Kitsap, Mason, and Pierce County Real Estate News

May 4, 2017

The Latest in Home Design Trends

Whether you're a prospective seller or a longtime homeowner, revamping your space may be on your to-do list. Before you begin, preview these design trends and learn how to make them your own.

Quick Decorating Touches

  • Add the latest color. From deep emerald to the lime hue of Greenery (the Pantone Color of the Year), verdant shades are instant hits. To incorporate the trend, sprinkle in a few eye-catching accessories or splurge on a plush, room-filling rug.
  • Bring in bronze and brass. These of-the-moment metallics look luxurious, but they have economical price tags and complement a variety of colors and styles. Spruce up your kitchen cabinets with brass handles or use bronze light fixtures to warm up a room.
  • Toy with texture. Whether you're drawn to fabric wallpaper, a decorative wall hanging or a collection of well-placed throw pillows, texture is an easy way to make a space more inviting. And don't shy away from mixed materials like leather and wool.

Trendy Upgrades

  • Enrich your entryway. You have only one chance to make a first impression. For a small investment, you can transform your home's entrance with an artisan-crafted credenza or an oversized mirror that amplifies the natural light.
  • Update your countertops. Laminate options fashioned from recycled granite or glass are easy on the wallet and the environment. Want to go all out? Lighter shades in quartz, marble and wood are popular upgrades in today's kitchens.
  • Establish a shedquarters. Whether you work from home, want a relaxing retreat or host houseguests regularly, a separate on-site structure aptly dubbed a "shedquarters" may be a worthy addition.

From a quick, low-budget change to a well-planned build-out, homeowners have several options when it comes to implementing the latest home design trends.

Posted in Lifestyle
May 4, 2017

How the Right Words Can Help Sell Your Home

House and neighborhood characteristics can positively influence the sale of your home, but what about the words used in the listing? The right turn of phrase could help your property sell quickly, but choose less descriptive terms and you may find it on the market indefinitely. Write an effective listing with the following tips:

Choose Your Words Wisely
One analytics firm reviewed the word choices of a million listings that closed in 2016. Phrases like "open concept" and "natural light" closed more quickly, while listings with "ceramic tile" and "two story" stayed on the market longer. Analysts also found that four word pairs associated with quick closings included "fence" references, indicating that privacy may be a top priority for buyers.

Tell Stories With Emotion 
Capture potential buyers' senses with your words, and try to paint a picture of what it would be like to live in the home. A claw-foot tub becomes a place of solace from the daily grind, and a large yard transforms into a buyer's new outdoor respite. Need help? Consider enlisting a professional who is familiar with what's selling to help write your listing.

Highlight Brand Names
Don't focus solely on basics such as square footage and the number of bathrooms. Instead, identify brands that will stand out from the competition. Everything's fair game -- from appliances to fixtures to interior designers or architects who helped with your last renovation. You can feel comfortable name-dropping here.

Create Longer Listings
The 2015 book "Zillow Talk" found that listings as long as 250 words tend to sell at higher prices. And to help grab a potential buyer's eye, give particular attention to the first 10 words.

Before putting your home on the market, get in touch for help in crafting a well-worded listing. You can reply to this email for specific advice. A sale may hinge on it.

Posted in Advice
May 4, 2017

Famous U.S. Homes Worthy of a Visit

It's never too early to dream up your next vacation. Whether you're interested in a fun, educational destination or you're on the hunt for home inspiration, visiting these famous estates may pique your imagination.

Architectural Icon
A tour through the Frank Lloyd Wright home and studio just outside of Chicago is like peering into the creative mind of one of America's most iconic architects. Constructed in 1889 for $5,000, this Oak Park house served as the family home for Wright, his wife and their six kids. Bold, geometric shapes on the exterior and the interior's high, barrel-vaulted ceiling make this visit a must for architecture enthusiasts.

