Date Archives: May 2021

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What You Need to Know Before Adding a Fireplace

Adding a FireplaceWhen you love your home, it's only natural to want to make it even better. Life in the beautiful Pacific Northwest almost demands the comfort only a fireplace can provide, but how do you know it's a good investment for your home? You don't hesitate to make simple changes, like a fresh coat of paint. When it comes to something as significant as adding a fireplace, however, there are several factors to consider before making a final decision. 

  1. Can it be done?
    Local building codes are full of restrictions relating to construction. Ceiling height and fireplace emissions will all impact the cost and plausibility of adding a fireplace to an existing structure. Fuel source also needs to be considered. Will you be using natural gas, propane, or wood? Wood must be stored safely away from the exterior wall of the house and must be kept dry. Is the house already equipped for gas or propane? A general contractor can best advise a homeowner on the feasibility of adding a fireplace and provide estimates of both cost and time for execution.
  2. What are you willing to spend?
    Your options run from about $1,400 for a ventless gas unit to a traditional wood-burning fireplace for $20,000 or more. The former requires a unit for about $400 and installation costs of about $1,000. The latter required extensive materials, a mason skilled in the specific work required, and other skilled laborers to complete the changes to the surrounding walls. Wood and natural gas are the most common fuel sources. When determining which is most economically sound, consider not only the cost of wood but also the cost of maintenance. An annual inspection service is not expensive but critical to safe operation. A gas fireplace may be the best decision, financially speaking, if it is an option. It's also much kinder to the environment and requires less maintenance than its wood-burning counterpart.
  3. What can you expect as a return on investment?
    Much depends on other homes in the area. The National Association of REALTORS® tells us that about 46% of homebuyers nationwide are willing to pay extra for a fireplace. But the median amount they are willing to pay is $1,200. That's not good news to a homeowner that spends $10,000 to $20,000 to add a fireplace. Another consideration is the cost of the fireplace relative to the value of the house. In a million-dollar home, a $10,000 feature is a far more acceptable price increase than in a less expensive model.

  4. Where will you locate the fireplace?
    You have a lot of options! Your first thought might be the traditional living room or den, but you may prefer a cozy space in your bedroom where you can curl up with a pillow and a good book. If you have a "dead" zone in your home, far from the central heat source that is uncomfortably cold, a fireplace can be a great solution. The current trend of outdoor living spaces creates a wealth of luxury opportunities. Even though the unit won't provide additional comfort to the house itself, it means extending entertainment options to an exciting new level. You can, however, expect the total installed cost to be comparable to an indoor fireplace. 

  5. Can you expect energy efficiency?
    The decisions you make regarding the type and location of the fireplace will affect the level of energy efficiency. The outdoor fireplace will do nothing to heat the home itself, for example. A well-placed unit will allow you to focus the energy to heat the home in the space being used instead of heating the entire house at once. The traditional fireplace sends more of its heat up the chimney than into the room. But a sealed unit uses outside air to heat and transfer warm air into the room. This reduces the energy demands made of the central furnace or heating system. The question would then be whether the decrease in utility bills for the central air system is greater than the cost of managing the fireplace. 

While chilly fall and winter nights are quite a ways away, if you plan on adding a fireplace, now is the time to start doing your research.

And if you're looking for a new home with a fireplace or getting your house ready to list, contact us for professional assistance. Our brokers are always ready to help. 


Brunch Options for Mother's Day in Seattle

Brunch in Seattle

Mark your calendars. Mother's Day is Sunday, May 9th! After a challenging 2020, one of the things our brokers are most excited about is the re-opening of some of our favorite Seattle restaurants this spring. If you're looking for a great place to take your mom for brunch on Mother's Day, we definitely recommend these great Seattle eateries:

  • Portage Bay Cafe - 391 Terry Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109
    One of Seattle's most beloved brunch spots, Portage Bay Cafe, is known for their fresh sandwiches and bowls, as well as a breakfast bar stocked with organic, local, and sustainable sources ingredients. They make some killer omelets and French toast, too, making it a prime Mother's Day spot. We love the South Lake Union location, which is a short walk from downtown, but Portage Bay Cafe also has several additional locations throughout the city, all convenient to many Seattle homes for sale

  • Fat's Chicken and Waffles - 2726 E Cherry St, Seattle, WA 98122
    One of Seattle's best destinations for hearty Southern-inspired comfort food, Fat's Chicken and Waffles is a cozy, stylish little cafe with an atmosphere that—much like its menu—feels like a quirky take on what you'd see at an old-fashioned Southern joint. Their brunch menu is packed with tasty favorites like shrimp and grits with eggs and biscuits with andouille sausage gravy. And it almost goes without saying that their fried chicken and waffles are amazing. 

  • Tilikum Place Cafe - 407 Cedar St, Seattle, WA 98121
    Tilikum Place Cafe is a European-style bistro nestled in the historic heart of Belltown. It's a treasured neighborhood eatery with an eclectic menu of seasonal favorites. Their offerings are ever-changing depending on what's in season, but you can always count on anything your order being handcrafted from the freshest local ingredients. Cafe Tilikum is a cozy space with just a few tables, so reservations are always a good idea, especially on popular brunch days like Mother's Day. 

  • Café Pettirosso - 1101 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122
    Originally founded as a coffee cart in the '90s, Café Pettirosso moved quickly into a brick-and-mortar location, and after a few changes over the years, has become one of the best brunch spots in Seattle's Capitol Hill area. They offer a little bit of everything, from a pastry and espresso bar to fresh-squeezed juices and craft cocktails. The brunch menu at Café Pettirosso is full of great options like seasonal omelets and duck confit hash. 

  • El Parche Columbiano - 11740 15th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98125
    With a vibrant atmosphere and colorful Columbian cuisine, El Parche Columbiano is arguably the best place in Seattle to find authentic South American fare. They serve every meal of the day in their fun, funky space, but the breakfast and brunch staples are some of our favorites. Traditional Columbian breakfast dishes like Calenta'o (rice and beans served with arepas and eggs any style) are fresh and delicious. El Parche Columbiano also makes some of the best empanadas you're ever likely to taste.

  • OLMSTE(A)D - 314 Broadway E, Seattle, WA 98102
    A hip hangout in Capitol Hill known for their daily brunch and craft cocktail menu, OLMSTE(A)D is a fun neighborhood hangout spot. The food here tends to get classified as new American cuisine, but OLMSTE(A)D draws inspiration from all over the globe, with fresh and flavorful brunch dishes like rich, spicy shakshuka and thick-sliced brioche French toast. Brunch is served every day until 2:45 PM.

  • Le Pichet - 1933 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98101
    Nestled amid the hustle and bustle of Seattle's famed Pike Place Market, Le Pichet is a welcoming little French-style bistro and bar. It's a quaint, cozy place to enjoy morning coffee or a glass of wine in the evening in their open sidewalk dining area. Their menu abounds with French breakfast and lunch specialties, from expertly prepared egg dishes to sandwiches on fresh-baked baguettes. Le Pichet also offers splendid charcuteries and cheese boards, and their house-made ice cream is to die for. 

Contact us today to learn more about living life to the fullest in the Seattle area, and be sure to ask our team how we can help you find your dream home here. Seattle is a truly unique and special place to call home, with great dining options for Mother's Day or just any old day!

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 Fri 08/12/2022 11:51:39 PM EST) or COAR/MLSCO (last updated Sat 08/13/2022 8:20:09 AM EST) or NWMLS (last updated Sat 08/13/2022 8:34:16 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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