Date Archives: April 2021

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April
21

Making a Mostly Stress-Free Move to A New Home

Whether you're moving down the block or across the world, it's never easy. Moving is one of the most stressful life events you'll ever go through. Even if you're going to a better place, a beautiful location, a better job, or just heading somewhere new for a welcome change of pace, getting there is always a chore.

Inevitably, you will be stressed. You will encounter a problem or two throughout the process. Something will probably go wrong. But a lot of things can and will go right, and you should focus on those things when other stuff goes awry.

Not everything is under your control (and you can simply hope that your moving helpers, truck drivers and vendors arrive on time for their appointments). But there are actions you can take and ways to plan ahead so you don't feel too overwhelmed come moving day/week.

  1. Make a spreadsheet or a list of everything that must happen. Pick a program or app you can access on your phone. Do this as soon as you start thinking about moving. Try to put everything in chronological order; including finding the right moving company, the number of boxes you'll need (don't forget the tape, labels and digital organizing app), a list of accounts where you need to change your address, etc.
  2. Overestimate your moving cost. When the final bill arrives, you'll breathe a (little) sigh of relief.
  3. Cut back on incidental spending and stash any extra cash into savings. Do this months ahead of time, if it's possible.
  4. Thoroughly vet potential moving vendors, companies, and locations. Research multiple review sites, talk to neighbors and friends.
  5. Store your moving vendors' and contacts' phone numbers in your phone with their name assigned. That way, you'll know it's Jane from Moving Helpers, and not a spam caller.
  6. Start packing early. Seriously: Weeks or months before your move, even. You may already have items in storage, but if there are things in your home you're not using or won't need for a while, get a box and start packing.
    1. Keep track of what's packed where with an app. Don't rely on written notes on each box. Simply marking something 'bedroom' or 'kitchen' isn't enough and you'll forget where you put your favorite metal coffee scoop.
  7. Let go of some stuff! Moving is a great time to streamline and downsize. Donate or gift gently-used or unused household items.
  8. Make note of the accounts you need to change or cancel before moving day; including internet, utilities, etc. Notify each company ahead of time.
  9. Touch base with each moving company vendor to ensure everything is in place. Good vendors will contact you themselves to check in with you.
  10. Finish all of your packing several days before the move. Have your travel bag ready for your essentials.
  11. Go to bed early and get as much rest as possible before the big day!
  12. Even if you're stressed on moving day, roll with it knowing you did as much as you could to plan ahead, be ready and get everything done. Things will fall into place.

In short, when it comes to moving, plan what you can when you can, think ahead and give yourself a break when stress comes along. Before you know it, you'll be settled into your new home.

April
19

Seattle Food Specialties and Where to Order Them

Seattle PhoIf you're looking at Seattle homes for sale, prepare for delicious cuisine.

Seattle has a rich and diverse culinary heritage our brokers know as one of the things that make the Emerald City unique. Seattle flavors have been shaped by remarkable Pacific seafood as well as the many immigrants from all over the world who have helped to make Seattle what it is today.

Over time, Seattle has become famous for dishes originating across the globe, from its unique take on Chinese dumplings to its unbeatable burgers, hot dogs, and much more.

Let's drop in on some of the restaurants that offer true Seattle classics:

  1. The Walrus and The Carpenter – 4743 Ballard Avenue, Seattle, WA 98107
    The Walrus and The Carpenter isn't just one of the most surreal scenes from Alice in Wonderland – it's also the #1 place for oysters, a long-time Seattle favorite. Now with outdoor seating and convenient online reservations, The Walrus and The Carpenter serves up sophisticated seafood and wine pairings that epitomize the Pacific Northwest. Other delights on the menu include scallop crudo, smoked coho, grilled sardines, and steak tartar.

  2. The Pho Bac – 1240 South Jackson Street, Seattle, WA 98144
    With no less than four locations throughout the Seattle area, The Pho Bac is a leading purveyor of short rib pho. Pronounced fuh, this Vietnamese dish is a soup containing broth, rice noodles, herbs, and meat. While chicken is the mainstay approach to pho, The Pho Bac expands the palate with a curated shortlist of new takes. Now in its second generation, it is one of Seattle's best-known family-owned businesses.

  3. Dahlia Bakery – 2001 4th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121
    Famous for its delicious triple coconut cream pie, a Seattle staple, Dahlia Bakery also stocks delectable artisan breads, handmade pastries, and desserts. You'll want to come back frequently since everything here is small batch and the menu changes regularly. There are also classic breakfast sandwiches, including the bacon and egg and veggie varieties and lunch specials.