Literary Cats 
One home of Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway is tucked away in the heart of Old Town in Key West, Florida. The estate boasts Spanish colonial architecture and lush grounds; however, the Hemingway home is also well-known for its current occupants. No less than 40 polydactyl (six-toed) cats, descendants of those owned by Hemingway himself, still live on-site.

Presidential Family Estate
Get a historical perspective with a visit to Hildene, a 1905 Georgian Revival mansion in Manchester, Vermont, that belonged to Robert Todd Lincoln, the son of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln. Guests can take year-round tours of the home's 24-room interior, stroll down approximately 12 miles of walking trails and visit the working farm.

As Seen on TV
Popularized by more than 70 feature films and television shows, including "Full House," San Francisco's Painted Ladies are a staple of the city's skyline. This row of quintessential Victorian homes, also known as the Seven Sisters, ascends one of the city's hilly neighborhoods. Snap a gorgeous photo from the famous Alamo Square Park across the street.

Posted in Lifestyle
May 4, 2017

Essential Checklist for Home Purchasing and Selling

Spring has sprung, which means the housing market is in full bloom. Each year, roughly 40 percent of real estate transactions occur between the months of May and August. If you're feeling inspired to buy or sell a home soon, make sure you're prepared. Use these checklists to catch anything you may have missed.

When You're Ready to Buy a Home
Purchasing a house is one of the biggest transactions you'll ever make. Whether it's your first time or the fifth, tackle the following prep work:

  • Calculate what you can afford. Use a home affordability calculator to make sure you're ready for the mortgage payments.
  • Check your credit score, and fix any inaccuracies you discover ASAP. Errors can impact your ability to get a good interest rate.
  • Save up for a down payment. Most lenders require 5 to 20 percent, and larger down payments can lower the amount you pay each month.
  • Be ready for additional closing costs. Plan to have approximately 4 percent of the home's purchase price on hand to cover taxes, fees and other necessary charges.
  • Re-evaluate your insurance coverage and update all of your policies, including life and car insurance.

When It's Time to Sell
Putting your home on the market is a process that can take months. Before you do, complete this home seller to-do list:

  • Declutter, clean and get your home ready to show. You only have one chance to make a first impression.
  • Take inventory of what needs to be fixed and make a schedule to complete any updates, such as roof work, new paint or landscaping.
  • Decide on an appropriate selling price. Pulling comps in your area can give you a better idea of your home's value.
Posted in Advice
May 4, 2017

3 Urban Homesteading Projects to Try

From backyard and rooftop gardens to community plots in parks and vacant lots, urban agriculture has become a nationwide movement, and more homeowners have taken an interest in producing their own food. For many urban homesteaders, it stems from a desire to know where their food comes from and live more sustainably.

Are you interested in participating? These three small-scale projects are great places to start.

Raising Backyard Chickens
Chickens provide a relatively inexpensive, low-maintenance way to feed your family, plus they act as complimentary fertilizer and chemical-free pest control. Before you buy baby chicks, make sure you research and follow local laws, city ordinances and homeowner association rules.

Taking Up Beekeeping
In the 1940s, America had five million beehives, and today, roughly half of those remain. A growing awareness of this drastic decline has led to an increase in urban beekeeping, to the tune of approximately 120,000 backyard beekeepers.

Becoming a beekeeper starts with a lot of research, followed by choosing the right equipment and bees. Don't want to care for an entire colony? Plant native flower and weed varieties that help encourage bee pollination and reproduction.

Gardening and Canning 
Whether it's a large plot or a small section, a personal garden gives you control. Plus, you can preserve fresh fruits and vegetables via the canning process. While many homesteaders use yields from their garden, others buy extra produce in its peak season. Canning veggies and fruits is a family-friendly activity that lets you enjoy seasonal produce all year long.

Though urban homesteading may seem intimidating at first, it's easier to start small. The projects above can help minimize your impact on the environment and allow you to take part in your own food production.

