Categorieseconomy, home values, info for home owners, referrals, Seattle, Washington real estate, Windermere

Seattle Digs YOU!

To my current clients & former clients, friends, family and colleagues,

I hope you dig me too.
This is my love letter to you and to the Seattle real estate market. It’s back baby! So, is it good time to buy? Sell? Simply peek around? Of course! Please read on.

2012: Armageddon Outta Here!

The past few years were rough.But you hung in there and now housing prices are perking up like my Lola’s ears when I near the fridge. For Sale inventories today are near all time lows.
Homeowners who were under water are making it back to the surface.
A seller’s market can be a great time to buy if you have a good negotiator on your side. Someone like me!
2013: Don’t Lose It, Lease It
This year, many homeowners are moving onward and upward while turning their current homes into rental properties.
There are more qualified renters than there are available homes. Rental income can offset mortgage payments while your home equity continues to rebuild.
Interested in buying without selling?
I’ll show you how!

Not Every House is a Winner

This house was like a date from hell. Looks like marriage material, but once you get to know it — total nightmare!
I recently helped a buyer score a beautiful house built in the 1980’s despite competing buyers.
Good thing Seattle Digs keeps the champagne on ice until the inspection is complete.
Reis Pearson of Inside Out Building Inspection discovered the siding trim was not properly installed,
causing 30 years of unseen water damage and infestation below the surface.

Estimated repair bill: $150,000.
My buyers were able to walk away without leaving their hearts — or their deposit — behind.

Like what you see? Dig This!

Seattle Digs is an easier, less stressful, more fun way to buy a home.
Learn more about Seattle Digs’ fresh approach to real estate at the

I’m looking for Ladies. Gents. Families too. If your friends, family and neighbors are thinking about transplanting this year — don’t send them to Google, send them to me!
I will help them get where they want to go.

In case you haven’t already been there, check out the…
All-New Seattle Digs Website

Categoriesinfo for buyers, info for home owners, referrals, Seattle

What does your house say about you?

Part of helping our clients in a changing market is to be creative and resourceful about how we prepare and market properties.  We have been exploring the use of Feng Shui in our staging over the last few months and thought we would introduce the woman who has been helping us.  Danielle Varanda, owner of International Feng Shui Design,  has been practicing Feng Shui principals for many years and is offering our clients a special rate for consultations.  If you have interest in improving your space, and your lives, give her a call!

We asked Danielle to give us insight into how Feng Shui principals work in our homes:

“Just as we are all unique individuals, so are the spaces we live in. We tend to gravitate to places that resonate with us and our lives.  Individuals will find some styles of homes more appealing to them then others, and different locations will appeal to different people. For instance, extroverted people tend to live on a more dynamic street and people who are a bit more reserved will often prefer a quiet, calm neighborhood.

 Not only do our homes reflect us in our taste and lifestyle, we can say that our homes nourish us and we nourish our homes. Our space either enhances us or may in some cases hinder us.  Our homes reflect, or could even be the cause of, what is going on in certain aspects of our lives.  For example, how well are things going in our financial affairs?  Do we have enough money coming into our lives?  If so, are we able to hang on to it or does it tend to slip away?  In the area of our health, how well do the people in the house sleep?  Are there health issues with the people who live there? How is the overall energy of the people living in the home?  Are the relationships within the home harmonious or is there often conflict? Did these changes occur after moving or remodeling?”

These and many other things are seen through Feng Shui principals.  When we keep these principals in mind we can literally see why these things are occurring, understand the source of the issues and ultimately offer solutions to improve the situation.”

Danielle recently consulted for one of our listings and we believe her guidance contributed to the successful sale of that home.  If you would like to hear more, or have any questions, just give us a call!

Warm Regards,

Windermere Real Estate

Categoriesinfo for home owners, referrals

Curb Appeal is King!

We recently mailed out the 2009-2010 Cost vs Value report and thought we would share the info online as well.  The Cost vs Value report is produced by Remodeling Magazine together with the National Association of Realtors.  We find it to be a valuable resource each year to keep an eye on trends and expectations regarding home improvement projects.