  4. Dick's Deluxe – 12325 30th Avenue Northeast, Seattle, WA 98125
    No list of Seattle favorites could be complete without mentioning Dick's Deluxe, which since 1954 has been the city's go-to hamburger joint. Known far and wide for its fresh burgers, real potatoes, and hand-dipped shakes, Dick's has various drive-in and food truck locations. There are also ice cream sundaes, cones, and root beer floats that are perfect for the kids. No matter where you are in Seattle, a location isn't far away.

  5. Sushi Kashiba – 86 Pine Street, Suite 1, Seattle WA 98101
    "Omakase" loosely means "chef's choice," and Sushi Kashiba owner Shiro Kashiba has been called Seattle's "sushi grandmaster." There may be no better place in Seattle to enjoy the classic omakase sushi bento box, which includes an eclectic mix of sushi rolls, sashimi, and other Japanese lunch foods arranged by Chef Kashiba. With ample cuts of fish in brilliant colors, it plates as good as it tastes.

  6. Mee Sum Pastry – 4343 University Way Northeast, Seattle, WA 98105
    For maximum flavor, Seattle's famous curry beef hom bow, known elsewhere as bao, must be made fresh each morning. When you visit Mee Sum Pastry, you might even have the chance to watch. In the bustling University of Washington area, this is one of the foremost places for Taiwanese cuisine with a Seattle spin. You can also savor a full assortment of other beef, chicken, pork, seafood, and vegetarian-friendly entrees.

  7. Rain City Hot Dogs – 2700 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98144
    The classic take on a Seattle Dog includes cream cheese and sauteed onions – and that's the marquee meal here at Rain City Hot Dogs. One of the highest-rated hot dog experiences in town, it also offers full-service catering. Every dog on the menu can be customized with your choice of a quarter-pound all-beef hot dog, a spicy Louisiana-style hotlink, or a veggie dog. Don't miss out on the Smoky PB&J!

  8. Chinook's at Salmon Bay –1900 West Nickerson Street, Seattle, WA 98119
    Copper river salmon flown in from Alaska have become a hallmark of some of the best Pacific Northwest dishes, and Chinook's at Salmon Bay is widely hailed as one of the best places in Seattle to enjoy the iconic fish. From its Fishermen's Terminal location, fish scarcely gets any fresher than this. Enjoy an afternoon or evening right on the waterfront patio and have lunch, dinner, or selections from the seasonal Oyster Festival menu.

Coldwell Banker Bain is here to help with your Seattle real estate needs. Contact us to learn more today.

April
12

9 Reasons to Live Near a National Park

National Park

National parks are a true American treasure, handed down from one generation to the next.

The Pacific Northwest has so many wonderful national parks to visit, or better yet, live near. 

Stunning Crater Lake National Park is less than half a day's drive from Portland homes for saleOr explore 73 miles of Pacific Coast at Olympic National Park, roughly a two-hour drive from Seattle homes for sale

Our brokers share nine top benefits of living near a national park. Do some of these surprise you? 

  1. More Opportunities for Quality Family Time
    In today's families, both kids and parents are likely to have fast-paced schedules that have them moving in different directions. Even gathering around the dinner table can be hard. National parks offer accessible hours along with a wide variety of activities and attractions to suit everyone. Simply packing a picnic lunch to enjoy after a pleasant hike is a relaxing getaway. Admission fees are nominal, with several free days during the year, to fit any budget. And most parks are pet-friendly so that Fido can tag along!

  2. Low-Cost Outdoor "Health Club"
    Do you pay ever-increasing membership dues to a conventional health club to fight for a parking spot and wait in line for a treadmill or elliptical machine? National parks are incredible open-air "fitness centers" that aren't confined by four walls and a roof. Available activities range from hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing in the summer to cross-country skiing, sledding, and snowboarding in the winter.

  3. Good for Mental and Emotional Health
    Physical fitness is only part of the equation for overall health. Spending time around nature has been proven to reduce stress and depression. In one study conducted in 2015, researchers examined the brain activity of two groups of people who took 90-minute walks, with one group in a natural setting and the other in an urban setting. The group from the outdoor setting had lower activity in the prefrontal cortex, which is where negative self-talk usually occurs. 

  4. Greater Earning Power
    According to experts, areas with national parks tend to have a thriving tourist industry, which in turn creates more jobs and better financial opportunities.

  5. Promotes Childhood Development
    In another revealing result from the OSU study, researchers discovered that kids under the age of 5 who lived near national parks were 10 percent taller than their peers who lived further away. While this is no guarantee for your child's height, there's no question that youngsters who have frequent exposure to nature gain physical and mental benefits, such as the development of cognitive skills that help with classroom learning.

  6. Less Risk of Natural Disasters
    When you respect Mother Nature, she returns the favor. Forested areas in national parks remain untouched, which allows the trees to protect water sources. In addition, the West Coast is vulnerable to flooding, landslides, and other natural disasters that endanger the environment, along with humans and animals. Protected habitats stabilize the surrounding land, reducing the risk of such devastating incidents. 