Posted in Lifestyle
July 27, 2016

A Taste Of Germany Beckons Residents On Pierce County Real Estate

Try Delicious Goods near Pierce County HomesA bit of Germany rests on Pierce County real estate at Hess Bakery and Deli. Located at 6108 Mt. Tacoma Drive SW in Lakewood, Washington, Hess is a combination of bakery, delicatessen and grocery shop. The aroma of freshly baked goods surrounds Pierce County homes as the German baker takes loaves fresh out of the oven daily six days a week. German rye, Westfalian sourdough, pumpernickel, french baguettes, whole grain loaves and sweet breads are only a sample of what’s put on display. Delectable pretzels traditionally shaped alongside twists and rolls are local favorites.

With true German meats, sausages, and cheeses of the highest quality, an impressive delicatessen is what makes Hess Bakery the perfect stop for lunch. After indulging in a delicious sandwich select some products to bring back for weekly lunches at the house. Full deli trays, pre-made sandwiches, breads and more are listed on the catering menu available for special events in the area.

A variety of imports are in the grocery. German chocolates, cookies, jams and preserves are more than satisfying. Lachs, herring, sauerkraut, spaetzle and knoedel are reminders of the mother country. Robust German beer rounds out the selection in the shop.

First opening their doors in 1968, this authentic German eatery and market has dedicatedly served the Pierce County real estate community. Hours are weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Step inside The Hess Bakery and into a bit of Germany today.


Posted in News
July 26, 2016

Great Golf Is Played Near Mason County Homes

Enjoy Great Golf near Mason County HomesWorld class golf awaits athletes from Mason County homes at the Salish Cliffs Golf Club. At this critically acclaimed 18 hole par, 72 championship course play is challenging for every level of sportsman. The views at Salish Cliffs are nothing less than stunning with the Kamilche Valley and fragrant forestry serving as backdrops. Silvery sand traps sit alongside majestic trees, wild grasses, glistening lakes, and wetland preserves.

Practice facilities lay in wait for golf enthusiasts from Mason County homes to hone their skills on. For those who wish additional instruction PGA professionals are kept on staff. Golfing clinics and programs are also scheduled throughout the year.

Get great gear at the golf shop. Experts in the store can help match the best set of clubs to each player’s individual needs. A variety of high quality clothing and memorabilia is continuously stocked and includes Titleist, Nike, Footjoy, EP Pro and more.

After an exhilarating game of golf, appetites can be satisfied at the Salish Grille. Indoor and outdoor dining is available on this Mason County property for breakfast and lunch. From hearty biscuits and gravy to a refreshing Skookum salad there is something to please everyone on the menu.

With all its amenities as well as the beauty of the course, it is no wonder the Salish Cliffs Golf Club has made the GolfWeek Digest Top 100 Resort Course list four years in a row. Gather a group for play and book a tee time online today.


Posted in News
July 26, 2016

Farm Fresh Is Best On Kitsap County Real Estate

Fresh Market Daily in Kitsap County HomesKitsap County real estate residents can shop fresh for groceries at the Port Orchard Farmers Market. Here local farmers present the best fruits and vegetables the area has to offer. Shoppers will be delighted with the generous selection of delicious summer fruits such as sweet apples, raspberries, peaches and blackberries. A variety of crisp vegetables are displayed and include eggplant, colorful peppers and summer squash. And, there are meat and dairy products as well. Gourmet foods such as rich chocolate, honey and nuts can be found in the stalls alongside many types of spices.

It’s not all about the food though. An array of potted plants and freshly picked bouquets of flowers are grower direct and available for those living in Kitsap County to take back home. Community artists have also set up shop and proudly reveal their efforts. Unique creations are seen everywhere. Booths contain vibrant handcrafted jewelry that will impress, and whimsical paintings and potteries that delight and inspire. With such a varied selection of items browsers living in Kitsap County will certainly find something fun to bring back with them.

The market is held weekly on the Port Orchard Waterfront Boardwalk on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Summer is the perfect time to prepare “fresh from the farm to the table” meals with the family. The Port Orchard Farmers Market will have all the needed ingredients and more!


Posted in News