A Kitchen Update Creates Value – Why?

A kitchen update creates value for your house.  Don't make the mistake of overlooking it!

There are a lot of videos and articles on how to update your kitchen, but many people miss the fact that updating your kitchen can add a lot of value to your house, which adds up too much more money in your pocket when you sell.

Did you know that if you have to choose between redoing outdated floor and redoing your kitchen, the kitchen wins, hands down?  That's because while redoing your floors makes your house more salable, it doesn't really add much value to your house.

A kitchen update, on the other hand creates real value. A recent survey showed that women see the kitchen as their best way to express themselves to guests.  What that means is, when you go to sell your home, your kitchen is going to be a critical deciding point on what kind of offers you will get.

According to an article in U.S.News, if a potential buyer walks into an outdated kitchen, the first thing that goes through their head is that they're going to have to spend $40,000 to $50,000 to remodel the kitchen.

The reality is that if you spend about $19,000 on your kitchen that will increase the value of your house by about $16,000.  That includes replacing cupboard and cabinet doors, appliances, sink, faucets, counter tops, hardware, lights and paint.

At first glance, this might look like a net cost of negative $3,000, but in reality, it has added a huge amount of value to your house when you compare it to what kind of offers you will get from potential buyers.

For $19,000 in expense, you update your kitchen to 21st century modern, and when the potential buyer walks through, they mentally knock a kitchen reno off their list, which instantly raises the amount they are willing to pay by $40,000 to $50,000.  That means that your $19,000 kitchen updated has created an actual value of – let's go low - $40,000 minus $19,000 equals $21,000!  Your $19K investment in a minor kitchen updates just created $21K EXTRA value in your home.  That translates to $21K more in your pocket when you sell your home than if you just left your tired old kitchen as it is.

Alternative Energy: Solar Power

Large-scale utilities and residential customers have been purchasing and installing solar systems at a fast rate, particularly over the past decade. Real estate owners, on the other hand, have been slower to adopt solar as an energy source. Commercial-scale solar power is still a new market with unanswered inquiries, which may clarify why organizations presently can't seem to grasp this asset to the degree that property holders and vast scale utilities own it. Incorporating solar energy into real estate portfolios can account for the financial matters of sun oriented power—both its dangers and the opportunities it offers to improve resource values.

A greater percentage of utilities are now procuring solar to meet aggressive renewable portfolio standards and sustainability goals. The development of remote or virtual net metering and community solar-based projects empowers energy users to buy solar power from installations built on remote sites they don’t own. These developments have made an assortment of investment opportunity for real estate owners and third-party investors.

Property owners can now lease their properties and other available space for sun oriented installations that will create an anticipated wage stream over a long leaseterm, with no hassles. The advantage of renting your land for a solar-oriented project is the income it provides with negligible effect on your property—safeguarding the site for other future utilization. Also, facilitating a solar installation is an excellent way to cover the carrying cost of yourproperty or taxes.

Several years ago, the disseminated sunlight based era went from being driven primarily by a guarantee to sustainability to a feasible and financially savvy approach tolower energy expenses and secure costs, shielding energy users from power rate increment and volatility. Presently, as solar energy gets to be cost competitive with conventional energy in more markets and the accessibility to financing alternatives improves, energy users increasingly can stand to coordinate appropriated power into their energy management systems. Competitive enterprises and dependable public sector offices must consider an assortment of proprietorship structures for their power generation, similarly as they accomplish for other significant costs. A scope of organizations is puttingresources into solar, from general society and private fields, such as Airports, Colleges, Universities, Apartment and Condominium Complexes, and School Districts, Health Facilities, Water Authorities, and so on.

Waiting for the market to enhance is no longer a conservative approach. By not considering renewable energy generation, you are making a wager that utilities will offer more financially savvy power than distributed generation can in the long haul.

Why Should You Move in Winter Season?

When the season of winter takes over,  many people plan a lot of life events, which are often carried out in the cold and chilly weather. Winter is considered to be an ideal season to do few drastic things such as moving. But, on the other hand, when it comes to making the most of real estate changes, believe it or not, there are many great reasons make the move while it's still the dreary season.

1. Lower House Prices

There is a norm in the property market that the prices of the houses tend to drop during the winter season. This norm applies not only to a single place or state, in fact it applies to all the countries and cities and these prices drop all over the world. However during the summers there is a hike in prices once again and purchasing a house becomes difficult.

2. You'll Get A Better Picture

It is very common to see a good and pleasant picture of a house in the summer season when things are bright and shinning; however when it comes to moving in winters what you get to see is the real picture of what living will is when you opt to purchase the prospective house. The leakages, freezing pipes and the frozen roof are well analyzed in the winter season rather than the summer season. Therefore keeping winter as a choice to analyze property is something great.

3. Low Gas Prices, Saving of Fuel

The gas prices are also low in winters and the fuel of vehicle is also saved during this season. When one has to make a lot of trips to the newly purchased property for moving out and the distance is longer you need to be very careful about your travelling expense. Therefore winter seasons calls for the low prices of gas and eventually low travelling costs as well.


