Planning for the Life Expectancy of Your Home

Planning Ahead: The Life Expectancy of Your Home's Components

 

Nothing in life lasts forever – and the same can be said for your home. From the roof to the furnace, every component of your home has a lifespan, so it’s a good idea to know approximately how many years of service you can expect from them. This information can help when buying or selling your home, budgeting for improvements, and deciding between repairing or replacing when problems arise.

 

According to a National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) study, the average life expectancy of some home components has decreased over the past few decades.  (This might explain why you’re on your third washing machine while Grandma still has the same indestructible model you remember from childhood.) But the good news is the lifespan of many other items has actually increased in recent years.

 

Here’s a look at the average life spans of some common home components (courtesy of NAHB).

 

APPLIANCES. Of all home components, appliances have the widest variation in life spans. These are averages for all brands and models and may represent the point which replacing is more cost-effective than repairing. Among major appliances, gas ranges have the longest life expectancy, at about 15 years. Electric ranges, standard-size refrigerators, and clothes dryers last about 13 years, while garbage disposals grind away for about 10 years. Dishwashers, microwave ovens, and mini-refrigerators can all be expected to last about nine years. For furnaces, expect a lifespan of about 15 years for electric, 18 for gas, and 20 for oil-burning models. Central air-conditioning systems generally beat the heat for 10 to 15 years.

 

KITCHEN & BATH. Countertops of wood, tile, and natural stone will last a lifetime, while cultured marble will last about 20 years. The lifespan of laminate countertops depends greatly on the use and can be 20 years or longer. Kitchen faucets generally last about 15 years.  An enamel-coated steel sink will last five to 10 years; stainless will last at least 30 years; and slate, granite, soapstone, and copper should endure 100 years or longer. Toilets, on average, can serve at least 50 years (parts such as the wax ring, flush assembly, and seat will likely need replacing), and bathroom faucets tend to last about 20 years.

 

FLOORING. Natural flooring materials provide longevity as well as beauty: Wood, marble, slate, and granite should all last 100 years or longer, and tile, 74 to 100 years. Laminate products will survive 15 to 25 years, linoleum about 25 years, and vinyl should endure for about 50 years. Carpet will last eight to 10 years on average, depending on use and maintenance.

 

SIDING, ROOFING, WINDOWS & DECKS. Brick siding normally lasts 100 years or longer, aluminum siding about 80 years, and stucco about 25 years. The lifespan of wood siding varies dramatically – anywhere from 10 to 100 years – depending on the climate and level of maintenance. For roofs, slate or tile will last about 50 years, wood shingles can endure 25 to 30 years, the metal will last about 25 years, and asphalts got you covered for about 20 years. Unclad wood windows will last 30 years or longer, aluminum will last 15 to 20 years, and vinyl windows should keep their seals for 15 to 20 years. Cedar decks average 15-25 years if properly cleaned and treated, while high quality composite decks should easily last 30 years with minimal maintenance.

 

Of course, none of these averages matter if you have a roof that was improperly installed or a dishwasher that was a lemon right off the assembly line. In these cases, early replacement may be the best choice. Conversely, many household components will last longer than you need them to, as we often replace fully functional items for cosmetic reasons, out of a desire for more modern features, or as a part of a quest to be more energy efficient.

 

Are extended warranties warranted?

Extended warranties, also known as service contracts or service agreements, are sold for all types of household items, from appliances to electronics. They cover service calls and repairs for a specified time beyond the manufacturer’s standard warranty. Essentially, warranty providers (manufacturers, retailers, and outside companies) are betting that a product will be problem-free in the first years of operation, while the consumer who purchases a warranty is betting against reliability.

 

Warranty providers make a lot of money on extended warranties, and Consumers Union, which publishes Consumer Reports, advises against purchasing them.  You will have to consider whether the cost is worth it to you; for some, it brings a much-needed peace of mind when making such a large purchase. Also, consider if it the cost outweighs the value of the item; in some cases, it may be less expensive to just replace a broken appliance than pay for insurance or a warranty.

 


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

 

 

© Copyright 2019, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Adapted from an article originally posted on Windermere.com.

Posted on August 30, 2019 at 2:59 pm
Jennifer Craven | Category: Homeowner Tips and Happenings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2019 Football Schedules, Venues, Recipes & Tips…

Football Fans Assemble! Schedules, Venues, Food & Tips

 

Are you ready for some football? Scroll down for printable schedules, favorite places to watch, game-day recipes and awesome tailgating hacks…

 


Download the Seattle Pro Football ScheduleDownload the UW College Football ScheduleDownload the WSU College Football Schedule

 


 

5 Favorite Seattle Area Spots to Watch the Game

Can’t make it to the stadium? Here are some tried and true local hot spots where you can catch the game in good company.  All of these venues are family friendly for your little 12s, too!

1. Tavern Hall, Bellevue

Right in the heart of Bellevue Square, Tavern Hall offers 30 (!!) flatscreen TVs and 4 shuffleboard tables.  Brick oven pizzas and pretzels accompany the 20+ different beer varietals on tap.  All-ages restaurant + bar seating.

Tavern Hall

Photo courtesy of tavern-hall.com

2. Buckley’s in Belltown, Seattle

A 5-foot projection screen accompanies the 22+ TVs and 24 beer tabs in this family-friendly favorite.  Check out the Queen Anne location as well (complete with a 10-foot projection screen!).

