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August
8

Plan a Lake Day Near Portland

Portland Lake Day

While Portland features fantastic forests and stunning mountain views, the city is also surrounded by incredible lakes. When our brokers seek a day of activity or relaxation, they head for these lakes around Portland that fill either need. 

  • Blue Lake Regional Park - 21224 NE Blue Lake Rd., Fairview, OR 97024
    It's water, water everywhere at Blue Lake Regional Park, only minutes from Fairview homes for sale. The namesake lake, with its swimming beach and fishing spots, is the main attraction. Kids can romp in the activity-filled splash pad, while everyone can enjoy walks around three additional ponds and wetlands, with opportunities to spot birds and wildlife. Challenge family and friends to games of basketball, volleyball, softball, soccer, horseshoes, or disc golf. Be sure to visit the Natural Discovery Garden before or after your leisurely picnic lunch. Park hours are 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. daily through September 14. Admission is free, but there is a $5 parking fee per car.

  • Vancouver Lake Regional Park - 6801 NW Lower River Rd., Vancouver, WA 98660
    One of the many benefits of Vancouver homes for sale is proximity to Vancouver Lake Regional Park. The sprawling, 190-acre grounds lie on the west shore of beautiful Vancouver Lake, which itself covers 2,300 acres. Swimming, windsurfing, canoeing, and kayaking are popular activities on the lake, which hosts a number of rowing competitions each year. Work up an appetite with a lively game of sand volleyball, then settle in around the picnic tables and barbecue grills for lunch. Take a stroll along park trails for scenic views of Mount Hood, Mount St. Helens, and Mount Adams. Vancouver Lake Regional Park is open daily from 7 a.m. - dusk. There is no admission fee, but parking is $3 per car. 

  • Buck Lake - Mt. Hood National Forest
    Discover (or rediscover) the joys of a good old-fashioned swimming hole at Buck Lake. This dog-friendly secluded spot, deep within Mt. Hood National Forest, is so serene that you'll forget you're near Sandy homes for sale. Fed from rain and snow melt, Buck Lake's crystal-clear, aquamarine waters create a calming ambiance that's perfect for relaxation. Not ready to leave? Primitive campsites are available. There is no admission fee or restricted hours.

  • Timothy Lake - Mt. Hood National Forest
    Mt. Hood National Forest doesn't have just one lake to stop at. There are 150 lakes to choose from! While you're enjoying your Clackamas County outdoor adventure, make sure to visit Timothy Lake, which is the largest lake in the national forest. This lake offers fantastic views of the mountain, plus there are ample fishing opportunities if you decide to bring your fishing gear along for your lake day. Trout and salmon are common in this lake. Plus, the nearby campsites make it so you can stay as long as you'd like. In fact, there are over 260 designated camping spots to choose from around the lake, making this one of the largest camping spots in the whole state. Reserve a camping spot online, so you're all set for a relaxing nature retreat.

  • Trillium Lake - Government Camp, OR 97028
    Breathtaking Trillium Lake, just a short drive from Government Camp homes for sale, is as pretty as the flower that shares its name. With majestic Mt. Hood reflected on the water, people enjoy non-motorized boating, swimming, and trout fishing on the 63-acre lake. Trillium Shoreline Trail, a two-mile pet-friendly boardwalk path that circles the lake, makes a nice walk that's easy enough for families. Plan your visit to include sunrise or sunset for some Instagram-worthy photos. Film and book lovers frequently make a side trip to Timberline Lodge, a National Historic Landmark approximately 10 miles away. Dating back to the 1930s, the resort served as a location in the movie version of The Shining. If you prefer less ghostly quarters, Trillium Lake also features a campground. A day-use pass for Trillium Lake is $10.

Outdoor adventures are one of the many things people love about living near Portland. Do your summer plans include buying or selling a home around Portland? Contact us at Coldwell Banker Bain to get started.

October
4

Pacific Northwest Fall Foliage Tour

Pacific Northwest Fall

Is it possible that Pacific Northwest scenery can get even more spectacular? While we love this area in all seasons, there's something extra special about the fall. See Washington and Oregon dressed up in their fall colors at these beautiful locations as recommended by our brokers.

  • Kubota Garden - 9817 - 55th Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98118
    Two words used most often by people to describe dog-friendly Kubota Garden: "hidden gem." Namesake Fujitaro Kubota and his son Tom envisioned their property as a public space to be enjoyed by all. In 1987, the City of Seattle purchased the land to complete that mission. More than 140 varieties of Japanese maples fill the garden with brilliant fall hues, while the waterfall and fish pond add a touch of Zen. Kubota Garden is open daily from sunrise to sunset, and admission is free.

  • Washington Park Arboretum - 2300 Arboretum Dr. E., Seattle, WA 98112
    Set in 230 lush acres on the shores of Lake Washington, the Washington Park Arboretum offers something different with each visit. Themed gardens, such as Rhododendron Glen and Azalea Way, highlight specific plants and landscapes. Take a canoe or kayak out on Union Bay for a chance to spot hawks, owls, and other magnificent birds. Kids have fun learning about nature while they complete the fall scavenger hunt. There's no charge to visit the Arboretum, which is open seven days a week from dawn to dusk. 

  • Discovery Park - 3801 Discovery Park Blvd., Seattle, WA 98199
    Framed by the Olympic Mountains to the west and the Cascades in the east, Discovery Park features some of the more spectacular scenery around. At 534 acres, Discovery Park is the largest city park in Seattle, and it provides a welcome oasis to the surrounding urban hustle and bustle. Surrounded by sand dunes, cliffs, and forest groves, you'll feel like you're in another world. Park hours are 4 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. daily.

  • Lincoln Park - 8011 Fauntleroy Way SW, Seattle, WA 98136
    Tucked inside West Seattle, one of the city's oldest neighborhoods, is Lincoln Park. While it's much smaller than many of the other city parks, Lincoln Park has a wide variety of attractions that make it a favorite destination for families. Features include 4.6 miles of walking paths, 3.9 miles of biking paths, picnic shelters, and a renovated play area. Fall is a prime time for spotting orcas, seals, sea lions and porpoise out on Puget Sound. Lincoln Park is open seven days a week from 4 a.m. - 11:30 p.m.

