7 Ways to Boost Your Home’s Value

File Apr 27, 11 34 41 AM

We all seem to be finding ourselves having a little more time than normal with the stay home and stay safe order. Now is the perfect time to spend some of your free time doing various projects to boost the value of your home. Whether you are thinking about selling in the near future, refinancing or just want to make sure you take good care of your home, these suggestions are a great way to help your home stay healthy and up to date!

File Apr 27, 11 29 15 AM

Improve Your Curb Appeal

The weather here in the PNW has been perfect to start, or finish, those outside projects of yours. Taking the time to carefully landscape your yard can really help boost the value of your home. Clear out weeds, trim back bushes, edge the grass and throw on some new bark. While you are at it, add a few pots of color to your porch! And don’t forget about your backyard. A little bit of clean up and landscaping can do wonders!

Repaint Your Front Door

This simple update will add a fresh look to your home. White, red, blue or black are the perfect colors for any color of your home. A newly painted door can change the entire look of a home and help maintain the quality of the door itself.

File Apr 27, 11 33 34 AM

Fresh Coat of Paint

This is one of the easiest ways to increase your home’s value! A fresh coat of paint can really make your home look new and up to date whether it be all the walls or just a few rooms. If it is in the budget, a fresh coat of paint outside is a fantastic idea as well. Remember, color matters. Choose colors that are both current and go with the rest of your home and décor.

Add or Replace Hardware

Simple, right? Right. Adding or replacing hardware in your bathrooms and kitchen completely changes the space and will ensure your cabinets last longer with less wear and tear.

aw-creative-PCDlE94JjcI-unsplash

Upgrade Light Fixtures

Are your light fixtures still builder grade and basic? Are they all different styles? Replacing fixtures is another simple task with a big impact. Updating to something modern and in style takes nothing more than a screwdriver and a few minutes to replace. Similar areas should match, kitchen, hallways, bedrooms, bathrooms. Congruency is key. Do your porch and patio lighting need some love? Replace those too!

Replace Floors

New flooring can seem like a daunting task. However, this is one of the best ways to increase your value. This is also an area that you want to pick quality. Spending a little more on a quality flooring will not only increase value but make sure your floors last years without needing to be replaced.

adrien-olichon-wBMof4BVMWA-unsplash

Clean and Treat the Roof

Remove moss, replace shingles, repair damage and treat with a moss treatment. You may even need a new roof. Either way, this update has a major impact on the value and longevity of your home.

Ready to sell?  Homes are still selling. Contact me today to discuss your options!

Stay safe.

How to Boost Your Home's Value

 

Ideas for How to Spend Your Time During the COVID-19 Crisis

not-today-covid19-sign-on-wooden-stool-3952231

We are living in some strange times right now with the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Having to self-quarantine isn’t what we thought we would be doing during this spring season, but it’s key to resolving the issue. If you’re like me, you’re probably trying to figure out what to do with yourself for the next 6 weeks, if not longer!

Here are some great activities to do while following the recommended act of social distancing. These are fun for all ages!

Get outside! Just because we have to social distance, doesn’t mean we can’t get out and enjoy the outdoors. Go for a walk around your neighborhood, go for a local hike, garden in your yard, anything to get you outdoors and enjoying the fresh air.

Do an art project! Pinterest is full of great craft and art ideas. Start searching and pick one that sounds fun. It can be something that takes a little bit of time to complete, you have the time!

Complete that project! Do you have a house project that has been sitting on your To-Do list for a while? Now is the perfect time to get that done!

Play a game! Any game you like, cards, dominos or a board game is a fun activity for all.

Stream! Catch up on that show you started a while back. Or better yet, start a new series you’ve always wanted to watch. Don’t currently use a streaming system? Most of them offer a free trial period between 1 week and a full month. Now is the perfect time to try it out!

Movie night! Or day, you pick. Pop some popcorn, make yourself a drink and snuggle up with your favorite blanket.