Buckley's in Belltown

Photo courtesy of buckleyspubs.com

3. Flying Pie Pizzeria, Issaquah

If you’re watching the game with kids (or just love good pizza), Flying Pie in Issaquah offers a full arcade, mounted TVs, pitchers of local beer and plenty of 1980s nostalgia.  Gluten-free and vegan options provide a modern twist on the classic pizzeria.

Flying Pie Pizzeria

Photo courtesy of flyingpiepizzeria.com

4. Elliott Bay Brewery & Pub, West Seattle

Touted for its organic handcrafted ales, great food and kid-friendly atmosphere, the Elliott Bay brew pub also broadcasts local games on its mounted TVs.  Don’t miss the local Stout Wort ice cream (made right across the street at the Husky Deli).  Take a victory lap–or burn off all your stress eating–at nearby Alki Beach.

Elliott Bay Brewery & Pub

Photo courtesy of 5280lensmafia.wordpress.com

5. McMenamins Woodshop at Anderson School, Bothell

Northeast of Seattle, this converted schoolhouse in newly re-imagined downtown Bothell is well worth the drive.  Enjoy shuffleboard, pool or pinball while you catch all the action on big screen TVs.  Bribe kids with post-game pool time in the incredible North Shore Lagoon (with its own Tiki pub for mom or dad).

McMenamins Woodshop at Anderson School

Photo courtesy of parentmap.com.

 


 

12 Clutch Gameday Recipes


 

Click Here for Our Favorite Tailgating Hacks

 


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

 

© Copyright 2019, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island.  Main photo courtesy of https://joenicholsonphotos.wordpress.com.

Posted on August 5, 2019 at 1:32 pm
Jennifer Craven | Category: Homeowner Tips and Happenings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) Rate (eff. 1/1/20)

We Want YOU...to Know About the Excise Tax Change

 

Now that Washington State Senate Bill 5998 has been signed into law, our local real estate excise tax—the tax paid when you sell a property—will be getting a facelift in 2020.  The flat rate of the past will make way for a new tiered system which gives owners a tax cut on the first $500,000 of home value, keeps the current tax rate on the next $1 million of value, and then increases it sharply after $1.5 million.

 

The good news is that taxes will go down for the vast majority (~93%) of sellers in King County.  Sellers of luxury homes that fetch more than $1.56m, however, will be paying more—much, much more in the case of multi-million dollar home sales.

 

Wondering how the changes might impact your bottom line when it comes time to sell?  Scroll down or check out our quick reference worksheet

 

2020 CHnages to King County Excise Taxes

 

DETAILS & BACKGROUND

 

The previous flat state REET tax of 1.28% (1.78% after the 0.5% local portion is added) will be replaced on January 1, 2020, by the following rates (total REET after King County local portion is shown in parenthesis):

 

1.1% (1.6%) – Portion of selling price less than or equal to $500,000

1.28% (1.78%) – Portion of selling price greater than $500,000 and equal to or less than $1.5 million

2.75% (3.25%) – Portion of selling price greater than $1.5 million and equal to or less than $3 million

3.0% (3.5%) – Portion of selling price greater than $3 million


These thresholds may be adjusted again in 2022 and every four years after that using a formula for calculating value trends.


The current state real estate excise tax rate has been the same since July 1, 1989 while the local portion of the rate has been managed by each jurisdiction individually. You can find the full details in this Real Estate Excise Tax historical rates chart provided by the Department of Revenue.


The state provides a summary of the history and use of the real estate excise tax in Washington State detailing changes over the years. Currently, the bulk of the estate tax (92.3%) goes to the General Fund. Beginning January 1, 2020, and ending June 30, 2023, revenue distributions must be as follows: 1.7 percent must be deposited in the Public Works Assistance Account; 1.4 percent must be deposited in the City-County Assistance Account; 79.4 percent must be deposited in the general fund; and the remaining amount must be deposited in the Education Legacy Trust Account. Beginning July 1, 2023, and thereafter, revenue distributions to the Public Works Assistance Account increases to 5.2 percent. You can find the full law and definitions in Chapter 458-61A WAC (Washington Administrative Code).

 

SO WHAT’S THE BOTTOM LINE?

 

If you sell for $1,561,258 or less in King County, you will pay the same or less (up $900 less) in REET after 1/1/20. This is great news for most property owners in King County and across the state. Because the rate states the same on the portion of the selling price greater than $500,000 and equal to or less than $1.5 million as it currently is, all the savings comes in the portion below $500,000. This begins to whittle away as you creep above $1.5 million and into the higher tax rate of 2.75% (3.25%).


If you sell for more than that amount, you’ll be paying more–often much more. You can see from the quick reference chart below that the seller of a $2.5 million property will pay an additional $13,800, while a $5 million sale will cost an extra $55,550 and a $10 million sale a whopping $141,550 more.


Everyone will have a different take on the new tax rate, but if you have a valuable property and contributing more to the state’s coffers isn’t part of your charitable giving strategy, selling in 2019 might offer significant savings. On the other hand, selling in 2020 and beyond funds education and public works at greater levels than ever before, and that benefits everyone.

 

EXCISE TAX QUICK REFERENCE WORKSHEET


 

 

MERCER ISLAND


We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

 

© Copyright 2019, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island.  Originally posted on Windermere Mercer Island’s “Local in Seattle” blog.

