distance will the color be viewed? Light and pastel colors fade and disappear, and darker, rich colors advance and seem closer. So if you site some pastel pink flowers along a white fence in the back of the garden I promise they’ll fade and disappear, and you’ll barely be able to find them—a waste of flowers and beauty! Use a deeper pink, even if you’re working with a pastel color scheme, and the flowers will march forward visually and be seen and enjoyed.

–And my favorite color consideration is foliage versus flowers. Two things are happening here. The obvious is permanence. Most flowers last only a few weeks at best while foliage obviously offers year round presence. The other consideration is mass. A mass of foliage delivers more color than a few delicate flowers. So for me the foliage versus flower choice is easy on every level—foliage simply provides more visual impact and requires less maintenance than flowers.

If I persuaded you to use more foliage in your garden here’s a few of my favorites that deliver color: Nandina domestica, red leaf Acer palmatums, Berberis, Spiraea, and conifers.

Susie Thompson
Susie Landscape Designs
Phone: 206.724.5020
Email susie@susielandscapedesigns.com

susie


Get your home ready for the Winter Season

November 10, 2010

Outdoor Fall Maintenance Tips

1. Clear debris out of you window wells, gutters, down spouts, and storm drains. This will allow the water to properly drain, minimizing standing water and stalling the freeze and thaw expansion process that often occurs during colder months.

2. Make sure the weather stripping on your windows and doors fit and is in good condition.

3. Clean your windows. Sparkling clean windows let in lots of sunlight that will help chase away winter’s doldrums.

4. Look for broken or cracked glass and damaged screens or storm windows. Also, check for loose putty around glass panes.

5. Remove garden hoses from spouts, drain and store for the winter. Insulate outdoor faucets, pipes in unheated garages, and pipes in crawl spaces.

6. Keep rodents out. In the winter months, all kinds of critters will be looking for a cozy spot. They don’t need a lot of space to get into or under your home. Make sure all exterior vents are screened, and that there are no gaps underneath garage doors. Pet doors are another favorite access point for rodents.

7. Install storm windows to insure proper heating efficiency.

Indoor Maintenance Tips

1. Get your heating system checked by a professional.

2. Replace your furnace filter.

3. Clean out any dust that has accumulated in vents to reduce exposure to indoor pollutants and cut down on winter colds.

4. Make sure you have proper insulation in both your attic and basement. While checking your insulation, if you see any dark, dirty spots, it may indicate you have air leaks coming into your home.

5. Remove hair from drains in sinks, tubs, and showers.

6. Test all smoke alarms and clean dust from the covers. Replace batteries as necessary.

7. Test all ground-fault circuit interrupters, especially after electrical storms.

8. Check your home around windows and doors for air leaks. An easy way to check for leaks is to move a lighter around the window or door frame and see if the flame moves with a breeze. If you find a leak, you can caulk it or you may have to replace the wood frame. Repairing these leaks can save you money on your energy bill during the cold months.

9. Don’t ignore your hose bibs and learn the location of your pipes as well as how to shut off the water. If your pipes end up freezing, you’ll have a better chance of preventing a burst if you can quickly shut water off.

10. Clean and reverse ceiling fans. Reset fans for the winter routine by giving fan blades a thorough dusting, and then switch them to a clockwise spin in order to push warm air downward from the ceiling.

Happy Fall Days, enjoy the colors,
Kerstin

Kerstin G. Brooks
Brooks & Heinze Real Estate Team
http://www.propertyinseattle.com


Home Maintenance – or how to protect your biggest investment

September 1, 2008

Many homeowners wonder when to schedule home maintenance. Some of you, the do-it -yourselfers take great pride in doing the maintenance yourself or only calling a contractor in on the big jobs. Some of you busy moms and professionals would rather have someone else do it quickly and right the first time. Either way is fine – just do it or have it done.

Following is a brief outline of some of the most common home maintenance jobs and repairs, as well as a guide on how to select contractors should you decide to hire one.

The old adage of “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” rings true for home maintenance. Simple and relatively inexpensive regular maintenance can help avoid many extensive and expensive problems.

Home maintenance by season:

Fall Maintenance
Clean and repair gutters. Recaulk exteriors around windows and doors. Fill all other holes and gaps. Remove debris and moss from the roof. Keep debris away from the home such as leaves, plants, wood, etc. Replace your furnace filter and have your furnace serviced. Late fall/early winter freeze proof your exterior plumbing.

Winter Maintenance
Recaulk and regrout in tubs/shower and sinks. Check seals on dishwasher/washer. Check dishwasher/washer hoses for leaks. Check dryer hose and vent for lint blockage. Check for leaks in your attic, basement and your water heater.

Spring Maintenance
Clean and repair gutters. Remove debris and moss from roof. Replace damaged roof shingles. Repair torn screens and check siding. Power wash walkways and drive ways. Power wash and restain decks and check for rot/insects. Late spring/early summer cut back trees and shrubs hanging over or touching the home.

Summer Maintenance
Check exterior paint and sand/repaint as necessary.

How to select a contractor:

Get a referral from your real estate agent. One way to retain or increase property value is by doing the proper maintenance and sometimes upgrades – your real estate agent knows all about that and most likely, if she/he is a good agent, she/he knows which companies do a great job when it comes to maintenance, repair and remodel.

If you are looking for a contractor in the Seattle area, contact Kerstin G. Brooks or Krisanne Heinze of the Brooks & Heinze Team at RE/MAX NW Realtors for a referral to a roofer, electrician, plumber, handyman, power washer, cleaner, and more.

Have a great day,
Kerstin G. Brooks
The Brooks & Heinze Team
206.276.5827
Email: info@propertyinseattle.com
Web: www.propertyinseattle.com


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