Make Sure Your Home Isn’t Underinsured

Home appreciation in the Eastside and Seattle Area has seen pretty large gains in the past several years.  On the Eastside September 2017 median sale price was 740,000 vs. September 2018 median sale price of 800,000.

When was the last time you talked with your home insurance professional?  It may be time to contact them to mare sure your home is insured at the value it is today!  Your home may be your greatest asset — protect yourself and that asset!

Ask your insurance professional the following;

Do I have enough insurance to rebuild my home?

Do I have enough insurance to replace all living expenses?

Do I have enough insurance to replace all of my possessions?

Do I have enough insurance to protect my assets?

Click here to read the entire article written by the Insurance Information Institute.

 

If you’re interested in finding out your homes current value please contact me so I can come do a home evaluation.  It’s good info to have.  You can also sign up for Neighborhood News where you can receive monthly information specific to your zip code.

 

 

 

 

Posted on October 24, 2018 at 8:38 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Eastside, Helpful Home Tips, Home Sweet Home, In the News, North Kirkland, Redmond, Uncategorized, Woodinville | Tagged , , ,

Best Pumpkin Patches for Fall

It’s a tradition in the PNW unlike any other. Talk to moms from the Midwest about where they pumpkin patch and they’re likely to raise an eyebrow. But out here on the Eastside? Choosing your pumpkin patch for the year is almost as big of a deal as choosing where you’ll vacation in the summer. With different patches offering amazing amenities and activities, competing for your gourd dollars winds up meaning a full day of family fun.

The one major bummer is that, with real estate being as costly as it is on the Eastside, you’re going to have to drive a bit to get to the best pumpkin patches. They’re all great, if I’m being honest, and you’ll enjoy any of them. That said, different patches appeal to different aged kids. Choosing the best one for your family makes the drive more worthwhile.

Here is the lowdown on the pumpkin patch experience!

 

 

 

Bob’s Corn

Snohomish

This one is my pick for big kids. Once you arrive you’ll find acres upon acres of pumpkins as well as a ton of family-friendly attractions. Perhaps the best of all is the massive corn maze on site. The maze is a whopping 10 acres large and always Take a Hikecut into interesting, artistic designs that you can only see from above. I like this maze for the big kids because they specifically offer admission after dark, which is spooky and exciting all by itself! You can also reserve a fire pit to roast marshmallows after you make your epic escape. For the little kids, there are also two smaller corn mazes that are less intimidating. Other free activities include hayrides, a tike track for riding, and a playground area. In addition to your pumpkin, you can also pay to play on big slides, the corn crib (excellent for sensory kids) and fire apples out of the apple cannon. A rope maze, sandpit, and cow-train ride complete your full day experience.

 

Craven Farms

Snohomish

My favorite pick for those with little kids, this is a wonderland for the imagination. On top of the you-pick-pumpkins, you’ll also find admission free fun things to do that enchant the smallest of adventurers. There is a large corn maze that is themed and unintimidating for younger guests, as well as a kid’s adventure maze, miniature golf, and a mouseville themed gift shop. Kids can also pet farm animals. On the weekends you’ll find hayrides, apple slingshots, and face painting, too. Older kids may get a little bored at this one, but for little kids, the value cannot be beaten.

 

The Farm at Swan’s Trail

Snohomish

If you’re noticing a nod to Snohomish, it’s not intentional! It just so happened that all of my favorite places are located just north of the Eastside. And, among all of them, The Farm at Swan’s Trail just may be my absolute favorite. It’s a literal adventure wonderland that is well suited for families with kids of all ages. A FIFTY-acre pumpkin patch pretty much guarantees selection wide enough to last the entire season, and you’ll also find a pretty nicely sized petting zoo. On top of that, expect to laugh your tail feather off at the duck races and Farmer Ben’s “Four Little Pig” shows. There are also wagon rides, picnic pavilions, a massive corn maze, and you pick apples. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the barn. It’s a tiny hay bale maze up to the hayloft where kiddos can zip down a slide into a pile of hay. It’s the stuff great photos are made of, friends.