  • Pittock Mansion - 3229 NW Pittock Dr., Portland, OR 97210
    In 1853, 19-year-old Henry Pittock heeded the call to "go west, young man." After moving from Pittsburgh to Portland, Henry became a successful businessman and built Pittock Mansion. Today, the stately home serves as a museum dedicated to the legacy of Henry Pittock and the story of Portland's development over the years. The 46-acre grounds include trails for viewing trees, flowers, and panoramas of the city skyline and the Cascade Mountains. Pittock Mansion is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. except for Tuesday, when doors open at noon. Admission is $12 for adults and $8 for ages 6-18.

  • Hoyt Arboretum - 4000 SW Fairview Blvd., Portland, OR 97221
    When Portland purchased 189 acres of land for $10 in 1922, the property was earmarked for development. Thanks to the efforts of key supporters, the land became the home of Hoyt Arboretum. More than 2,300 different tree species from more than six continents can be seen on the grounds, which is a greater number than any other arboretum in the country. Twelve miles of hiking trails provide opportunities to view Japanese maples, redwoods, flowering dogwoods, and many rare species. Watch for hawthorne fruits, magnolia cones, and snowberries, which take center stage during fall months. Hours are 5 a.m. - 10 p.m. daily, and there is no charge for admission.

  • South Park Blocks - 1436 SW Park Ave., Portland, OR 97201
    Don't have time for a day trip? Just head downtown to the South Park Blocks, a charming green space just north of Portland State University. The 12-block area was one of the city's first parks, dating back to 1852, and the tree-lined corridor is still a popular spot to enjoy a slice of nature. Mosaics, sculptures, and other artworks along the way add to the visual appeal. Park hours are 5 a.m. - 9 p.m. daily.

Whether you're looking for natural or urban delights, the Pacific Northwest has it all. Contact us at Coldwell Banker Bain for help with all your real estate needs.

September
27

10 Fall Home Maintenance Tips

Fall Tips

Fall is here! And with it comes fall weather. So it's time to pay attention to home maintenance and repairs. If you're thinking about selling your home in the near future, our brokers can offer advice on important fall maintenance tips.

In the Pacific Northwest, the fall season is the beginning of chilly temperatures, heavy rainfall, and snow and ice. Preparing your home with necessary maintenance before cold weather sets in will protect against costly damages and keep your family warm and comfortable. Take a look at 10 fall maintenance tips that you should not ignore:

  1. Check Your Roof
    Look for damaged or missing roof shingles that may lead to water leaks in the attic and the walls. Water leaks can cause a variety of costly damages including rotten beams, ruined insulation, and dangerous black mold that is toxic.

  2. Clean Out Your Gutters
    While you have your ladder handy, clean out your gutters and downspouts. A shop vac works great for removing dirt, debris, and leaves, but if you don't have one try an old plastic spatula. It's considerably slower but it won't scratch your gutters. Clogged gutters can cause roof and siding leaks, as well as foul-smelling standing water that attracts mosquitoes and insects.

  3. Mow Your Lawn Shorter
    When temperatures start dropping, it's best to mow your lawn with a shorter cut. After you rake up dead leaves and debris, set your mower to cut the grass at 1-1/2 to 2 inches high. This will prevent tall grass and weeds from smothering new spring growth and reduce the chance of unwanted lawn pests and mold that often forms on snow.

  4. Prepare Your Lawn for Winter
    After mowing the yard, prep your lawn for winter weather with fertilizer and water. Choose a fertilizer that's labeled 4-1-2 with good nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium levels to help grass store nutrients. If you have sprinklers, give your lawn a good soaking, check sprinkler pipes and heads for leaks, and wrap your above-ground pipes with insulation before freezing temperatures arrive.

  5. Clean Out Your Chimney
    There's nothing like a warm roaring fire in freezing winter temperatures to keep your family cozy. Fall means it's time to call a professional to inspect and clean your chimney and test your fireplace flue for a tight seal that eliminates drafts. For added protection, invest in a chimney screen to prevent birds and squirrels from building nests because they look for safe, warm winter homes in the winter.

  6. Touch Up Your Exterior Paint
    If your house needs a paint job, take care of this task before winter. Paint doesn't handle extreme hot or cold temperatures well, even if it's outdoor paint. In freezing temperatures, paint gets very thick and doesn't spread evenly with rollers or brushes. Cold weather also prevents the paint from drying properly, so anything that blows into your house can stick to or leave ugly marks in the paint.

  7. Service Your Heating System
    If you're like most homeowners, you likely have a central heating and air conditioning system. To ensure heat during winter weather, schedule a fall appointment with a professional HVAC technician to inspect and clean your furnace unit, usually located in the garage or a hall closet. Since your heat hasn't been turned on in a year or so, it's essential to ensure that your burner isn't leaking carbon monoxide.

  8. Check Windows and Doors
    During the fall, inspect your windows and doors for unwanted drafts. Add weatherstripping to ensure tight seals, inspect and replace any damaged glass in windows and sliders, and replace or repair any damaged window or door frames. Drafts will make your home chillier during winter and your heating bills will be higher from running your furnace around the clock.

  9. Clean Heating and Dryer Vents
    Dirty vents obstruct proper airflow. Clogged interior air vents will prevent proper heating into your home and keep you feeling colder during the winter. Dirty dryer vents with lint buildup can make your dryer less efficient and even start a fire caused by static electricity that ignites.

  10. Check Your Safety Devices
    While doing fall maintenance, take time to check home safety devices. (1) Test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and replace old batteries; (2) Check your fire extinguisher's expiration date and replace it if necessary; (3) Check your home for radon gas levels of 4 or above which is considered dangerous by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA).  

If you're considering buying or selling in the Washington area, contact us for available properties. We have many available homes that may be just what you're looking for.

September
7

Restaurants with a View in Seattle

Seattle Restaurants

Seattle is one of America's most scenic cities, and many of the area's best restaurants combine fresh, fantastic food with the sort of spectacular views that you can only find in the city. Whether you're interested in waterfront scenery or a stunning, bird's eye view of the city skyline with the mountains as a backdrop, you'll find it close to home in Seattle. Our brokers have all the details on where to dine with a view.