Posted on May 31, 2019 at 4:28 pm
Jennifer Craven | Category: Homeowner Tips and Happenings | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Preparing Your Garage for an Electric Car

Electrify Your Home: How to Prep for an Electric Vehicle

 

Electric cars help lower emissions and fuel costs, improve fuel economy, and bolster energy security. And considering the volatility of gas prices—and their general skyward trajectory—electric fuel shows promise as an economic alternative.

But switching to an electric vehicle entails more than new driving habits and a conversation piece with strangers. It’s also a lifestyle update.

From setting up a charging station in the garage to maintaining optimal temperatures therein, check out these useful garage preparation tips to assure your electric vehicle battery is in tip-top shape.

 

Selecting a Charger: Level 1 vs. Level 2

Unfortunately, charging an electric vehicle might be a tad more involved than charging your smartphone. And unless you own a Tesla Model X, which can travel upwards of 300 miles on one charge, your electric plug-in vehicle could benefit greatly from a home station charger. That said, make sure you familiarize yourself with the two main levels of electric vehicle chargers supplied by home-based charging equipment and most public charging stations.

 

Level 1 vs. Level 2 Chargers

 

Level 1 Chargers

A Level 1 cord set charger delivers a standard household current of 110 or 120 volts and comes with most plug-in vehicles upon purchase. It’s outfitted with a three-pronged, household plug at one end that’s connected to a control box by a short cord. A longer 15-to-20-foot cord running from the other side of the box connects directly to the vehicle itself.

  • If time is not of the essence, a Level 1 could be the way to go. But be forewarned: What you get is, more or less, a trickle charge that affords roughly three to five miles per charging hour. For instance, the Nissan Leaf takes around 24 hours to fully charge on a standard 120-volt household outlet.
  • The upside is, Level 1 equipment doesn’t entail an elaborate setup of high-power circuit breakers or dedicated electrical lines, which are required by major appliances and Level 2 chargers.
  • Because cord sets are portable, plug-in vehicles can be charged virtually anywhere there’s a standard outlet, provided it isn’t a household outlet that’s patched into the same circuit as other demanding appliances—in which case the excess amperage could trip a circuit breaker.

 

 

Level 2 Chargers

If time is of the essence, consider installing a Level 2 charger, which delivers 240 volts and replenishes pure electric vehicles in about three hours—which is about seven to eight times faster than Level 1 equipment. Unlike the simplicity of Level 1 setups, though, Level 2 chargers will warrant the services of a professional due to the rigmarole of electrical codes, equipment setup, and necessary inspections.

  • Level 2 chargers cost anywhere between under $300 to over $1500, the price ultimately depending on cord length and amperage.
  • Level 2 outputs typically range between 16 to 30 amps, but professionals often recommend around 30- to 40-amp systems—an adequate overnight charge for most plug-in electric cars.

 

 

Installing a Charging Station

It’s worth mentioning that the “charger” you’re installing is technically referred to as Electric Vehicle Service Equipment (EVSE). This is the wall-mounted box with cord and plug that delivers electricity and functions as a communication and safety unit for the actual charger situated inside the vehicle itself.  The EVSE ensures the battery doesn’t overheat and shuts the charging session down if there’s a short circuit, power surge, or any other type of faulty hardware.

If you’ve opted for a Level 2 ESVE, you’ll likely need to reach out to a professional electrician to wire up equipment and determine where the ESVE should be situated in regards to where your vehicle is parked. Notwithstanding factors like outdated wiring, meters, and breaker panels, updating the garage for your electric ride should actually be pretty straightforward.

In rare instances, old wiring may need to be replaced. But by and large, the process is fairly easy and uncomplicated. What’s more, the plug itself isn’t any more difficult to install than a standard dryer outlet. For electric vehicle owners, installing a Level 2 ESVE is definitely the way to go.

 

Cost of Installation

The installation cost generally hinges on the work involved—such as the amount of wire that needs to be run, whether additional or replacement breaker panels are necessary, and the cost of labor in your area. This could vary between just a few hundred dollars to a couple thousand. However, you may be able to snag special rates from your utility company for installing an EVSE, so make sure you inquire.

 

Maintain Optimal Charging Temperatures

Even in the Seattle area, temps regularly drop below freezing in the winter.  Recent studies suggest that charging time increases significantly as the weather goes down.  If your garage is currently unheated and you want to keep charging time to a minimum, consider these tips from Family Handyman on the best ways to add a heating system.

 

 


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

 

 

© Copyright 2019, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Text originally posted on Windermere.com.

Posted on March 5, 2019 at 11:55 pm
Jennifer Craven | Category: Homeowner Tips and Happenings | Tagged , , , , , ,

Should I Move or Remodel?

Remodel or Move?

 

There are a number of things that can trigger the decision to remodel or move to a new home. Perhaps you have outgrown your current space, you might be tired of struggling with ancient plumbing or wiring systems, or maybe your home just feels out of date. The question is: Should you stay or should you go? Choosing whether to remodel or move involves looking at a number of factors. Cost vs. value is a big consideration—check out the chart below or click here to view Remodeling Magazine’s full 2019 Cost vs. Value Report showing the cost and resale value of 21 projects in the Seattle area. 