Puzzle! Dust off that old puzzle you haven’t done in a while, make some tea and puzzle.

Spoil yourself! Light some candles, pour yourself a drink and soak in a hot bath. Relax. When was the last time you’ve done that?

At home spa day! Put on a face mask, give yourself a pedicure and manicure. Honey and cinnamon are a great, natural exfoliant for your skin. Mix 1 teaspoon of each together, microwave it for 30 seconds (make sure it’s not too hot for your skin), rub it on your face and let it sit for 10 min. Rinse and feel how smooth your face feels after!

Spring clean! Now is the perfect time to spring clean! Open the blinds and curtains, let that natural light in, turn on your favorite tunes and get to purging and cleaning!

Organize! You know that closet you hate to open because something falls out every time? Or how about that drawer you can’t ever find anything in? Time to clean and organize it. It’ll feel so good when it’s all done!

Social distancing isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be boring. I hope you found some of these ideas to be beneficial to your next several weeks at home. Stay safe and don’t forget to take a deep breath whenever you’re starting to feel overwhelmed or anxious in any way.

And of course, if you’re looking at homes, I am still able to assist you with all of your Puget Sound real estate needs! Let’s connect.

Ideas for How to Spend Your Time During the COVID-19 Crisis

 

Let the Light Shine In – Tips to a Brighter Home and You!

Tips for a Brighter Home

We all know that winter is a season of darkness, especially here in the Pacific Northwest. Gloomy, rainy days can bring us all down and even make it so we don’t want to leave our home. So why not brighten our homes to boost our mood and give us more motivation for that beautiful, crisp spring weather that’s just around the corner? Here are some easy, inexpensive ways to brighten your home and your mood.

Wash Windows

Take a good look at those windows of yours, are they cloudy? Maybe they have water spots and possibly some streaks from the winter season. When was the last time you washed your windows, if ever? Taking some soapy water or window cleaner to your window will instantly brighten the light that enters your home.

Unblock Windows

Having furniture in front of your windows not only can block the light from entering your home, but it can make your space feel bigger. Which can also brighten and lighten the room. So rearrange that room and unblock those newly cleaned windows!

Paint

Painting your walls a light, neutral color can brighten your space and even make it feel lighter. Do you already have a light color on your walls? Paint the same color to refresh the paint if it’s been a while.

Curtains

What kind of curtains do you have in your home? The color of the curtains matters too. Are they dark and heavy? Change it up by using a lighter fabric, such as linen or a sheer fabric. If you need room darkening curtains, you can still opt for a lighter color! Don’t have curtains? Open those blinds daily!

Clean

A dirty home is full of dust, grime, even if your eyes can’t see it, and clutter. Putting everything that’s out of place back where it belongs, dusting, mopping and deep cleaning can brighten your day and your home. Turn on some tunes, pick up that duster and get to work! Imagine how good it will feel to kick back and relax in a dust free home.

Lightbulbs

Replace your lightbulbs to a white LED instead of one with a yellow tint. There are so many options for lightbulbs now and it’s a great way to make your home brighter, even when it’s dark out.

Mirrors

Mirrors reflect light and make your room feel larger. Both brighten any room. Not only will you add a cute piece of décor to your room, but you’ll brighten it as well!

Add Plants

Plants add life to any space. Here is a list of plants that boost the oxygen levels and your mood.

Does your home need to be brighter? I hope these tips come in handy to help you begin the process!

Tips for a Brighter Home

 

 

New Year, New You, New Home

New Year New You New Home

Do you ever make New Years resolutions and find yourself not sticking to them? Or maybe you do, but for only a few months or even weeks? No need to set unrealistic goals for yourself. The new year is a great time for a fresh start with more than just yourself. Why not incorporate your home as well.

Here are some great ways to start fresh for the new year, for you AND your home.