  • Ray's Boathouse & Cafe – 6049 Seaview Ave. NW, Seattle, WA 98107
    With a convenient location near Seattle homes for sale and gorgeous waterfront views, Ray's Boathouse & Cafe offers two distinctive dining areas for your enjoyment. The Boathouse is an elegant setting serving fresh sea to plate fare sourced from local Seattle purveyors, while Ray's Cafe is a more casual dining setting, with a beachfront bar serving some of the finest local wines and spirits.

  • Graduate Seattle Mountaineering Club – 4507 Brooklyn Ave. NE, Seattle, WA 98105
    Take a quick hike up to the 16th floor of the Graduate Hotel to enjoy dinner and drinks with a view at the Graduate Seattle Mountaineering Club. Soak in panoramic views of the Seattle skyline, Mount Rainier, and the Puget Sound from the outdoor seating area while you sample fresh, local fare. Just be sure to plan ahead because reservations are required for the Mountaineering Club.

  • Westward – 2501 N. Northlake Way, Seattle, WA 98103
    Situated on the northern shores of Lake Union, Westward offers a quaint, beachside dining experience that's sure to impress. The menu here features imaginative takes on your favorite seafood dishes, along with oysters that are as fresh as it gets. Beachfront brunches are also available every Saturday and Sunday morning at Westward.

  • Matt's in the Market – 94 Pike St., Suite 32, Seattle, WA 98101
    Located in the heart of the bustling Pike Street Market, Matt's in the Market is a popular dining destination, bar, and event space. If you're looking for a restaurant where the wine list is just as spectacular as the views, this is a great place to visit. There are a ton of fantastic selections to enjoy, both from some of the most revered winemaking regions in France and from many of the Seattle area's most highly rated vineyards.

  • Daniel's Broiler – 808 Howell St., Seattle, WA 98101
    For a classic Seattle steakhouse experience, try a visit to Daniel's Broiler, an upscale steakhouse located on the second floor of the Hyatt Regency Seattle. The downtown location of Daniel's Broiler features a bar/restaurant setting, with all of your favorite steakhouse appetizers and entrees. All of the steaks served here are USDA Prime cuts, while the in-house Rickhouse Whiskey Bar serves more than 150 different whiskey selections from around the world.

  • Marination Ma Kai – 1660 Harbor Ave. SW, Seattle, WA 98126
    In the mood for some unique dining choices? Head to the beautiful outdoor seating area at Marination Ma Kai to enjoy some amazing views of the harbor and Seattle skyline while you sample the fare from an imaginative Asian-Mexican fusion menu. As the name suggests, all of the meats served at Marination Ma Kai are carefully marinated in unique house marinades and seasoned to perfection. It's also a casual dining spot, perfect for grabbing a relaxing meal with friends or your special someone.

  • Elliott's Oyster House – 1201 Alaskan Way, Pier 56, Seattle, WA 98101
    Voted America's number one oyster house by Food & Wine, Elliott's Oyster House offers stunning waterfront views to match its amazing menu. In addition to a menu featuring all of your favorite seafood standards cooked to perfection, Elliott's Oyster House has a separate menu just for oysters. Choose from a dozen varieties of fresh, carefully selected oysters, all chosen from the best local sources. Private dining is also available in the Elliott Bay Room, ideal for celebrating special group occasions with stunning views of Elliott Bay all around you.

  • The White Swan Public House – 1001 Fairview Ave., North Seattle, WA 98109
    Searching for the best upscale pub fare in an inviting, relaxing atmosphere? The White Swan Public House combines the best of both worlds, with an expansive outdoor patio seating area located on the waterfront. The dinner menu here features a mix of oysters, seafood entrees, and classic pub dishes. You can also stop by on any weekend morning for a full brunch menu that offers a little bit of everything.

Whether you're searching for the perfect view, the ideal location, or a little bit of everything, our team is here to help you find your next home in Seattle. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Seattle, WA area.

August
23

Rainy Day DIY Projects

Rainy Day DIYDepending on your point of view, rainy days can be either the best or the worst. It's frustrating being stuck in the house with nothing to do. But with a little creativity, there are all kinds of activities you can participate in while waiting for the weather to clear - especially for new homeowners who are working to make their new house their own. Here are a few DIY projects that can help you pass the time and feel productive on a rainy day.

  • Build a Birdhouse
    This is a simple but rewarding project that you might even be able to get your kids to help you with. All you need are a few small wooden boards and some basic tools like a saw and a drill. Build the house, decorate it, and when the rain stops, hang it in the yard to give the local birds a place to hang their proverbial hats. Be aware: if you paint your birdhouse, sometimes the paint smell can keep birds away the first year. If you do choose to paint your birdhouse, go with light, muted colors that reflect heat rather than absorbing it and won't attract predators. And be sure to use non-toxic paint.

  • Make a Chalkboard Wall
    This one is much simpler than it looks. It doesn't require a large, unwieldy board or even the use of nails or screws. Rather, with a special kind of paint, you can give a wall or section of a wall in your house the look and feel of a chalkboard. Clean the wall thoroughly first, then apply a coat of chalkboard paint. Wait a couple of hours, then apply a second coat, then a third coat after another couple of hours. Let it dry for three days before marking it with chalk. Once the wall is ready, though, you can use it to make shopping lists, leave notes for family members, and more. Plus, you and the kids can use it for future rainy day activities, like playing tic-tac-toe or even just doodling. It's the rainy day gift that keeps on giving.

  • Change Knobs and Handles
    Look at your drawers and cabinets. Do you like the way the handles and knobs look? Maybe they're showing their age, or maybe they just don't fit with your aesthetic. The good news is, they're easy to remove and switch out for new ones. If you have the replacements handy, most likely, all you'll need is a screwdriver and maybe some new screws.

  • Do Some Odd Jobs
    There are probably plenty of small jobs around the house that you've meant to get to but just haven't had the time. Well, a rainy day is a perfect time. Take a screwdriver and tighten up that wobbly chair. Change the burnt-out bulb in your light fixture. Rearrange your pantry to make things easier to find. There are also several jobs that homeowners should perform periodically but most people tend to forget. A rainy day is a great opportunity to catch up. For instance, check your HVAC system's air filter and see if it's time to replace it. If the filter is white and translucent, it's still good. If it's dingy, gray, and opaque, then it's time for a new one. Another task that's relatively simple but a bit time-consuming is doing a deep clean of your dishwasher. Remove the bottom rack and do a quick clean of the drain on the bottom. Then, put a cup of vinegar on the top rack and run it through the cycle. Once it's done, sprinkle baking soda on the inside, and run it through a rinse cycle. When it's done, your dishwasher will not only be cleaner but function more efficiently.