 

Cost vs. Value Chart for Common Remodeling Projects

 

Here are some things to consider when making your decision…

FIVE REASONS TO MOVE:

1. Your current location just isn’t working.

Unruly neighbors, a miserable commute, or a less-than-desirable school district—these are factors you cannot change. If your current location is detracting from your overall quality of life, it’s time to consider moving. If you’re just ready for a change, that’s a good reason, too. Some people are simply tired of their old homes and want to move on.

2. Your home is already one of the nicest in the neighborhood.

Regardless of the improvements you might make, location largely limits the amount of money you can get for your home when you sell. A general rule of thumb for remodeling is to make sure that you don’t over-improve your home for the neighborhood. If your property is already the most valuable house on the block, additional upgrades usually won’t pay off in return on investment at selling time.

3. There is a good chance you will move soon anyway.

If your likelihood of moving in the next two years is high, remodeling probably isn’t your best choice. There’s no reason to go through the hassle and expense of remodeling and not be able to enjoy it. It may be better to move now to get the house you want.

4. You need to make too many improvements to meet your needs.

This is particularly an issue with growing families. What was cozy for a young couple may be totally inadequate when you add small children. Increasing the space to make your home workable may cost more than moving to another house. In addition, lot size, building codes, and neighborhood covenants may restrict what you can do. Once you’ve outlined the remodeling upgrades that you’d like, a real estate agent can help you determine what kind of home you could buy for the same investment.

5. You don’t like remodeling.

Remodeling is disruptive. It may be the inconvenience of loosing the use of a bathroom for a week, or it can mean moving out altogether for a couple of months. Remodeling also requires making a lot of decisions. You have to be able to visualize new walls and floor plans, decide how large you want windows to be, and where to situate doors. Then there is choosing from hundreds of flooring, countertop, and fixture options. Some people love this. If you’re not one of them, it is probably easier to buy a house that has the features you want already in place.

FIVE REASONS TO REMODEL:

1. You love your neighborhood.

You can walk to the park, you have lots of close friends nearby, and the guy at the espresso stand knows you by name. There are features of a neighborhood, whether it’s tree-lined streets or annual community celebrations, that you just can’t re-create somewhere else. If you love where you live, that’s a good reason to stay.

2. You like your current home’s floor plan.

The general layout of your home either works for you or it doesn’t. If you enjoy the configuration and overall feeling of your current home, there’s a good chance it can be turned into a dream home. The combination of special features you really value, such as morning sun or a special view, may be hard to replicate in a new home.

3. You’ve got a great yard.

Yards in older neighborhoods often have features you cannot find in newer developments, including large lots, mature trees, and established landscaping. Even if you find a new home with a large lot, it takes considerable time and expense to create a fully landscaped yard.

4. You can get exactly the home you want.

Remodeling allows you to create a home tailored exactly to your lifestyle. You have control over the look and feel of everything, from the color of the walls to the finish on the cabinets. Consider also that most people who buy a new home spend up to 30 percent of the value of their new house fixing it up the way they want.

5. It may make better financial sense.

In some cases, remodeling might be cheaper than selling. A contractor can give you an estimate of what it would cost to make the improvements you’re considering. A real estate agent can give you prices of comparable homes with those same features. But remember that while remodeling projects add to the value of your home, most don’t fully recover their costs when you sell.

 


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

 

 

© Copyright 2019, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Text originally posted on Windermere.com. Remodeling data © 2019 Hanley Wood Media Inc. Complete data from the Remodeling 2019 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at www.costvsvalue.com.

Posted on February 6, 2019 at 5:57 pm
Jennifer Craven | Category: Homeowner Tips and Happenings | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Give Back This Season

Thanks & Giving: Charities That Would Love Your Help

 

Looking to share your bounty this holiday season? Below are some of our favorite Seattle-area organizations who can use your time, household items, toys, and more to help improve the lives of homeless and low-income families in our area. You might also check out these tips on how to make the most of charitable giving.

 


Northwest Harvest

Northwest Harvest’s mission is to end hunger in Washington. They partner with 375 food pantries, meal programs, and high-need schools across the state to provide nutritious food and promote good health for those in need. You can help by volunteering at the Cherry Street Food Bank in Seattle (children in 3rd grade or older are welcome to volunteer with you!). You can also host a virtual food drive or make a cash/vehicle donation.

http://www.northwestharvest.org/
1 (800) 722-6924
Cherry Street Food Bank: 711 Cherry Street, Seattle
Kent Warehouse: 22220 68th Ave S, Kent

 


 

Mary's Place

 

Mary’s Place helps homeless women, children and families from the greater King County area. With a list of families that has double this year, the need for help is higher than ever. You or your organization might consider supporting their giving tree (donations due by December 7th) or joining in the Brooks Holiday Fun Run on December 1st benefiting the No Child Sleeps Outside campaign. You can also volunteer your time, donate wishlist items, or share your used clothing, blankets, and coats.

http://www.marysplaceseattle.org
(206) 621-8474
Donation Center in SODO: 9 South Nevada St, Seattle
Family Center in North Seattle: 1155 N 130th St, Seattle

 


 

Hopelink

Hopelink provides critical services to homeless and low-income families, children, seniors, and people with disabilities on north and east King County. You can help by donating food or grocery gift cards to their food bank, contributing unwrapped toys to their holiday gift room, or volunteering to help with their holiday giving events.

https://www.hopelink.org/
(425) 869-6000
8990 154th Ave NE, Redmond

 


 

YouthCare

 