 

Things really get fun when you get into the paid activities, though. A giant hay bale pyramid for climbing, a ball pit, large slides, an inflatable jumping pillow, rubber duck races, gemstone mining, pedal cart racing, and a cow train all await you. Plan to spend all day at this one, and make family memories that evolve into a tradition your kids will take with them for years to come.

 

Honorable Mentions

Stocker Farms, Snohomish

Fox Hollow Farm, Issaquah

Remlinger Farms, Carnation

 

This list is just a short sample of all of the pumpkin farms out there. If nothing here tickles your fancy, here’s a longer list compiled by Red-Tri. If you’re not up for the drive to one of my favorite farms, maybe you can find one closer to your home neighborhood here and tell me all about why you loved it in the comments! Happy hunting!

 

 

Posted on October 9, 2018 at 7:29 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Eastside, Kids, North Kirkland, Redmond, Things to Do, Uncategorized, Woodinville | Tagged , ,

Favorite Fall OUTSIDE activites

It’s here we can’t deny it —  fall has settled in. The beautiful, sunny, and warm days are coming have come to an end. But don’t you go downing fall on me just yet! It’s actually my favorite time of year! That nice little nip in the air in the morning, the lazy evenings, and the smell of fresh textbooks. It’s a wonderful time! Here are three great ways to enjoy September around the Eastside!

High School Football 
Living in Seattle, for most of us, means a love of Seahawk football. Attending games is more than a way to pass a day, it’s an experience. And, like most major experiences, it costs a pretty penny. So why not enjoy a some Friday Night Lights and watch a more affordable game of gridiron? So many of our local High School teams are contenders on a statewide level that attending a high school game not only means you’re out enjoying the fall evening weather, it also means you’re seeing some legitimate talent. Plus there are affordable concessions, marching bands, and all kinds of school spirit!

Take a Hike
Head over to Bridle Trails State Park in Kirkland for a nice family hike. The park itself isn’t huge, which makes it perfect for exploring on a weekday evening after school. Walk through the dense trees seeking out unique shadows cast through the branches and onto the dirt pathways. The enchantment of this urban park is turned up to eleven when a horse comes striding by you. Bridle Trails was designed as a horse walking park, which means that the unexpected rider can pass you by. I love this quiet oasis right in the middle of the densely populated Eastside! I also have to give an honorable mention to Juanita Bay Nature Preserve, where you can spot bald eagles fairly regularly.

Surf’s Up!
Have you ever tried to go stand-up-paddle boarding on Lake Washington? SUP for short, I actually prefer early fall for this activity to summer. The crowds are gone, the water is still warm, and the sunsets are something else entirely. Perfect Wave is my go-to spot. Located right at Houghton Beach in Kirkland, there is nothing more refreshing than an evening paddle, followed by happy hour at The Beach House, which is well worth a visit. Just remember, hours start to narrow as summer closes, so check ahead before showing up.

What are your favorite fall activities!!??

Posted on October 9, 2018 at 7:10 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Eastside, Kids, North Kirkland, Redmond, Things to Do, Uncategorized, Woodinville | Tagged , , , , , ,

5 Reasons Rising Interest Rates Won’t Wreck the Housing Market

Interest rates are changing.  Here is a great article written by Windermere’s Chief Economist Matthew Gardner about how this may affect the Real Estate Market.

Interest rates have been trending higher since the fall of 2017, and I fully expect they will continue in that direction – albeit relatively slowly – as we move through the balance of the year and into 2019. So what does this mean for the US housing market?