  • Get Your Kids Involved
    Let's face it. The ones who are most likely to be bored on a rainy afternoon are your kids. You can let them sit and watch Netflix all day while you do home improvement tasks, or you can get them to help you. If they're old enough and responsible enough, take the opportunity to show them some basic DIY skills: how to use different tools safely, the importance of some of those odd jobs, etc. You can spend some time constructively and bond with your children at the same time. Then when the next rainy day rolls around, you've got a built-in helper for the next set of DIY tasks.

These are just a few things you can do on a rainy day to make your house feel more like home. Our brokers can get you set up in the perfect house to meet your needs. What you do with it after that is up to you. Contact us anytime, rain or shine, to learn more!

August
9

Bookstores in Seattle for Book Lovers Day

Bookstores Seattle

August 9th is National Book Lovers Day, and our brokers honestly can't think of a better place than Seattle to celebrate this particular holiday. We happen to have some of the greatest independent bookstores in the country, and we're excited to share some of our favorites in honor of National Book Lovers Day!

  1. Ophelia's Books - 3504 Fremont Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103
    A strong case could be made that Ophelia's Books is Seattle's most fun bookstore for those who like to browse. Packed to the gills with secondhand books spanning genres and decades, Ophelia's spans three levels, with enchanting spiral staircases that lead you up to each new floor of literary wonders. Located conveniently to countless Seattle homes for sale, the shop also has cozy couches where you can sit and read, and there's a good chance you'll be visited by one of the live-in cats. 

  2. Phinney Books - 7405 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103
    Phinney Books
    opened its doors in 2014 and quickly established a reputation for offering a well-chosen selection featuring all the latest and greatest from the literary world. The shop's owner and noted bibliophile Tom Nissley, an eight-time Jeopardy! champion who knows a thing or two about books. The staff is always friendly and happy to help you find your next great read.

  3. Twice Sold Tales - 1833 Harvard Ave, Seattle, WA 98122
    Nestled in Seattle's endlessly enjoyable Ballard Neighborhood, Twice Sold Tales is the sort of bookstore that warrants repeated visits. That's because, as its punny name suggests, Twice Sold Tales is a used bookstore, and its shelves are always being replenished with new and fascinating volumes. Be careful when you open and close the door not to let the shop's resident cats out!

  4. Couth Buzzard Books - 8310 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103
    A bookstore that's also a coffee shop—what could be more Seattle? Couth Buzzard Books is one of the city's favorite bookstores not just because it has a great selection of books (and great espresso) but because it's a warm, welcoming space that makes you feel like you're right at home. Their shelves are packed with literary treasures, and the staff is always friendly and knowledgeable. Couth Buzzard's cafe sells coffee and light bites and often hosts live music.

  5. Elliott Bay Book Company - 1521 10th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122
    A mainstay of Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, Elliott Bay Book Company is more than a bookstore. It's a hub for the local literary community, with a vast selection of reading materials in every genre and discipline. They frequently host compelling live author readings, and the adjoining Little Oddfellows Cafe is a beloved local hangout for bookish types.

  6. Secret Garden Bookshop - 2214 NW Market St, Seattle, WA 98107
    Another Ballard neighborhood staple, Secret Garden Bookshop, sells all kinds of books, but children's books are their real specialty. This is a fantastic place to find books for kids and young adults, and there's a good chance all your own childhood favorites are here (including the 1911 novel from which the shop takes its name). Best of all, Secret Garden's location on Market Street puts it within walking distance of some of the city's best shops, galleries, and cafes. 

  7. Madison Books - 4118 E Madison St, Seattle, WA 98112
    Opened in 2019, Madison Books is one of Seattle's newest bookstores, but it's quickly become a trusted source of new reading material in the Madison Park neighborhood. Situated on a picturesque tree-lined street, Madison Books carries a superb selection of new titles, with lots of cozy nooks where you can settle in and flip through the pages. We also love the irony that this bookstore was opened by two former Amazon employees!

  8. Magus Books - 1408 NE 42nd St, Seattle, WA 98105
    A fixture of the University District for some 40-odd years, Magus Books has been buying and selling used books since 1978. Their space looks like one would expect from a used bookstore near a college campus: floor-to-ceiling shelves overflowing with books, stacks of stray volumes threatening to topple over. It's a treasure trove of the old, rare and unusual. Magus Books is a great place to find early editions and collectible books.

Contact us today to learn more about the great independent businesses that thrive in Seattle, and be sure to ask how our brokers can help you find your Washington dream home. 

June
29

Gutter Maintenance Tips for the Summer

Gutter Maintenance

Knocking out a few simple tasks this summer will help ensure you don't run into any unexpected problems caused by poor gutter maintenance. This may include leaks, damage to your insulation, siding damage, and more. Don't let this happen to you! Follow these simple tips, and you'll be ready for whatever Mother Nature brings. 