Each night in Seattle, 700-1,000 young people are homeless and most were traumatized before they reached the streets. YouthCare builds confidence and self-sufficiency for homeless youth by providing a continuum of care that includes outreach, basic services, emergency shelter, housing, counseling, education, and employment training. Lend a hand by volunteering, hosting a drive, or hiring a YouthCare graduate.

http://youthcare.org/
(206) 694-4500
2500 NE 54th Street, Seattle

 


 

Treehouse

 

Did you know less than 50% of Washington state youth in foster care graduate from high school? Treehouse seeks to level the playing field by providing academic and other essential support foster kids need to graduate at the same rate as their peers, with a plan for their future. You can help by volunteering, hosting a drive or donating to their holiday program.

https://www.treehouseforkids.org/
(206) 767-7000
2100 24th Avenue S./Suite 200


 

Emergency Feeding Program

 

With a mission to help people in need of immediate food assistance, the Emergency Feeding Program partners with 240 local agencies to distribute 50,000 bags of quality, nutritional food and ensure that no one will go hungry tonight.  You can help by donating these most needed foods or making a cash contribution.

https://www.emergencyfeeding.org/
(425) 277-0300
851 Houser Way N, Renton

 


Eastside Baby Corner

 

Eastside Baby Corner was founded by a local pediatric nurse concerned about the large numbers of babies in her practice who began life without basic essentials like adequate food, clothing, beds, or safety equipment.  Today Eastside Baby Corner’s location in Issaquah, Northshore and Bremerton collect, purchase, and distribute essential care items such as formula, diapers, carseats, warm coats, school supplies, and more for babies and children in need. You can help out by volunteering, donating, or organizing a drive.

Eastside Baby Corner:
http://babycorner.org

(425) 865-0234
1510 NW Maple St. in Issaquah
6524 NE 181st Street, Suite 6, Kenmore1463 NE Dawn Road, Suite B, Bremerton

 


https://fort-lewis-wa.toysfortots.org/images/lco-sites/lco-logos/tft-ZxAsQw-logo.jpg

Since 1947, The U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots program has distributed 548 million toys to 251 million children in need. Consider helping out this year by donating a new toy, volunteering, or asking your organization to become a toy drop site.

https://fort-lewis-wa.toysfortots.org
Click Here for Toy Drop Off Locations
Coordinator: Gunnery Sergeant James Wells, (253) 720-9858

 


Food Lifeline

Every year, nearly 40% of our country’s food ends up in landfills, while millions go hungry. Food Lifeline attempts to solve both problems by rescuing millions of pounds of surplus food from farmers, manufacturers, grocery stores, and restaurants. They then deliver this healthy and nutritious food to more than 300 food banks, shelters and meal programs across Western Washington–providing 97,000 meals every day. You can help by volunteering (opportunities are available for kids as young as 6, too!), donating funds or hosting a food drive.

https://foodlifeline.org/
(206) 545-6600
815 S 96th St, Seattle

 


Wellspring Family Services

Wellspring helps low-income and vulnerable individuals, children and families in Seattle and King County address issues such as mental health, family homelessness, early learning, basic needs, and domestic violence intervention. Each year they help thousands of children and families break cycles of instability, homelessness, and adversity to achieve positive, permanent change. You can help by donating to their Giving Together holiday campaign or getting your children involved in the Kids Helping Kids youth philanthropy program.

http://wellspringfs.org/
(206) 826-3050
1900 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle

 


 

Seattle Children's Hospital

 

Founded and run by a group of philanthropic women over 100 years ago, Seattle Children’s mission is to provide hope, care and cures to help every child live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible. You can help their patients by donating a new toy or gift card, volunteering, contributing funds, or supporting one of its guilds (such as the Project Kids Cancer Cure Guild).

http://www.seattlechildrens.org
(206) 987-2000
4800 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle

 


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

 

© Copyright 2018, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island.

 

Posted on November 14, 2018 at 3:03 pm
Jennifer Craven | Category: Homeowner Tips and Happenings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2018 Holiday Happenings in the Seattle Area

Merry & Bright: Holiday Happenings Around the Sound


Our Northwest holidays may be wet, but they’re still bright!  Make the most of the season with Seattle favorites—such as dazzling light displays and the Parade of Boats—along with new additions like the “Enchant” event with light mazes and ice skating inside Safeco field.  Scroll down for all the details…

 

WildLights at Woodland Park Zoo

5500 Phinney Ave. N, Seattle, WA 98103
www.zoo.org/zoolights
click here to get tickets

  • Dates/Times: Open nightly 11/23/18 – 1/5/19  |  5:30 – 8:30 pm
  • Cost: $9.95 – $14.95 per person (ages 2 and under are free)
  • Promotion: Get a 10% group discount on WildLights tickets for groups of 20+ (12/14/18 – 1/5/19).
  • Parking: Free parking is available at all lots after 4:30 pm (admission at both gates)
  • Food: Refreshments are available at food kiosks, Pizza Corner, and at the Pacific Blue Chowder House (with covered seating provided). You are also welcome to bring your own food and non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Special activities: Carousel, fire pits, select indoor animal exhibits, ZooStore, & indoor snowball fights at the Snowmazium
  • Closures: December 12, 24 & 25, 2018

Image courtesy of https://zoo.org/zoolights


 

Winterfest at Seattle Center

305 Harrison Street, Seattle, WA 98109
www.seattlecenter.com/winterfest

Map


 