Declutter and Organize

Don’t wait for the spring to come before you purge and declutter. This tends to be a bigger task than we realized and if we start at the beginning of the year and continue through each season, it won’t be as daunting. Limiting decluttering your home and life to one season is almost asking for you to become overwhelmed. Start by creating a list of each room in your house. Under each room, add spaces to go through. Prioritize the list from easiest to hardest, or most daunting, and work your way down. You’ll be finished and in a minimalist space in no time.

No Screen Time Days

We live in a society where we are constantly in front of our phones, the TV and computers. Pick a day, maybe two or three, a week that you don’t turn on the TV, you stay off the computer and you put your phone down. Read a book, do a puzzle, knit, get outside and explore, do more that makes you happy. Whether it’s inside or outside, you’ll notice a happier, healthier you.

Home Project Checkoff

Do you have that one home project you’ve been putting off? It’s time to tackle it! Look at your calendar, set a date and don’t change it. If it’s finances that are holding you back, set your date further out and a monthly savings goal to help you accomplish your task. Even if it’s $25-50/month set aside, you’ll be able to reach it in no time. Make a list of items you’ll need, cost and a plan of action. Post it for you to see daily and get to work! 

Drink More Water

Most of us don’t consume enough water throughout the day. When you’re dehydrated, your health is affected. It helps to find a cup or water bottle you enjoy drinking from. Find something you’re drawn to and use that as your daily water cup. Here are some benefits to drinking more water:

  • Healthier skin and hair
  • Helps your digestive system, which ever way it needs to go
  • Helps with kidney function
  • Promotes energy and brain function
  • Boosts performance and promotes weight loss

Find out how much water you should be drinking here. Use a water drinking app to help you keep track!

Create a Calm Space

Create a space, whether it’s a room or just a space within your home, where you can go to relax and feel calm. Use this space for meditation, reading, reflecting or whatever it is you need. Everyone should have a go to spot. Fill it with items and colors that make you happy. You work hard and deserve it after a long day!

New year, new you, new home. Welcome 2020, let’s do this!

New Year New You New Home

Fun Ways to Ring in the New Year

File Dec 15, 10 50 15 AM

New Year’s Eve is just around the corner. What better way to celebrate than to host an NYE gathering of your own?  Let’s kick off the new year with a gathering that best fits you. Here are a few fun ways to ring in the new year:

Game Night

No need to get all dressed up for this one. Invite a few friends over for a fun game night, family friendly or adults only, you decide. Make it a PJ party and stay up late playing games prior to ringing in the new year with those you love!

Cozy Night at Home

This is perfect for those who are homebodies. If the idea of a larger gathering brings you stress, then make it a cozy night in to watch the ball drop. Snuggle up with your loved one and fur babies, and ring in the new year the coziest way there is. Don’t be afraid to say “Happy New Year” on East Coast time and hit the hay early!

Themed Night

Great Gatsby, Black Tie, Prom, 80’s Throwback or Disco Fever are just a few ideas for a themed NYE party. Get creative with this one. Pinterest is a fantastic place to find some great décor and food ideas for this festive night.

Dance Party

That’s right, you heard me. Who wouldn’t want to have a living room dance party? Make a playlist full of your favorite dance music, clear the floor, string some lights and dance the night away until it’s time to say “Happy New Year!”.

Whichever gathering you choose to have, make it a great one. Let’s start 2020 off right! Here is a yummy mocktail and cocktail drink recipe to get your NYE party going:

Holiday Pomegranate Mojito Mocktail

Ingredients:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
4 lime wedges
10 mint leaves
Ice
4 ounces pomegranate juice
8 ounces club soda
Pomegranate seeds
2 highball glasses

Directions:

  • In a small saucepan, heat the water and sugar over high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil. Set aside and let it cool.
  • Place two lime wedges, five mint leaves and half of the simple syrup mixture in each glass. Muddle the ingredients together to infuse the flavors. Add in the ice and pomegranate seeds. Then, pour two ounces of pomegranate juice in each glass, followed by about four ounces of club soda. Stir well.
  • Garnish the tops of the drinks with extra mint and pomegranate seeds. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Original Recipe from The Butter Half