  1. Remove Collected Debris
    If it's been a while since you've performed any gutter maintenance, a lot of leaves, sticks, and other debris may have accumulated in there. Start by putting on a pair of thick gloves and pulling out debris by hand. This is the first step to ensuring water has a clear path to flow off of your roof and out the downspouts. This allows it to move safely away from your home, so it doesn't cause damage. 
  1. Check for Nests
    Birds often like to make their nests in gutters since it offers them a high perch that is relatively undisturbed. By summertime, the babies have usually flown away, making now a great time to remove the empty nests from your gutters. Just be sure to check carefully for any signs of life before pulling them out. If you notice babies are still living there, consider leaving them undisturbed and checking back in a few weeks. 
  1. Clean Off Your Gutters
    Now that you've removed the large items from your gutters, use a gentle abrasive cleaning product or soap and water along with a scrub brush to give the inside of your gutters a thorough cleaning. This will allow you to remove any moss, mold, or algae built up inside your gutters. If you notice areas where there's a lot of growth, pay attention. This could be a sign that you have a drainage problem. 
  1. Check for Damage
    Once your gutters are clean, you'll be able to tell if there are any damaged areas you need to address. Carefully check all of your gutters for holes that need to be filled, areas of rust, or anything that's sagging or askew. You can typically fix sagging gutters by pulling them upward using a pair of pliers. If you notice any sections of your gutter that are extremely rusty, consider replacing them. 
  1. Repair Any Leaks
    As you're checking for damage, there's a good chance you'll come across some leaks. This often happens when there are visible holes or areas that are buckling. You can also check for smaller leaks along the cracks and seams by using a hose to run water through the gutters. Watch out for any areas where water comes out before it reaches the downspout. You can effectively fix most gutter leaks with a waterproof sealant, like silicone caulking. Depending on the type of damage, you may also use some metal flashing and attach it using roofing cement. Once the repair has dried, run water through again to make sure it's sealed. If not, you'll want to call in a gutter professional to take care of the problem. 
  1. Visually Inspect Your Roof
    Since you're already up on a ladder, take a moment to visually inspect your roof. Keep an eye out for loose shingles, which can cause leaks. If your gutters haven't been maintained for a while, this may also cause water to pond on your roof, leading to additional problems. Catching issues early can help you get them fixed before they become a much bigger deal. For safety reasons, avoid getting up on the roof yourself. If you notice any potential issues, call a professional roofer to come out and take a look. 
  1. Install New Equipment
    If you've been thinking about installing new downspouts or gutters, the dry season is the perfect time to take on this project. You may also want to consider installing gutter covers. This upgrade prevents leaves and debris from falling into your gutters. While it will take some effort to install, you'll love how much it cuts down on your future gutter maintenance! 

Whether you're planning to stay in your home for the long term or you're thinking about moving soon, our brokers encourage you to keep up with basic maintenance tasks. This will help ensure your home maintains its current value and its curb appeal. 

We're here to help. Your dream home is waiting for you, so don't wait. Contact us today to discuss your goals and get started.

March
15

Helpful Tips for Arranging a Gallery Wall

Gallery Wall Tips

Few things personalize your house as much as the displays of artwork on the walls. As our brokers take you on tours, let your imagination soar and envision how you can make the space your own with your personal collection.

As much a work of art as the pieces they contain, the process of creating a gallery wall may seem daunting. But by following some basic guidelines, the display you design will be a wonderful visual focal point.  

  1. Gather Inspiration 
    Before you begin, seek ideas from magazines or online platforms. As you see layouts you find aesthetically pleasing, make note of the elements you like the most. Collect photos so that you can examine them later for details. You'll find a variety of options from symmetrical to asymmetrical, small groupings of three items to ten or more, rigidly themed to eclectic. The choices are yours based on what you find attractive.  

  2. Curate your Artwork 
    As you are curating your pieces, remember that you are not restricted to paintings and photographs. Clocks, mirrors, and shadow boxes of meaningful items can breathe life into the exhibit, expanding the texture and flavor of the display. You can coordinate disparate items by putting them in matching frames if that is the style you prefer.  

  3. Determine the Location
    Did we say wall? We should probably have said walls. You are not limited to one space by any means. You can hang artwork down a stairway or behind the table in the dining room. The goal is to create a home where the colors, furniture, and architecture blend into a cohesive environment. You may find beautifully designed homes in which the artwork carries your eyes around corners and from one room to the next.  

  4. Consider Color and Scale 
    In considering the groupings within your collection, pay close attention to the overall color schemes and the sizes of each object. If you have several prints or paintings, for example, that are all from a similar color palette, grouping them in the same display will create a harmonious well-ordered feeling to the entire room. But gallery walls are meant to be a bold invitation to look deeper into the artwork, so if your taste runs more to wildly different colors and styles, that's OK. Just remember to anchor them together in some fashion, such as matching frames, to avoid a haphazard appearance. It is important to remember scale when you are matching artwork to your furniture. Neither should overshadow the other. The same holds true to the array itself. It's all about maintaining balance.  

  5. Measure Carefully 
    It's important to know the exact amount of space you have available before you map out a final arrangement. It's a good idea to place furniture and lighting before you measure. You don't want your perfect design hidden by a lamp or the sofa. Think about whether other focal points will detract from the vision you wish to create. Fireplaces, big-screen television sets, and sometimes even windows can draw the eye away from your gallery wall. Make certain that your arrangement works around these larger items.  

  6. Create a Mock-up 
    Once you have a plan in mind, it's time to test your layout. Begin with the largest item. This is your anchor piece. Work smaller pieces around it. If you have a particular look that you found in your initial research and you want to mimic it, arrange your pieces accordingly. If you prefer your own design, now is the time to try it out without risking unnecessary nail holes in the paint. If you look at one designer's ideas, you'll find very strict guidelines, such as avoiding putting the largest piece in the dead center of the display. The next article you read will have a lovely picture of a large painting encircled by smaller pieces. There are no rules other than the ones you chose to follow. When you're happy with the pattern, you may find it helpful to take a picture of your final layout to use as a reference as you hang the objects. Make a paper template of each piece and mark where the nail hole should go. Tape the templates to the wall. Nail through the marks and strip away the paper. Hang your collection, and voila! Your gallery wall is complete.  

Looking for the perfect home to decorate with your favorite artwork? Contact us at Coldwell Banker Bain, and we'll be happy to lead the way.  

March
1

Set up a Home Library for World Book Day

Home Library Tips

This year, don't just head to the library, consider setting up your personal home library. Whether you have a small or extensive collection, creating an at-home library can provide a wonderful way to display your favorite volumes. It can also make your home feel grander! All it takes is a little planning to create a comfortable, personal, and unique space. Here, our brokers share their best tips for setting up a home library fit for any space.

  1. Choose Your Spot
    Do you want to create a designated library room or transform an area within a room into a functional retreat? What you choose depends on how you want the room to function and the amount of square footage that's available. Also, consider the current size of your book collection and if you plan on adding more books in the future. Some good room options for your library might be a spare bedroom, home office or even consider displaying your books near the kitchen. Especially if a good portion of your library includes cookbooks! Looking for something a bit smaller? A personal book oasis can be carved out from an unused space such as a window seat, corner, or the area under a staircase. Another thing to remember when picking out your spot is you don't want to damage your books. To prevent this from happening, avoid places that are exposed to high levels of humidity and too much natural lighting.