Enchant at Safeco Field

1250 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134
https://enchantchristmas.com/seattle/
click here to get tickets

  • Dates/Times: 11/23/18 – 12/30/18  |  Sun-Thu from 4 – 10 pm, Fri-Sat from 4 – 11 pm
  • Cost: $19 – $32.99 per person (ages 3 and under are free)  |  VIP passes with dinner starting at $64.99
  • Promotions: Discount days on 11/27, 12/4 & 12/11  |  Discount on final 2 hours of any day  |  Group discounts for 15 or more
  • Parking: $8 – $60 at Safeco Field Garages or check out the city’s Interactive Parking Map
  • Food: Seasonal food and treat concessions throughout
  • Activities: Ice skating trail, light maze, visits with Santa & Mrs. Claus, nightly live music & shows, gift market
  • Closures: 11/26, 12/3 & 12/10

Enchant Ice Skating Trail


 

Garden d’Lights at Bellevue Botanical Garden

12001 Main Street, Bellevue WA 98005
https://bellevuebotanical.org/garden-dlights/
click here to get tickets

  • Dates/Times: Open nightly 11/24/18 – 12/30/18  |  4:30 – 9:00 pm
  • Cost: $5 per person (ages 10 and under are free)
  • Promotion: Free admission nights on November 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 & 29
  • Parking: Premium parking is $5 per car in the Garden’s lot (cash only) as space allows OR park for free at Wilburton Hill Park
  • Food: Hot drinks and snacks are available at the Aaron Education Center
  • Activities: Gingerbread village, live music
  • Holiday Closures: None

Image courtesy of https://gardendlights.org/


 

Snowflake Lane at the Bellevue Collection

Bellevue Way & NE 8th Street, Bellevue WA 98004
http://snowflakelane.com/


 

Christmas Ship Festival

Launch locations include Lake Union Park, Kirkland City Dock, Hyatt Regency Lake Washington, Des Moines Marina, Port of Poulsbo, Seattle Waterfront – Pier 55, Tacoma (Dock Street Marina), Edmonds, and Shilshole Bay Marina

www.argosycruises.com
click here to get tickets


 

Ivar’s Clam Lights at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park

1201 Lake Washington Blvd N, Renton, WA 98056
https://rentonwa.gov/clamlights

  • Dates/Times: Open nightly 11/30/18 – 1/1/19 | 5 – 9 pm
  • Cost: Free for all ages
  • Parking: Park for free at the Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park parking lot
  • Kickoff Event on November 30th, 2018, 5:30-8:30: Music, selfie-station with Santa & Mrs. Claus in their sleigh, official lighting ceremony, Parade of Boats viewing, and a visit from the Christmas Ship and Dickens Carolers
  • Holiday Closures: None

 

Westlake Center Tree Lighting & Holiday Activities

400 Pine St., Seattle, WA 98101 (Westlake Park)
http://redtri.com/seattle/westlake-center-tree-lighting/

  • Dates/Times: Tree lighting ceremony on 11/23/18 at 4:30 pm.  Holiday market Fri-Sun beginning 11/23 through 12/23.  Carousel and other festive attractions through January 1st, 2019
  • Cost: Free for all ages
  • Parking: Access the Republic Parking garage from Olive Way between 4th & 5th Ave, or check out this interactive map of city parking
  • Activities: Carousel, Holiday Market at Westlake Park

Image courtesy of http://redtri.com


 

Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

5400 N Pearl St, Tacoma, WA 98407
www.pdza.org/event/zoolights
click here to get tickets

  • Dates/Times: Open nightly 11/23/2018 – 1/6/2019  |  5 – 9 pm
  • Cost: $10-$12 (free for kids 2 & under)
  • Promotions: $6 for zoo members; Scout discount night 12/4; Military discount nights Nov. 26, 28 & Dec. 3, 5, 10, 12, 17, & 19
  • Parking: Free parking in zoo lots (carpooling recommended)
  • Food: Warm drinks & treats available at the cafe and kiosks
  • Activities: Camel rides, carousel, aquarium, Kids’ Zone with animals
  • Holiday Closure: 12/24
https://www.pdza.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Hero-zoolights-1440x500.jpg

Image courtesy of https://www.pdza.org


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

 

© Copyright 2018, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island.

 

Posted on November 5, 2018 at 5:54 pm
Jennifer Craven | Category: Homeowner Tips and Happenings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Puget Sound Pumpkin Patches

Oh My Gourd! Our Favorite Patches Around the Sound

Grab your boots, pack a thermos…it’s time to choose those perfect Halloween pumpkins! This year, why not explore a new town and make your pumpkin patch experience a true adventure? All of these farms are open every weekend in October, and most are open on weekdays too. Check out their websites to find the most current hours.