4. More Personalized Real Estate Services

Since less people move out in the winter season, the estate agents also have time and urge to get the best deal for you. When you consider summer as your moving season you might have to face the tantrums and price hikes by these agents which is not present in the winter season.


5. Cooler Weather Equals Higher Productivity

Another reason to consider winter moving as a great idea, is that while is can be very dreary outside, the cooler temperatures allow for a higher productivity level! The winter season is filled with energy and setting up the new house may be fun!


The Montlake Spite House

In researching blog post content, we came across an interesting story.

Legend has it that a Montlake couple was going through a divorce, and the husband settled with his ex wife to give her only a tiny portion of the land. To get revenge, she built a house that fit perfectly in that tiny plot. This house is appropriately now referred to as the Montlake Spite House. Watch this video to learn more! 

Color Palettes: Timeless Trends

It seems silly to think that a potential home buyer may get hung up on a simple cosmetic "fix" such as a home's color scheme, but unfortunately it's more common than you may think.  Most of us can remember when the trend in the 90's was Sage Greens, Maroons, and Rose hues. Now, when we see those colors in an interior, we think to ourselves, 'it's so dated!' Which is why we thought it only made sense to talk about color and its importance when painting your home. 

Six Color Palettes that Won't Go Out of Style [anytime soon]

1. Beige. The term, "builder's beige" was invented because builders know that the rule of thumb when building a new home, is to keep the palette neutral. This palette is universally accepted, and will still look on trend in years to come.


2. Gray. It is extremely popular at this point in time, but the reality is that Gray palettes have been used for centuries, and still can withstand the hands of time. When considering a gray palette, it is important to think about your location. If your home is in a shaded area, go for warmer gray tones. If your home is in direct sunlight, you can complement it's location with cooler toned gray hues.


3. White. When in doubt, choose white. This "non-color" leaves room for your color palette in other aspects of your home's decor. You will never hear a potential buyer say, "it's so white in here." The truth is, white can make your home appear larger, brighter, and more welcoming.

4. Muted Blues. Blue is all the rage right now in home decor. The beauty of this cool tone is that it can be applied in a home's interior and it will not look dated down the road. The key when picking a blue palette that is timeless however, is to stick with the classics. Blues that are too saturated or bold will appear dated in a few years. We recommend pale or navy hues.

5. Muted Greens. Green can make a statement in a home's interior when it is bold and saturated, but years down the road you may regret choosing that color. When considering a green color palette, it's best to steer towards green hues that are "muddy," or neutral. 

6. Black & White. Reminiscent of checkered tiles in ancient Greek architecture, the black and white color scheme is as timeless as it gets. 

Seattle Eastside: Invest in Real Estate in these Neighborhoods!

As our economy continues to grow in Seattle, many people are opting to live in the suburbs, particularly on the East side in the cities of Bellevue and Kirkland. Located just across Lake Washington from Seattle, they're the perfect location for families, career professionals, and retirees. But there are neighborhoods within these cities in which we are seeing a trend- the real estate is going up in value at an astonishing rate. We are seeing investors from other countries (China in particular,) snagging up homes knowing that their value may double in just a few years time.

Bellevue and Kirkland: 6 Neighborhoods to Buy A Home Now

1. Lakemont. Just East of Bellevue, Lakemont has become a rapidly expanding neighborhood with a variety of multi-family and high end residences. Located hillside, adjacent to i-90, it is overlooking Lake Sammamish.  Lakemont's residents are proud of where they live, which a great school system and modern conveniences just a jaunt down the freeway.

2. Eastgate. The Eastgate neighborhood has become a very popular spot for retirees and career minded individuals alike. Conveniently located near the i-90 bridge, Eastgate has seen an influx of home buyers from Seattle commuters. The Eastgate neighborhood sits overlooking Lake Washington and stretches East towards the 405, with access to downtown Bellevue and Factoria shopping and schools.

3. Hidden Valley. Located just South of Hwy 520, the Hidden Valley neighborhood has grown increasingly popular for Seattle and North Seattle commuters seeking a peaceful and virtually crime free lifestyle with a convenient drive into the city. 

4. Totem Lake. This area North of Kirkland is ever-expanding with new shopping and entertainment centers, medical conveniences, and part of a great school system. It's location between Bothell and Kirkland is the perfect area for East side employees as well as Seattle commuters. 

5. Lake View. One of Kirkland's hottest locations, the Lake View neighborhood, located in the heart of Kirkland is known for it's walk score, entertainment and restaurants, and of course the spectacular views of Lake Washington and Seattle. 

6. Moss Bay. Located just north of downtown Kirkland, Moss Bay is becoming increasingly popular for new homeowners and retirees. Located on Lake Washington, it's conveniently located between Totem Lake and Kirkland. North Seattle commuters are moving to this area at a rapid rate, as it provides the peacefulness of a small town feel with the modern conveniences of the city.