  2. Focus on Your Display
    While your personal preference is essential, the types and quantity of your books will determine how you organize your book collection. Make sure the location you've picked has the space for them all. If you have large quantities of books, floor-to-ceiling shelving units, or rows of horizontal wall shelves will be your best options. Alternating vertical and horizontal book arrangements can add structure and visual breaks. For a smaller collection, you can use floating shelves or a free-standing bookcase that's properly secured to the wall.


  3. A Place to Sit and Read
    Proper seating is an important part of a home library. Whether your space will accommodate a single chair or an oversized chaise lounge, your seating should be comfortable because you're creating a setting for getting lost in a book. The type and size of furniture you choose will depend on how you intend to use the room. You can experiment with different seating arrangements based on the room's natural light or how well the furniture fits with lamps.


  4. Set the Mood
    The mood in your library will stem from its purpose and the ambiance you like during your reading time. This ambiance will be created by the combination of smaller design elements, including the color of your walls, the design of your textiles, the material of your furniture, as well as the plants, art, and accessories you choose to decorate with. You want to personalize your library, bring comfort to the room, and create an atmosphere that compels you to curl up with a book and escape from the stresses of everyday life.


  5. Prioritize Good Lighting
    Proper lighting can add comfort, sophistication, and utility to any room. With your library's design, you want to layer your lighting to ensure that you can comfortably see the words and also create a more inviting glow. Your lighting scheme should feature general, accent, and task lighting. Ensure you have task and ambient (general) lighting above or beside each spot in your seating.

Our team at Coldwell Banker Bain can help you find the perfect home for your book collection. Contact us today to start looking at available listings.

February
15

11 Home Organization Apps You'll Enjoy Using

Home Organization AppsWith so much going on these days, even the most organized people can become overwhelmed when it comes to maintaining a home and family. Luckily, today's technology can help make it a little bit easier. With so many productivity apps on the market, you can really leverage your smartphone to help you make it through the day. We were talking home organization tips with some of the owners of these homes for sale and we heard so many great recommendations for innovative home organization apps. 

  1. Evernote
    This award-winning app is essentially a cloud-based notebook. Use Evernote to take notes, make to-do lists, or save drawings, photographs, or other media. Best of all, you can access your content from any device or location. The app offers a free version that sets data capacity limits, or you can purchase a paid plan for more storage.

  2. Sweepy
    Staying on top of chores is one of the most tedious aspects of homeownership, but with apps like Sweepy, it's really not so bad. Sweepy allows you to enter chores into the app, prioritize them, assign them to family members, and maintain a calendar of activities. With Sweepy, every one can simply open up the app and quickly see what chores need to be done. 

  3. Todoist
    When it comes to to-do lists, few apps can compete with Todoist. This organization app helps you maintain complete control over your projects and goals. With an emphasis on mental well-being, the app was created to help you transfer your tasks from your head to your mobile phone and is great for any busy family.

  4. Cozi Family Organizer
    This useful organizer app has an incredibly simple interface and is made specifically for "crazy busy families". With Cozi, you can see the calendar for each family member, share grocery lists, and even post notes. It also has a built-in recipe planner to make dinner a breeze. Best of all, this app is completely free!

  5. 24me
    This award-winning app is more like a personal assistant that can really help make your day more productive. One of the best parts about 24me is it's incredibly easy to use. The app features a calendar, to-do list, and a notepad, so you can keep track of all your home cleaning and maintenance chores in one place. The app also automatically organizes your schedule and sends personal reminders to keep you on track.

  6. Time Timer
    If you're struggling with time management, then it might be worth checking out Time Timer. This super simple app features a visual, colorful timer that can be set with a swipe of a finger. The app allows you to set multiple timers for the various tasks throughout your day. The end result: complete transparency about how you're spending your time.

  7. Jour 
    One of the most important aspects of home organization is maintaining mental well-being. Jour is less of a notebook and more of a journal that promotes mental health. Jour helps you track your feelings on a day-to-day basis and offers therapeutic techniques to help improve your mood. With so much going on in our day to day lives, it's important to monitor your mental health.

  8. S'moresUp
    Looking for an app to help make parenting a little easier? Give S'moresUp a try. This app lets you track your kid's chore progress, assign rewards, track savings, and even schedule play dates. S'moresUp actually makes chores more fun, and really can help you to stay on top of your kid's activities.

  9. Happy Plant
    Do you frequently forget to water your plants? You won't any longer if you download the Happy Plant app. This app combines plant care with gamification in a way that will help you remember to give your plants the love they need. The app also lets you upload pictures of your plants and create cool time-lapse videos that show them grow over time.

  10. YNAB
    If your organizational struggles are related to finance, then a good budgeting app might be just what you need. We recommend YNAB (You Need A Budget). With a personal finance smartphone app, your budget will travel right along with you. This budget app will not only help you reach your financial goals, it even integrates with Amazon's Alexa, so you can get real-time verbal updates on your progress.

  11. Productive
    Keeping your home organized starts with building good habits, which is why we recommend Productive. This app is focused on helping you build life-changing routines through reminders and schedule planning. Not only does Productive let you enter goals, it allows you to measure your progress on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. 

Our real estate agents are experts at home organization, and they love using smartphone apps to help plan their day. Contact us today for more recommendations on how to keep your home organized!

February
8

Fall in Love With a Book at These Portland Shops

Portland Book Stores

There's nothing like a good page-turner to help get you through the cold winter months. Luckily, here in Portland, we're blessed to have some of America's best bookstores nearby. 

When you're looking for a new and exciting book to lose yourself in, be sure to check out some of our real estate agents' favorite Portland bookstores!

  1. Broadway Books - 1714 NE Broadway, Portland, OR 97232
    One of Portland's great independent, locally owned book stores, Broadway Books has been supplying the local community with page-turning books since 1992. Located a stone's throw from many Portland homes for sale, Broadway Books offers an ever-changing selection of both new and used books and is known for supporting local authors by giving them ample shelf space. They have a reputation as one of the best bookstores in town thanks to their service and selection. 

  2. Powell's City of Books - 1005 W Burnside St, Portland, OR 97209
    America's largest independent new and used book store, Powell's City of Books is a Portland icon that continues to offer a staggering selection of reading material, just as it has been since the 1970s. Whatever you like to read—from science fiction to romance, literary fiction to graphic novels, autobiographies to cookbooks—you'll find it here. In addition to its original vast space on Burnside, Powell's also has two additional locations at Cedar Hills Crossing and on Hawthorne.