EASTSIDE

Fall City Farms
Pumpkins, cider, mini doughnuts, wagon rides & farm animals.
3636 Neal Road | Fall City, WA
(425) 222-4553
fallcityfarms.com/pumpkins

Fox Hollow Farm
Hay maze, Haunted Forest, bounce inflatables, farm animals, s’more roasting…and espresso!
12031 Issaquah-Hobart Rd. SE | Issaquah
(425) 996-0575
foxhollowfamilyfarm.com

Jubilee Farm
Hay rides, pumpkin trebuchet, food trucks, music, hay maze & hand-crank cider press.
229 W Snoqualmie River Rd NE | Carnation
(425) 222-4558
jubileefarm.org

Oxbow Farm
Kids’ farm tours, hay rides, arts & crafts, climbing tractor, house of hay & pumpkin slingshot.
10819 Carnation-Duvall Rd. NE | Carnation
(425) 788-1134
oxbow.org/oxtober

Remlinger Farms
25 rides & attractions (including a mini roller coaster!), hay rides, pony rides & farm faire.
32610 NE 32nd Street | Carnation, WA
(425) 451-8740
remlingerfarms.com

Two Brothers Pumpkin Patch at Game Haven Greenery
Baby calves and an eerie number of well-attired scarecrows.
7110 310th Avenue NE | Carnation, WA
(425) 333-4313
facebook.com/twobrotherspumpkins


NORTH OF SEATTLE

Bailey Vegetables
Play barn, wagon rides, kettle corn, and oodles of fresh produce.
12711 Springhetti Rd | Snohomish
(360) 568-8826
baileyveg.com

Bob’s Corn & Pumpkin Farm
10-acre corn maze, kids’ maze, play area, big slides & apple cannon.
10917 Elliott Road | Snohomish
(360) 668-2506
bobscorn.com

Carleton Farm
Pumpkin cannon, zip line, hay mountain, kids’ corn maze & giant pumpkin jump pad.
630 Sunnyside Blvd SE | Lake Stevens, WA
(425) 334-2297
carletonfarm.com

Craven Farm
Corn mazes, farm animals, miniature golf, hay rides, espresso (!) & face painting.
13817 Short School Road | Snohomish
(360) 568-2601
cravenfarm.com/fall-festival

Fairbank Animal & Pumpkin Farm
Tiny Tot “maize maze,” hay tunnel, veggie garden & flocks of farm animals.
15308 52nd Ave W | Edmonds
(425) 743-3694
fairbankfarm.com

Stocker Farms
Country Market: 10622 Airport Way | Snohomish
7-Acre Corn Maze & Pumpkin Events: 8705 Marsh Rd | Snohomish
(360) 568-7391
stockerfarms.com

The Farm at Swan’s Trail in Snohomish
Corn maze, petting farm, wagon rides, u-pick apple orchard & live duck races.
7301 Rivershore Rd | Snohomish
(425) 334-4124
thefarm1.com


SOUTH OF SEATTLE

Carpinito Brothers Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch
Rubber duck derby, hay rides, hay slides, kettle corn & corn maze
6868 S. 277th St | Kent
(253) 854-5692
carpinito.com

Maris Farms
Racing pigs & ducks, corn maze, plus the creepy “Haunted Woods” complete with zombies and homicidal maniacs.
25001 Sumner-Buckley Highway | Buckley
(253) 377-3574
marisfarms.com

Mosby Farms
Corn maze, hay rides and fresh farm market.
12754 SE Green Valley Road | Auburn
(253) 405-0711
mosbyfarm.com/pumpkin-patch

Scholz Farm and Garden
Farm animals, corn maze, fresh veggies & preserves.
14310 128th Street E | Puyallup
(253) 848-7604
pugetsoundfresh.org/farm/scholz-farm-and-garden

Spooner Farms
Corn maze, pumpkin sling shot, farm animals, face painting, caramel apples & roasted corn.
9710 State Route 162 East | Puyallup
(253) 840-2059
spoonerberries.com

Thomasson Family Farm
Laser tag, corn box, hay barn, petting farm, slides, duck races, wagon rides & tricycle track
38223 236th Avenue SE | Enumclaw
(360) 802-0503
thomassonfarm.com
 

 


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

windermeremercerisland.com | (206) 232-0446 | mercerisland@windermere.com
2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040.

© Copyright 2018, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island.

Posted on September 26, 2018 at 11:41 am
Jennifer Craven | Category: Homeowner Tips and Happenings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Protect Your Investment: 5 Fall Maintenance To-Do’s

Protect Your Home | Fall To-Do Checklist

Benjamin Franklin once wrote, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” While he was talking about fire safety, we think it applies equally well to home maintenance.  One weekend of prevention this fall can save you many headaches (and a lot of money) down the road.  Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Gutters top to bottom: Water in the wrong spots can do a lot of damage. Start by ensuring that gutters and downspouts are doing their job. (You may want to hire a professional, especially if you have a two-story house with a steep roof.) If your home is surrounded by deciduous trees you may need to clean out your gutters a few times a year, especially in the fall. Check to make sure your gutters are flush with the roof and attached securely, repairing any areas that sag or where the water collects and overflows. Clean out the gutters and downspouts, checking that outlet strainers are in good shape, and are firmly in place. Finally, check that your downspouts direct water away from your house, not straight along the foundation.

Check for leaks: The best opportunity to catch leaks is the first heavy rain after a long dry spell. Check the underside of the roof, looking for moisture on joints or insulation. Mark any spots that you find and then hire a roofing specialist to repair these leaks. If you wait until spots show up on your ceiling, insulation and sheet rock will have also been damaged and you could have a mold problem too. You can find tips on how to solve roof & gutter issues in this great article from http://FamilyHandyman.com.

Don’t forget the basement and the caulking around windows & doors. Check your foundation for cracks, erosion and gaps in window and door weathering.  Make sure to properly seal any leaks while the weather is nice. This will ensure materials dry properly.