It might come as a surprise to learn that I really don’t think rising interest rates will have a major impact on the housing market. Here is my reasoning:

1. First Time Home Buyers 

As interest rates rise, I expect more buyers to get off the fence and into the market; specifically, first time buyers who, according to Freddie Mac, made up nearly half of new mortgages in the first quarter of this year. First-time buyers are critical to the overall health of the housing market because of the subsequent chain reaction of sales that result so this is actually a positive outcome of rising rates.

2. Easing Credit Standards

Rising interest rates may actually push some lenders to modestly ease credit standards. I know this statement will cause some people to think that easing credit will immediately send us back to the days of sub-prime lending and housing bubbles, but I don’t see this happening. Even a very modest easing of credit will allow for more than one million new home buyers to qualify for a mortgage.

3. Low Unemployment 

We stand today in a country with very low unemployment (currently 4.0% and likely to get close to 3.5% by year’s end). Low unemployment rates encourage employers to raise wages to keep existing talent, as well as to recruit new talent. Wage growth can, to a degree, offset increasing interest rates because, as wages rise, buyers can afford higher mortgage payments.

4. Supply

There is a clear relationship between housing supply, home prices, and interest rates. We’re already seeing a shift in inventory levels with more homes coming on the market, and I fully expect this trend to continue for the foreseeable future. This increase in supply is, in part, a result of homeowners looking to cash in on their home’s appreciation before interest rates rise too far. This, on its own, will help ease the growth of home prices and offset rising interest rates. Furthermore, if we start to see more new construction activity at the lower end of the market, this too will help.

5. National versus Local

Up until this point, I’ve looked at how rising interest rates might impact the housing market on a national level, but as we all know, real estate is local, and different markets react to shifts in different ways. For example, rising interest rates will be felt more in expensive housing markets, such as San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, and Orange County, but I expect to see less impact in areas like Cleveland, Philadelphia, Pittsburg, and Detroit, where buyers spend a lower percentage of their incomes on housing. The exception to this would be if interest rates continue to rise for a prolonged period; in that case, we might see demand start to taper off, especially in the less expensive housing markets where buyers are more price sensitive.

For more than seven years, home buyers and real estate professionals alike have grown very accustomed to historically low interest rates. We always knew the time would come when they would begin to rise again, but that doesn’t mean the outlook for housing is doom and gloom. On the contrary, I believe rising interest rates will help bring us closer to a more balanced real estate market, something that is sorely needed in many markets across the country.

Posted on October 3, 2018 at 5:45 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Helpful Home Tips, In the News, Market Stats, Uncategorized

September Real Estate Market Stats

The number of homes for sale in August increased dramatically over the same time a year ago. This is the result of a moderate increase in new listings and a much slower pace of sales. Homes are staying on the market longer, giving buyers more choices and more time to make an informed decision. While home prices are up compared to a year ago, the rate of increase was in the single digits rather than the double-digit surges of past months. It’s still a seller’s market, but sellers need to have realistic expectations about pricing their homes as the market softens.

Eastside

>>>Click image to view full report.

The median price of a single-family home on the Eastside was up nearly 10 percent from the same time last year to $935,000. Home prices have declined each month from the all-time high of $977,759 set in June. Inventory increased 73 percent over last August. With supply soaring and home prices moderating, sellers need to work with their broker to price their home to meet the current market conditions. A year ago 47 percent of the homes on the Eastside sold for over list price. This August that number was down to 29 percent.

King County

>>>Click image to view full report.

King County experienced yet another flood of inventory with the number of homes for sale jumping 65 percent over the previous year. Despite the growth, the county has just 1.9 months of inventory and remains a seller-oriented market. The market has slowed but it remains fast-paced, with 62 percent of the properties here selling in fewer than 15 days. While home prices were up 3 percent from a year ago, the median price of $669,000 represented the third straight month of declines from the record-high of $726,275 reached in May.

Seattle

>>>Click image to view full report.