  3. Mother Foucault's Bookshop - 523 SE Morrison St, Portland, OR 97214
    To call Mother Foucault's Bookshop old school would be an understatement. The shop prides itself on having "no computers, no email, no voicemail, just magnificent books." Well, they certainly do have magnificent books. With a focus on vintage, early-edition, and rare books, this cozy shop overlooking Portland's inner southeast industrial district has one of the city's most unique and well-curated literary collections. 

  4. Books with Pictures - 1401 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202
    Hey, comic books are books too! At Books with Pictures, you'll find one of Portland's best selections of them, ranging from mainstream superhero comics to graphic novels and unique indie and small-press comics. They also offer a vast inventory of back issues and vintage comics, with a friendly and knowledgeable staff to help you find anything you're looking for. 

  5. Backstory Books & Yarn - 3129 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214
    A quirky independent bookstore on Portland's historic Hawthorne Boulevard, Backstory Books & Yarn always offers something unexpected. With a focus on crafting, nautical books, illustration, and African-American literature, it's a unique spot to find unexpected stories and new projects (yep, they also sell yarn). The owners are always happy to buy, sell, and trade, so this is also a great place to pass your own gently-used volumes on to the next generation. 

  6. Booktique - 4 Monroe Pkwy Suite D, Lake Oswego, OR 97035
    Nestled in the small city of Lake Oswego, Booktique is a cozy used bookstore that offers an eclectic selection of paperbacks, records, DVDs, and other media. All sales go toward supporting the Lake Oswego Public Library. This is a great place to find something unexpected or to donate your own gently-used books to a good cause. Booktique is located less than 15 minutes from Portland and a stone's throw from these Lake Oswego homes for sale.

  7. A Children's Place - 1423 NE Fremont St, Portland, OR 97212
    A Children's Place has been encouraging kids to get more into reading for more than 40 years. They're Portland's oldest independent children's book store, offering an incredible selection of books for children and young adults, along with games, cards, and toys. They also have a friendly and knowledgeable staff who can help you find the perfect book for your youngsters. 

Contact us today to learn more about all the opportunities Portland has to offer, and be sure to talk to our agents about how we can help you find your dream home in Portland and the surrounding areas!

January
25

11 Tips for Upgrading Your Kitchen Appliances

Kitchen Upgrading Tips

At one time, kitchen appliances were considered primarily functional. They brought a new level of convenience to households, but style-wise, most designs were pretty limited.

Today's appliances have become equal parts, time savers, and decor statements. Keep your kitchen looking modern with these tips from our brokers for upgrading appliances. 

  1. What Is the Born-On Date?
    Nothing lasts forever, and that's certainly true for appliances, no matter how expensive or advanced they are. Don't hold your breath, hoping your 10-year-old dishwasher can hang on. It may still be operational but most likely running at a sub-par performance. Know the average lifespans of appliances and make plans to replace them when the time comes.

  2. Repair or Replace?
    Uncertain whether a repair is preferable to a replacement? Experts recommend the 50-50 rule of thumb. If an appliance is more than 50 percent through its expected lifespan and repairs would run more than 50 percent of buying new, then go with a replacement.

  3. The Price Is Right
    Appliances are major purchases, so even if you've included them in your budget, you want to get the best value for your dollar. According to home improvement guru Bob Vila, stores want to clear out the old inventory when new models come out. Shop for dishwashers in September and October, refrigerators in May, and ranges/ovens in January. Holidays are also good times to watch for sales.

  4. Go Green
    When it comes to appliances, green is more than just a color. As appliances continue to become more energy-efficient, newer models can help preserve the environment and save you money on your utility bills. Check an appliance's Energy Star tag, which displays its Energy Star rating along with annual estimated energy use and cost.

  5. Mix and Match
    In the past, have your kitchen appliances been replaced piecemeal? Unfortunately, not all products share the same lifespan. As a result, they often end up being replaced at different times. The clashing styles cause an imbalance that throws the look of the whole kitchen off. If possible, it's best to replace all your appliances simultaneously for a coordinated appearance.

  6. Check the Warranty
    Before you purchase a new appliance, be sure to check out the warranty. If you're choosing high-end appliances, it may be worth the investment to buy an extended warranty that will cover potentially costly repairs. 

  7. Style and Substance
    The days of basic white appliances are in the rearview mirror. Of course, vintage is always in style, so you can certainly get hip, retro-styled designs. Stainless steel is high on the popularity list, but a color is also an option. Benjamin Moore has chosen Aegean Teal as the Color of 2021, while Pantone offers two: Ultimate Gray and Illuminating, a lemon yellow. Black, red, and brown are other good choices.

  8. Lifestyle Choices
    Do you love spending hours in the kitchen with Food Network how-to videos running on your iPad? Maybe you're a working parent who wants quick but healthy ways to feed your family. If your kitchen isn't compatible with your lifestyle, the net result is frustration. Consider the role you want the kitchen to play in your life and design accordingly.

  9. The Sounds of Silence
    No one wants to yell to be heard over a noisy dishwasher or clunky range hood. Even when working properly, older appliances are much louder than today's models that operate with barely a hum. Stop letting those annoying sounds drown out your latest Netflix binge.

  10. Higher Education
    Has your home become "smart?" Innovations such as voice-activated assistants like Alexa and programmable thermostats make it easier to manage your home, even when you're not there. Smart appliances let you keep an eye on what's in the oven or make extra ice when company's coming, all from an app on your phone or tablet.

  11. Lay of the Land
    A kitchen's layout and placement of appliances are intertwined. Maybe the original builder ended up putting appliances where they fit, rather than where they actually made sense. Between the current range of sizes, styles, and installation possibilities, it's much easier to create a logical flow more conducive to efficiency. 

Whether you're the owner or buyer of Portland homes for sale, we provide friendly and experienced assistance. Contact us at Coldwell Banker Bain for more information.

January
4

Home Improvement Projects to Tackle This Winter

Winter Home Improvement

As a homeowner, you've probably heard you should set aside a minimum of 1% of your home's selling price for repairs and maintenance every year. The amount you may need generally goes up over time — and sometimes there may be extra pricey work that needs doing.