Pest Prevention: Rodents are determined and opportunistic, and they can do tremendous amounts of property damage (and endanger your family’s health). As temperatures cool, take measures to prevent roof rats and other critters from moving in. Branches that touch your house and overhang your roof are convenient on-ramps for invaders, so trim back branches so they’re at least four feet from the house. If you do hear scuttling overhead or discover rodent droppings in your attic, crawl space or basement, take immediate action. The website http://www.thisoldhouse.com has several helpful articles on the topic.

Maintain your heating and cooling systems: Preventative maintenance is especially crucial for your home’s heating and air-conditioning systems. Fall is a smart time to have your systems checked and tuned up if necessary. Don’t wait for extreme temperatures to arrive, when service companies are slammed with emergency calls. Between tune-ups, keeps your system performing optimally by cleaning and/or replacing air filters as needed.

If you have a wood-burning fireplace, a professional inspection and cleaning will help prevent potentially lethal chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Even if you don’t use your fireplace often, it’s a good idea to keep a supply of dry firewood or sawdust-composite logs so you have a backup heat source in an emergency. Gas fireplaces should be serviced about every 2 years to lengthen their lifespans.

Insulate & seal: Insulating your home is a cost-efficient investment, whether you’re trying to keep the interior warm in the winter or cool in the summer. Aside from more major improvements like energy-efficient windows and insulation, there are some quick fixes that do-it-yourselfers can tackle. If an exterior door doesn’t have a snug seal when closed, replace the weather stripping; self-adhesive foam stripping is much simpler to install than traditional vinyl stripping. If there is a gap under the door (which can happen over time as a house settles), you may need to realign the door and replace the vinyl door bottom and/or door sweep. Air also sneaks inside through electrical outlets and light switches on exterior walls. Dye-cut foam outlet seals placed behind the wall plates are a quick and inexpensive solution.
 

 


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

windermeremercerisland.com | (206) 232-0446 | mercerisland@windermere.com
2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040.

© Copyright 2018, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island.

Posted on August 31, 2018 at 1:26 pm
Jennifer Craven | Category: Homeowner Tips and Happenings | Tagged , , ,

2018 Football Schedules, Recipes, Tips & More…

 

Are you ready for some football?  Scroll down for printable schedules, game-day recipes and awesome tailgating hacks…

 


 


 

Hosting friends for game day? We’ve got you covered with everything from easy snacks to bonafide Seattle-born favorites…

1. Easy Chicken Taquitos

So quick and delectable, you can skip the freezer aisle and go fresh instead!  Click here for the recipe.

Easy Chicken Taquitos by footballgrl16

Photo courtesy of allrecipes.com

2. Seahawks Popcorn

Just the right mix of sweet and salty, this perfect treat is also a breeze to make.  Click here to learn how.

Seattle Seahawks Popcorn for those Seattle Seahawks fans in your life. Sweet, salty, crunchy and delicious and it is extremely easy to make. This delicious popcorn will be perfect at your next game day football party. a NFL playoff party or a Super Bowl party. Follow us for more fun Super Bowl Food Ideas.

Photo courtesy of twosisterscrafting.com

3. Just Good Chili

Coffee and cocoa powder?  This is chili done Seattle-style, baby!  Here’s the skinny.

Just Good Chili

Photo courtesy of thewednesdaychef.com

4. Seattle Dogs

A carry-over from the 1990s grunge era, cream cheese and sauteed onions define these wholly Seattle creations.  Here’s how to make your own at home.

The Seattle Dog

5. Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Need we say more?  Click here and let the magic begin.

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Image courtesy of allrecipes.com

6. Ivar’s Clam Chowder

A Seattle legend and oh so good for those rainy day games.  Dive in!

Ivar's Clam Chowder

Image courtesy of geniuskitchen.com

7. Hawk Shots

Fun, festive and easier then they look. This is how you do it.

8. Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Root beer is the secret to this culinary gem.  Yummy in a sandwich, or eat it right out of the crock pot all by itself…we won’t tell.  Here is the scoop on how to make it.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Image courtesy of allrecipes.com

9. Avocado and Black Bean Dip

Surprisingly simple and delicious, this dip is also healthier than most.  Grab some chips and check out the recipe.

Avocado and Black Bean Dip

Image courtesy of allrecipes.com

10. The Paseo Cuban Sandwich

For Seattleites who know the joy of Paseo sandwiches–or anyone who just loves good food–this recipe is well worth the extra effort.

The Paseo Cuban Sandwich

Photo courtesy of The Seattle Times

11. Crab Rangoon

For those looking to go the extra mile, these tasty appetizers will be the talk of your party. Find the full rundown here.

Chef John's Crab Rangoon

Photo courtesy of allrecipes.com

12. The 12th Man Margarita

The quintessential Seahawks cocktail created by Elliott’s Oyster House.  Now you can mix it at home and impress your friends.

The 12th Man Margarita

Photo courtesy of lakeunionsearay.com

 

Bonus: Color Formulas for Team-Colored Frosting!

Team Colored Frosting Formulas


 

Click Here for Our 12 Favorite Tailgating Hacks

 

 


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

windermeremercerisland.com | (206) 232-0446 | mercerisland@windermere.com
2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040.

© Copyright 2018, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island.

Posted on August 2, 2018 at 6:06 pm
Jennifer Craven | Category: Homeowner Tips and Happenings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,