Seattle Love! Our 8 Favorite Hidden Gems

We love Seattle. That's for sure. It takes a true Seattleite to really appreciate our colorful city, in all of its glory. Even lately, with all the downpour of rain that has us feeling gloomy, there is a subtle calm to it all... especially when you seek out these hidden gems.

Image Sources (Click through)

Seattle: 8 Hidden Gems!

1. Bathtub Gin. This little gem is hidden in an alleyway just East of Pike Place Market. Look for a gray door... On busy nights, you will see a security guard outside, but sometimes, it's hard to find! Scratch cocktails are made by a seasoned bartender, there's dim ambiance, and a quaint basement with seating to sip & chill. It's a modern day hipsteresque speakeasy that rocks.

2.  Lincoln Park Free Zipline. Make your way to Lincoln Park in West Seattle. If you haven't yet, you're missing out on one of the most gorgeous views Seattle has to offer. While the beachfront part of the park has the perfect walking path, there's another picnic park that sits above the water with its own zipline, free for anyone to use.

3. Flip Flip Ding Ding. Ever been to Georgetown? It's definitely a fun, eclectic little spot just South of Seattle. Our favorite place to visit is this little pinball arcade, complete with its own bar. Open late, it's the perfect Friday night date spot.

4. Super Deli Mart. Once you've been here, you will want to tell your friends about it. From the outside, it's your average convenient store- not much to write home about. But on the inside, it's got TV's for football, a great draft beer selection, and some of the best sandwiches you will ever eat. It's still a convenient store- so it's an experience that you won't forget.

5. Orient Express. If you haven't made it in there, you're missing out. Located just south downtown Seattle, this little gem has private karaoke rooms, a full lounge with a jukebox, and the perfect Chinese diner food for a midnight snack. But what really makes this place unique is that it is a restaurant inside of several old train cars stacked next to each other. The interior is something you don't want to miss.

6.  Electric Boat Rentals. The best part about these Lake Union boat rentals is that you get to be the captain! Because they don't run at a high speed, the average Joe can drive one of these puppies through the Lake while enjoying the awesome views of Seattle, Ballard, and Montlake.

7. Haunted Coke Machine. Located on Capitol Hill, legend has it that this Coke machine has a mind of its own. Some say it spits out random sodas, while others say it either takes your change or gives you too much. Nonetheless, use at your own risk!

8. Hat & Boots. Okay, back to Georgetown. These little gems used to be part of a Texaco station back in the day. Now they're part of a city park-- the perfect photo op.

Seattle Dream Homes: Our Top 6 Picks

We live in such an expansively beautiful region. We have full seasons, beautiful landscapes, and a population on the rise. As people are moving to our gorgeous city from all over the world, we are seeing an influx of economical gain and a wealth of industry. Which is why we thought it only made sense to share our favorite Seattle dream homes.

Seattle Dream Homes: Our Top 6 Picks

1. East Highland Drive- Seattle, WA. $15,000,000. This gorgeous home features panoramic views of Lake Union, expansive layouts, and rich, ornate features. 

2. 106th Ave- Bellevue, WA. $13,950,000This gorgeous, bright home is as contemporary as it gets. Beautiful views, high end finishes, and beauty galore.

3. Primrose Lane- Friday Harbor, WA $19,890,000We love the traditional style of this water view home. Featuring high end finishes, and a private garden like setting!

4. 42nd Ave- Seattle, WA $10,008,000Tudor style at its best. This beautiful home features gorgeous wood details that complete the tudor style.

5. Fuhrman Ave- Seattle, WA $7,368,000.  Could you spend an evening on this patio? Beautiful bright, modern layout with high end, well.. everything.

6. 82nd Ave- Mercer Island, WA $6,600,000Reminiscent of Tuscany, this home sits hillside with expansive views, traditional finishes, and a beautiful layout.

4 Ways to Spice Up Your Home for Fall

It seems like summer came and went faster than we could say "boat." Well, you know it's official when Starbucks starts their massive Marketing campaigns on Pumpkin Spice everything. Yes, we are here- fall has arrived.

After spending the summer un-cluttering our homes and refreshing the paint, we are now feeling like we need to cozy them up and give them a warm, welcoming feel. Which is why we thought it only made sense to give some tips as to how!

4 Ways to Spice Up Your Home for Fall

1. Candles, Candles, Candles! Everyone loves cinnamon apple scent when cuddling under an old quilt reading their favorite book, tucked away from the outside chill. Studies have shown that scented candles actually improve ones' mood- so what do you have to lose?


2. Warm Color Palettes. Time to replace those turquoise throw pillows with your burnt sienna or cactus green ones. There is something to be said about a warm color palette in the fall- just psychologically, it makes you "feel" warmer.


3. Bake! We all know that this is the time of year when we give that old Kitchen Aid mixer a run for its money. Baking is therapeutic, and makes your home smell amazing.



4. Decorate with Nature. By bringing the outside in, you actually will give your space an organic, rustic feel without having to endure the nippy air. Our picks: twisty tree branches in an old rusty vase.