Cinnamon Bourbon Apple Cider

Ingredients:
Fresh apple cider
Your favorite Bourbon or Whiskey
Cinnamon sugar for the rim
Rosemary Sprigs
Fresh, sliced apples for garnish

Directions: 

  • Mix equal parts of cinnamon and sugar on a small plate. Dip the rim of your glass in apple cider and then onto the plate with cinnamon sugar.
  • Mix 2 parts bourbon and 4 parts apple cider in a microwave safe glass for about 20-25 seconds, making sure it doesn’t get too hot. If you’d like your drink iced {as shown above}, feel free to skip this step!
  • Add a slice of fresh apple and a rosemary sprig to your glass and enjoy!

Original Recipe from Charmingly Styled

Fun Ways to Ring in the New Year

2019 Puget Sound Holiday Events

Puget Sound Holiday Events.jpg

With the holidays upon us, we often look for fun festive activities for all ages. There are so many great Puget Sound holiday events from now until the holiday season ends. Here are just a few festive fun ideas for you and your family and friends to enjoy.

Downtown for the Holidays Kickoff!

Enjoy a day full of festivities including horse drawn wagon rides, hot chocolate, Jingle Bell Parade, a visit from Santa and Mrs Claus and the annual tree lighting ceremony at Sylvester Park.

When: Sunday, December 1st from 1:00pm-4:00pm

Where: Downtown Olympia

Oly On Ice

The local ice skating rink is back for it’s second year of fun. This pop-up ice skating rink brings fun for all ages!

When: November 22 – January 17

Where: Isthmus Park

529 4th Ave W

Olympia, WA 98502 

Lacey Parade of Lights

Come watch local businesses and families in the parade of lights. Enjoy some hot cocoa, popcorn and visit with Santa Claus. Lighting of the Christmas tree to follow.

When: Monday, December 2nd @ 6:30pm

Where: Huntamer Park

618 Woodland Square Lp SE

Lacey, WA 98503

Oly Toy Run

Enjoy thousands of motorcyclists from all over coming together to ride and bring donations of toys to children in need for the holiday season. There’s something nostalgic about watching riders of all ages and groups come together to not only bring smiles to kids faces, but admirers as well.

When: Saturday, December 7th @ 1:00pm

Where: Parade starts at Marathon Park

1011 Deschutes Parkway SW

Olympia, WA 98502

Click here for the route map

Parade of Lighted Ships

One of the most popular and longest events of the holiday season is the Parade of Lighted Ships brought to you by the Olympia Yacht Club. Head down to the Port Plaza to enjoy.

When: Saturday, December 7th @ 6pm

Where: Port Plaza

701 Columbia St NW

Olympia, WA 98501

Pet Pictures with Santa

This one is for your furbabies. Santa will be at Kiperts Korner Feed in Tumwater for pictures with your pets. So bring your furry little one in their Christmas best!

When: Saturday, December 14th from 10:00am-1:00pm

Where: Kiperts Korner Feed

8439 Old HWY 99 SE

Tumwater, WA 98501

Snowflake Saturday

Learn all about snowflakes, the science behind snow and ice. The kids, and adults, can make fun snowflake crafts as well!

When: Saturday, December 21 from 10:00am-4:00pm

Where: WET Center

500 Adams Street St

Olympia, WA 98501

Puget Sound Holiday Events

 

9 Holiday Hosting Tips for a Stress-Free Experience

Holiday Hosting Tips.jpg

The holidays are fast approaching and now’s the time to prepare for that exciting holiday party you’ve got on the mind! No matter if it’s for family or friends, you can easily make a stress-free experience for all with these holiday hosting tips.

Decide On the Type of Party

Most important is to decide what type of party you will be throwing. Is the party going to be a potluck, or are you preparing all the food and beverages on your own? Depending on how much involvement it requires from others, you may have more or less on your plate to plan for. Picking an overall party theme is something else to consider, too.