After leading the nation in home price growth for nearly two years, Seattle is finally cooling off. The median home price in August was $760,000, up just 4 percent from last year and down from the record $830,000 reached in May. Inventory soared in August, but the city still has just two months of supply, far short of the four to six months that is considered balanced. Bidding wars are becoming less common and price drops more common. Sellers must adjust their expectations to what appears to be a long waited moderating of the market.

Snohomish County

>>>Click image to view full report.

Mirroring the market slowdown in King County, Snohomish County also experienced a cooling off in August. The median price of a single-family home was $492,000, up 8 percent from a year ago but down from the record high of $511,000 two months prior. Inventory increased nearly 30 percent, but at just 1.6 months of supply the market remains very tight and sales are brisk. Sixty percent of homes here sold within 15 days.

This post originally appeared on the WindermereEastside.com Blog.

Posted on September 18, 2018 at 6:19 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Eastside, In the News, Market Stats, North Kirkland, Redmond, Uncategorized, Woodinville | Tagged , , , ,

Where to watch 4th of July Fireworks

 

The Insider’s Guide the July 4th on the Eastside

Something is about to explode on the Eastside! Every year around the Fourth of July, lots of communities put together a fireworks display. But it can be overwhelming to figure out where to go and when. Never mind navigating the traffic that comes with it. So I thought it’d be nice to put together a quick little list of firework shows, times, and locations for you. Yes, I’ve got the big three on here (Kirkland, Redmond, Bellevue), but I also wanted to talk about a few of the outlying communities. Many have shows that are just as awesome, but with half the crowds. So who knows, maybe this year you’ll venture out and find something new!

 

The BIG Three

Bellevue

Date: July 4

Location: Downtown

Expect more than 60,000 people. Yes, there will be live music and events as well, but… 60,000 people. If you’re up for braving the crowds, the family fun zone opens at 2 pm, and the big show kicks off around 10 pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kirkland

Date: July 4

Location: Marina Park

If you’ve never seen fireworks over water, you’re missing out. This might just be my favorite display because, if you’re lucky, you can catch some of Seattle’s show in the background, too. There is a parade starting at 7 am with events lasting right up until BOOM time at 10 pm. Parking is a right nightmare and space to sit is limited, so get in town early. Finding some blanket space at Houghton Beach or Heritage Park is a sneaky way to see the show with a smaller crowd, but the best trick is finding a friend with a boat and bribing your way aboard.

 

 

 

 

Redmond

Date: Derby Days!

Location: Downtown

Redmond ushers its residents to nearby displays, opting to save traffic and budget for their Derby Days celebration. Read more about THAT, here.

 

Other Favorite Outliers

Bothell

Date: July 4

Location: Downtown

Nothing like free pancakes (8:30 am) to get your day started off right! There’s also a children’s parade, grand parade, and other events to last the day until 10 pm when the fireworks show gets started.

 

Issaquah

Date: July 4

Location: Downtown

Close to home, the Down Home festival features a kids-n-pets parade (11 am), old-fashioned games, and live entertainment. I like that this one starts a bit later in the day, meaning I get to sleep in a bit before rushing to the festival to find parking. Yes, please.

 

 

 

 

 

Kenmore

Date: July 4

Location: Log Boom Park

A short drive north for a fun experience! This one really gets started later in the evening, with food and vendors kicking off at 7:30 pm. The fireworks get started around 10 pm.

 

Lake Sammamish

Date: July 4

Location: Vasa Park

This one is kind of a fundraiser and show built into one. Donations benefit the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank. The event has raised more than $69,000 since 2015. If you’re looking for a way to feel good about the Fourth, this is my pick. The fireworks show itself is beautiful and, again, over water. Things get started around 10:15 pm.

 

Sea-Tac

Date: July 4

Location: Angle Lake Park

I like this one because it’s a little lower key. There will still be a big crowd and lots of kiddos, but the spray park, lake, and kid’s bounce zone make it easy to spend more time here as you wait for the display to start. The operation kicks off around noon, with the big finale lighting up the sky around 10 pm.