  7. Eco-Friendly Access to Nature
    There has been a long struggle finding a balance between outdoor activities that are enjoyable and accessible without causing damage to the environment. National parks provide a venue to spend time outdoors with minimal impact on our natural resources.

  8. Maintains Biodiversity
    Over the years, society mistakenly believed that natural resources were infinite. Fishing, hunting, mining, and other practices were conducted with no thought about their long-term effects. Sadly, a number of ecosystems and animal species are now endangered today due to this behavior. National parks create protection for wetlands, forests, and other ecosystems and endangered animals such as gray wolves. 

  9. Strengthens Friendships and Social Interactions
    How often do you attempt to plan an outing with friends and spend most of the time debating over dinner, a movie, or a ball game? A lively walk or vigorous bike ride on the trails of a national park are activities everyone can agree on. Being outdoors is also a great way to escape the pressures of daily life and focus on communicating with friends and loved ones.

Want to learn more about the parks around the Pacific Northwest? Contact us at Coldwell Banker Bain for more information.

April
5

April Showers: Guide to Installing a Smart System for Your Garden

Smart System for Garden

For nearly twenty years, smart homes have been surging in popularity as we embrace the technology that makes our lives easier. No longer limited to inside the home, technology has moved into the garden to make it more efficient as well.

Our brokers know how important a lush lawn and curb appeal are when appealing to potential buyers. Whether you're getting your home ready to list or just want to enjoy an attractive landscape, consider installing a few of these smart devices.

  1. Smart sprinklers
    Setting a timer will certainly allow you to water whether or not you are home. But why stop there? You can control the sprinklers when you're away from home using an application on your phone or computer. If you prefer, you can use a sprinkler that gauges the amount of water your garden needs based on data from weather reports or even from sensing the moisture in the soil. Never again will your sprinklers go on while it is raining. 
     
  2. Weather stations or sensors
    These innovative devices monitor the weather conditions in your garden including temperature, wind, and humidity to deliver the information you need to care for your garden. You can receive detailed weather metrics to help keep the inside of your home comfortable as well. When integrated into a smart home ecosystem, adjustments will be made automatically. 

  3. Soil sensors
    Traditionally, while it is possible to get secondary education in agriculture, most home gardeners don't have the education required to analyze soil to determine what action is necessary to create the perfect balance of chemicals and moisture for a healthy garden. Add the questions of proper temperature and light and most of us would be lost. But we don't need to know all of that information when we have sensors to guide us. Are they necessary to grow a garden? No, but they certainly can make the process easier. Take your gardening to the next level and receive alerts on your mobile device for when you need to take action to keep the garden healthy. 

  4. Robotic lawnmowers
    Preprogrammed to operate on a schedule of your choosing, these handy tools ensure a  perfectly manicured lawn with little to no effort on your part. Powered by electricity, they run quietly and without fumes. Boundaries are defined by wires. If it should happen to rain, sensors will direct the unit back to its base. 

  5. Outdoor lighting
    One of the least expensive smart upgrades you can make to your garden, lighting options are also the most versatile. Fountains and other water features come to life with strategically placed lighting. Path lights with changing colors add magical hues to simple safety measures. Motion sensors illuminate spaces to stop would-be thieves in their tracks as spotlight cams capture their images. And who could deny the elegance of soft lighting in a seating area nestled in a flowery haven? Remote controls let you adjust the lighting according to your needs. 

  6. Wi-Fi booster
    Working from home and going to school online can be tedious and frustrating. But you can banish that cooped-up feeling by taking work and studies outside. It's possible for a Wi-Fi repeater or extender to do the trick, and add enough coverage to your garden to work or study efficiently. Unfortunately, that may not be sufficient. If not, you can dramatically expand your home network with a powerline adaptor. These exciting new options use the electric wiring of the house to transmit communication signals. They don't even require a complicated installation. 

  7. Entertainment options
    Whether you would enjoy dancing in the moonlight or watching movies under the stars, you can convert your garden to the perfect entertainment venue with waterproof Bluetooth speakers, outdoor television sets, or projectors. If you enjoy hosting dinner parties, smart grills and smokers can allow you to cook a delicious meal while socializing with your guests. They'll give you a short alert on your phone when you need to break away to attend to the food. 

When you're ready to find the perfect place for your own garden paradise, contact us. We'll be happy to show you the finest homes throughout the area. 

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 08/13/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 08/13/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of RMLS (last updated Fri 08/12/2022 8:34:57 PM EST) or Willamette Valley MLS (last updated Sat 08/13/2022 8:57:18 AM EST) or COAR/MLSCO (last updated Sat 08/13/2022 9:11:22 AM EST) or NWMLS (last updated Sat 08/13/2022 9:14:14 AM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Coldwell Banker Bain may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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