This year we’ve seen some changes, and some continuation of trends, in the area of return on investment (ROI) for home improvement projects.  In reading through the content of this years report we find a downward trend in ROI for most home improvement projects but there is hope.  With the stabilization of the economy and eventual recovery we expect to see a stabilization and improvement in ROI as well.  Analysts speculate that the consumer may choose more modest projects based on more modest budgets and that is reflected in the percentages of return on smaller projects being higher than on large scale projects.

Curb Appeal is King according to this years report.  7 of the 10 projects with the best return things that improve the curb appeal of a home.  Partially because curb appeal is good for attracting buyers but also because those projects tend to be less expensive.

We asked one of our favorite general contractors, Gary Gutierrez with ACS Seattle, what he thinks about the report.  This is what he has observed over the course of the recession and how he has managed to stay competitive without cutting corners:

“Certainly the higher end remodels are down and pricing is fiercely competitive.  In my little world I have reduced my window replacement prices by 20% to get competitive and win more window replacement jobs.  This is the easiest for me to gauge as it only involves one trade and costs are simple to compute.  My cost for the windows have not gone down and have increased about 5% as stated in the Cost vs Value report.  I know lumber and basic other building materials have come down some but materials are typically only about 20-25% of the cost of a remodel job.  I have always been the project manager and have typically had a lead carpenter rather than supervisor concept which eliminates waste in my labor expense.  This is mainly how I have been able to make it.  Everyone who works for me is actually producing, not just supervising.”

If you’d like to read more about what projects give the most bang for the buck and some other tips on how to be efficient when making improvements to your home check out the entire report.

If you are contemplating a project or weighing the idea of moving against a remodel let us know.  We can help you make informed decisions and we always enjoy hearing  what you are working on.
Warm Regards,

Windermere Real Estate


The “Source” of the Source…

We try be a valuable resource to our clients before, during and after any transaction.  And in fact, we want to be that kind of resource regardless of our business relationship.  It is our philosophy that the best thing we can do for our business is to be of service to others!  We are not the source of all information.  But we do make it our business to be an information hub, or the “source” of the source, if you will, for our clients and friends.

One way we’re doing this is by starting a formal business networking group.  We looked around and decided that Business Networking International (BNI) was a good fit.  We are selecting members that share our business priorities (hard work, excellent service, fun, and a desire to grow business by providing great support for one another).  If you, or someone you know, are interested in growing your business by consciously expanding your networks let us know.  We are seeking new members and we encourage you to visit our group.  We have found it to be fun, energizing and extremely effective.

Most importantly, if you are in need of a referral for a local professional we may have a great connection for you.  You can visit our BNI group website for an ever increasing list of service providers.  Or, better yet, give us a call because our networks extend far beyond the BNI group.

From Arborists to Yoga teachers we’ve got you covered! (We
don’t yet know any zoologists). 
Warm Regards,

Windermere Real Estate

Categoriesinfo for home owners, referrals

Color: Reinvent Your Space

The nights are longer; the days are darker; the wind and rain make coming home a welcome idea.  But as you open the door to go inside, maybe your home isn’t as welcoming as you’d like it to be; it’s dark, uninspired and even, boring.  If this rings true for you, maybe it’s time to think about purposefully utilizing the power of color in your home.

Color can make a home happier, more inviting, cozier or more spacious.  It can also make it more dramatic and brighter.  Color instantly influences one’s mood, suggests a “feeling”, changes the perception of space and the quality of light.  Color is one of the biggest (and most economical ways) of transforming the look and feel of a home.

When determining the appropriate colors for any space, your lifestyle, personalities, furnishings as well as the availability of natural light a space receives should be carefully considered.  We know how important color decisions are for enhancing interior spaces, and also know that it’s easy to “miss.”  This week we’ve been inspired by Renee Marquardt’s expertise as an interior designer and her focus this time of year on transforming your space through color.  Renee is offering our clients a color consultation for $150 (a $200 value), and we highly recommend you consider calling on her if you are craving a new look and feel for a space in your home.  The assistance of an interior designer who can fine tune the color selections with all of your specific elements in mind is invaluable.

Renee also offers a wide range of services, including help with re-arranging your rooms with the furniture you have up to full service interior design.  With confidence, we refer Renee and Marquardt Interior Design, and feel free to call us to discuss any questions you have.

For further information on color consultation, please contact Renee Marquardt with Marquardt Interior Design at 206.491.9605 or [email protected]

Warm regards,

Windermere Real Estate