Create a Facebook Event

A super easy way to organize any event is a Facebook Event page. This allows your guests to paperless RSVP so you can save the earth while gauging an estimated headcount. And! Get this: You can post updates as needed as you inch closer to the date. Running low on X, ask a guest to pick some up, etc.

Don’t Play Bartender

Instead of adding an extra level of stress to the evening by making yourself the designated bartender, avoid the chaos by setting up a drink station where your guests can DIY their own cocktails!

Think About How You Can Add a Personal Touch

Could you handwrite all place cards? Make something personal as party favors for your guests (a candle to take home for the winter, perhaps)? Adding something special for the guests to remember the party by.

Make Ahead Meals

If you are able to create + freeze some of your dishes ahead of time, that’s ideal. Making appetizers and other freezable dishes the day or morning before can save you a lot of time, and in addition, making sure to pick relatively easy-to-prepare foods is equally helpful.

Opt for Paper

When buying plates, cups and cutlery for the evening, opt for paper to reduce cleanup and that pile of dishes in the sink by the end of the night. It’s worth the money to have peace of mind.

Pick a Playlist

If you’re a Spotify member, you can find a variety of pre-made playlists with holiday tunes or seasonal vibes, reducing the amount of work you have to do attempting to customize your own playlist (although you can do that, too). Choose the playlist(s) you desire before the night-of to avoid scrambling last minute.

Plan the Night

For a cost-effective party, make a list of fun games and entertainment that you can do on the spot. You could even enlist everyone to bring a gift for White Elephant!

Offer Takeout

Purchase to-go boxes and offer that the guests can take some food for the road as the party winds down! This way you aren’t stuck with a bunch of leftovers you are unable to consume in time, and it makes cleanup that much easier + effective!

Did you enjoy these tips? Comment below to add your own! Happy Hosting 🙂

Holiday Hosting Tips

 

 

 

 

The 6 Things You Must Do When Getting Ready to Sell Your Home

Beautiful Kitchen In Luxury Home Modern  Interior With Island An

When you’re getting ready to sell your home, there’s a bunch of items to check off the to-do list. I understand how overwhelming and consuming it can be. It’s key that you separate the tasks into achievable to-do lists and exercise some patience with yourself – it won’t all happen in a day!

These 6 steps are designed to get you thinking as you begin your home selling journey:

Rid the Clutter

Follow the general rule of thumb of hiding about 30% of the extra items you have laying around the home – boxes, clothing, chairs, papers, books, the list goes on. Whether you get rid of these and donate them, or you

Neutralize the Interior

You may have loved that bright blue accent wall, but John and Jane Doe might not. Be sure you utilize neutral colors for your interior – either repaint, or remove bright, quirky objects around the home that you’ve used to personalize it to fit your style. Your guests need to be able to picture themselves in your home.

Hide the Pets!

Be sure that the pets are out of the house when you’re hosting showings – this way you avoid them jumping up on (or running out to) the unsuspecting strangers, the bothersome noises, AND you tackle the issue of pet fur and dander that may cause allergy flare ups for your guests.

Let the Light In

Whether you are optimizing your interior lighting or the natural light coming in from the windows, make sure you open the blinds and replace all the light bulbs.

Make it Smell Good

You’ve probably heard of the common “bake cookies” suggestion for home sellers. This is a great solution to make the house smell like home for your guests, or you can simply run to the local candle store and grab some candles or scented plug-ins to add around the house for showing purposes.

Hold Off on the Home Improvement

This doesn’t mean that you can’t finish the projects you had in your lineup – always finish replacements and fixer upper projects, but don’t start a huge renovation makeover when you’re close to selling. You likely won’t make profit on your investment that way.

Are you selling your home shortly? Which of these tips was the most helpful to you? Sound off in the comments below and add your tips for others!