 

 

Sleeper Success

I have a friend who absolutely RAVES about seeing fireworks down south at the Emerald Downs. It’s hosted BEFORE the 4th, this year falling on July 3rd, and runs like an all-day event. It kicks off with a kid’s movie playing on the big screen before the horses come out to race. Kids really love watching the horses run and trying to pick which one will win. Kids can get up close to the thoroughbreds, which is nice. When its show time, everyone sits right by the track for a real front row view of the fireworks- always set to music. There is, naturally, a TON of parking and almost always a Groupon for admission, making it nearly free to attend. (Kids are always free) If you’re up for something different, make this your family’s newest tradition.

 

Let’s face it — you can’t really go wrong with what you choose around here.  So many amazingly fun things to do and places to see those fireworks.  Happy Fourth Y’all!!

PS — if you check any of these things out be sure to share your experience and pictures!

 

 

 

 

Posted on July 2, 2018 at 8:41 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Eastside, Kids, North Kirkland, Redmond, Things to Do, Uncategorized, Woodinville | Tagged , , , ,

Breakfast in Redmond

A great breakfast place is a staple in every neighborhood this a great one in Redmond everyone should try!

The Village Square Café — This place usually has a line to get a seat and sitting at the bar in this diner style restaurant is a great option. On this day we were sat right away — on a weekend I’ve been know to wait for a bit.  Typically not more than a :30 minutes.  Our waitress was Michelle and she was amazing.  We never had an empty cup of coffee!  The kitschy decor add to the authentic diner style feel of this place.  The service was prompt and as important as the customer service was the great breakfast we had.  Fresh salsa accompanied the Mexican Omelet and lemony hollandaise sauce the Eggs Benny!  This place is totally kid friendly from the great options for them to eat the great décor to keep their senses occupied.   

Posted on May 10, 2018 at 11:22 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Redmond, Resaurants, Uncategorized

Spring Home Checklist

Spring Home Maintenance Checklist

It’s time to check for damage and prepare for hot weather ahead.

With the days lengthening and weather warming, spring is a good time to get outdoors and tackle some larger home projects. With the threat of winter storms past, you can look for damage and make any needed repairs, as well as prep your home and garden for summer. We spoke with an expert to get a spring home checklist on what to watch for this season, from proper irrigation to mosquitoes and termites (oh my!).

 

 

Contact Denise Perkins for more information
Posted on May 10, 2018 at 11:15 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Helpful Home Tips, Home Sweet Home, In the News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , ,

How fast can you save for a down payment?

I hear so often that people are waiting to buy a home because they want to save more down payment!  It’s such a valid reason to wait….but how realistic is it.  How much are you planning on saving and will it actually save you money when buying a home?  In this current market in the Eastside and Seattle areas, with home prices increasing monthly and the looming threat of interest rates increasing, waiting to save a few thousand dollars won’t make a huge dent.

For every 1% interest rates go up, you lose buying power by 10%.  If you were qualified to buy a $550,000 home — with an interest rate increase of 1% that home now will cost $665,000.

The link below is a great article about how many years it will take to save  10% down payment.  In Washington it’s over 5 years!   If you rent, just think of how much you would have saved in rent.  Well over 10% down on a $550,000 home.

http://www.simplifyingthemarket.com/en/2017/04/24/how-fast-can-you-save-for-a-down-payment/?a=235353-59b0a8668c3d63df0866176f944802e8

Posted on April 24, 2017 at 6:57 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Uncategorized

Buying Power

Check out this great article and chart that depicts what increase in interest rates and the climb of home prices can do to you buying power.  This also speaks to sellers as well.   If you wait to sell, you're limiting the number of buyers that are able to buy your home.  So if you're on the fence to buy or sell be sure to act sooner rather than later. 

http://goo.gl/vYwMrk

 

Posted on August 13, 2015 at 1:39 pm
Denise Perkins | Category: Uncategorized