Getting Ready to Sell Your Home

 

6 Fall Home Maintenance Tips to Prevent Common Homeowner Mistakes

Professional Gardener Doing Landscaping Chores, Close Up Of Gard

As we inch closer and closer to the fall season, now’s the time to think about some very important fall home maintenance tips to make sure your home is ready for a change of pace as the leaves start falling and changing colors.

Replace Batteries in Safety Systems

First things first before you begin any other fall prep, make sure you change the batteries in smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and ensure that your fire extinguishers are still in good standing expiration-wise! This consistent check-in will ensure that your home stays in tip top safety shape.

Trim Those Trees

To avoid any dangerous situations in wind, ice and snow come wintertime, be sure to clip any dead branches (or have a landscaping company come in and do it for you). If you don’t, these may hit your home or your car during the harsh weather.

Move Your Furniture

Your outdoor furniture, that is. Whether you place a waterproof cover on your furniture or you put them in a safe space for the winter, don’t leave your summertime furniture out to wither away. You invested good money in it, after all!

Fill Any Cracks

There’s two areas you should be checking for cracks: your home’s foundation and your driveway. Seal any cracks in the foundation to prevent mice and other un-welcomed animal friends from entering. Then, finish by fixing any cracks in the driveway to prevent further, larger cracks once water enters the initial cracks, freezes and then expands. Bonus Tip: Check doors and windows for any cracks that cause drafts, reducing your heating bill by ensuring they are all closed up!

Prepare the Fireplace

It’s the season of warm and toasty nights! To adequately prepare your fireplace for the multitude of fires you’ll be starting to keep warm (as opposed to your central heater), get rid of any old ashes, check to see if the flue is working properly, and make sure that the damper is open, encouraging air to flow freely through the chimney. If you need a cleaning, hire a professional chimney sweep as needed.

Get Up on the Roof

There’s two purposes of going up on your roof: 1. Check for loose shingles, and 2. Check your gutters. While you’ll inevitably have to clean out leaves and twigs after the fall season, you can get rid of any nests and branches that fell into your gutters during the warmer months.

Did these fall home maintenance tips help you out this season? Comment below if you have any to add to the list!

Fall Home Maintenance Tips

What to Look For in Your First Home – Thurston County Real Estate

Stylish Scandinavian Interior Of Living Room With Small Design T

Buying your first house is equally exciting and intimidating. This is a huge financial and personal investment. As your greater Thurston County real estate agent, my job is to make the process easier on you and help to find the best home for your lifestyle. Here are some of my tips to get you the first house of your dreams.

When buying a home, create a checklist of needs. If you are a parent, look for houses in a good school district and close to a park. Location is one of the most important aspects of home buying, it’s ideal to be somewhere close to work, school and other daily activities. Another important piece of the checklist is what you need in the home. Are you looking for a one or two-story house? Does it need air conditioning? Should the backyard be big, perhaps fenced? These questions help you to narrow down the search and if you know your non-negotiables, you are even closer to finding the perfect house for you.

Another important thing to keep in mind is acknowledging this will probably not be your forever home. While Puget Sound real estate makes for a forever location, there are plenty of great homes to live in. Similarly, there is nothing wrong with going for a more affordable house at first, only to upgrade down the line. This house is an introduction to home ownership for you, not the final chapter. By choosing a more affordable home that might not have every aspect of a house you dream of, you are better suited to pay for a nicer house later down the road. When that time comes, don’t forget about your agent!

Finally, when looking for your first home, pay attention to the neighborhood’s residents and seek council from those around you. Ask your potential neighbors about the daily life in the area, as well as learn of any potential deterrents. Buying a house is a big commitment and you should feel good about the choice. Another great group of people to talk to are real estate agents like myself, as well as trusted family and friends who have gone through a similar process. Your first house affects not only you, but those close you, and second or third opinions will help you get the purchase right the first time.

Buying your first home is an exciting endeavor! When you’re ready to move to Thurston County, go ahead and give me a call and we can begin your journey to homeownership together.

Thurston County Real Estate