While many homes for sale are in excellent condition, the rule holds true for all houses. If you take the step of saving money for home upkeep, you can use those same funds for renovations in years without repairs.

All the major systems within your home, like the HVAC and wiring, are constantly accumulating little bits of wear and tear. They may continue to work effectively for many years without complaint, but it is important to be active in taking care of the home, so nothing will catch you by surprise! Seattle's climate means much of the minor damage your home experiences happens in the early months of the year. Rain and wind can be unexpectedly harsh. Your roof, windows, outer envelope, and even your back and front yards all play roles in keeping your home sound.

What to Do in Winter to Improve the Comfort and Longevity of Your Home

Getting out to work on your property might seem like a chore, but it can be deeply satisfying — and it's worth it when your home stands the test of time. Our brokers know that home improvement projects shouldn't stop even when the temperature drops. Here are some of the most important things to get done in the winter:

  1. Start With Basic Winterizing
    Small seasonal projects that don't require any DIY experience form the backbone of what Seattle homeowners should get done first. This includes checking and replacing weatherstripping on your windows and doors, clearing debris from your gutters so they flow smoothly, dusting and turning your ceiling fans clockwise, and closing outdoor water valves (while leaving a slow drip to prevent pipe freezes).

  2. Seal Up Cracks
    When you check on your weatherstripping, the odds are good you'll discover a crack or two. Cracks can accelerate the loss of heat, and because of the way warm air cycles through the home, this makes it more uncomfortable in both winter and summer. Caulk can deal with tough cracks. Be wary of warped windows that no longer close flush: These are best replaced as soon as possible.

  3. Add a Layer of Paint
    Indoor projects can be much more inviting in winter, and interior painting is always worth the time and effort. You can touch up walls, cabinets, and furniture, or even pick out a completely new color for the walls. When all is said and done, this adds interest that makes it easier to spend time indoors.

  4. Get a Leg Up on Gardening
    If you're an avid gardener, remember that you can start many of your seeds indoors. A grow light shelf can significantly enhance the range of plants that will flourish inside. Another way to get ahead is by building garden boxes and storing them safely in your garage or basement.

  5. Get Organized
    For many homeowners, getting organized is synonymous with donating what isn't needed — and there's no better time to do that than in the winter. Start sorting out trash, recycling, and donations early, and don't hesitate to invest in storage systems like bins, shelves, and hangers.

  6. Consider Getting "Spring Cleaning" Out of Your Way
    Once you've spent time organizing, you've got plenty of momentum. Why not go all the way and do the spring cleaning early? You're halfway there, but the hallmark of a true spring clean is to deep clean carpets and upholstery. Clean the tub and tile, windows, and oven, and you're done!

  7. Insulate the Attic
    Attic insulation is often "out of sight, out of mind" for homeowners, but it has a crucial function. Insulation gradually degrades over time, especially as a result of moisture intrusion. Accelerated heat loss means your furnace will work much harder to keep your family comfortable, and that's reflected in your energy bill throughout the season. Replacing insulation stops the problem at the source.

  8. Get Your Heater Maintained
    Speaking of heat — whether you have a standalone furnace or an integrated HVAC system, getting it looked at once yearly is vital. A quick check-up will zero in on any fire hazards and ensure you don't lose heating when you need it most. At a minimum, be sure to change your filters, which usually need replacement every three months. Separately, check your smoke and carbon monoxide alarm batteries.

To learn more, contact us at Coldwell Banker Bain today.

December
28

11 Fireplace Maintenance Tips for Your Home This Winter

Fireplace Maintenance

Nothing warms you up quite like a crackling fireplace on a brisk winter day. But if you're like most homeowners, your fireplace probably hasn't been touched since last spring. That could be a problem. 

Our brokers want to help ensure your cozy fireplace is safe year-round. Here's what you need to know about enjoying your fireplace safely this winter. 

  1. Keep Combustible Materials Away from the Fireplace
    It might sound like a no-brainer, but it's easy to forget how flammable carpet can be until a hot ember rolls onto it. Anything that burns should be kept at least 2 feet from the opening of your fireplace. Be sure to keep combustibles well away from the lintel (the metal bar across the top of the fireplace opening). Get a non-flammable mat to put in front of the fireplace in case a spark escapes.

  2. A Fireplace Is Not a Furnace
    Unlike your central HVAC, modern fireplaces are not intended to provide long-term heat to an entire home. They're meant for short-duration fires—no more than 5 hours at a time. A fireplace should never be used to replace your furnace. 

  3. Maintenance Is Essential
    A poorly-maintained fireplace and chimney is a recipe for disaster. You should have your chimney and fireplace professionally cleaned and inspected at least once a year. The best time to do so is at the end of the burning season in spring, but if you did not have yours serviced this spring, you should absolutely have it done before using the fireplace again this winter.

  4. Check the Chimney
    Even if you had your fireplace properly cleaned at the end of the last season, you should always check the chimney before burning anything. Chimneys can become blocked by birds' nests and debris, which pose a fire hazard and can cause smoke to back up into your living space. Regular chimney check-ups are also essential to keep track of creosote buildup. Creosote buildup inside the chimney is a leading cause of chimney fires, and your chimney should be swept if creosote builds up to 1/8-inch thickness or more. 

  5. Glass Open, Screen Closed
    The best way to keep a fire going and avoid potential mishaps is to keep the glass doors of your fireplace open. This allows the natural airflow to take smoke up the chimney. Leave the screens in place to prevent sparks and embers from popping out of the fireplace and into the room. 

  6. Check Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
    Everyone should have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in their home. But they are even more important if you have a fireplace. Be sure to test each alarm at the beginning of the heating season and make sure they all have fresh batteries. 

  7. Open Up the Window
    By opening a window before you get a fire going—even just a crack—you'll keep the room from getting smoky. The open window creates a natural airflow that helps smoke go up the chimney instead of into the room. 

  8. Test the Air Flow Before You Start a Fire
    Before starting a fire, light a match and let it go out in the fireplace. Watch to see if the smoke travels upward into the chimney or outward into the room. If it's the latter, there may be a chimney blockage. 

  9. Get Some Good Fireplace Tools
    The only objects you should use to adjust the fire are those that are designed for that purpose. A good fireplace set should include metal tongs for moving logs around, a fireplace poker, a broom for brushing away soot, and a shovel. 

  10. Empty Ashes With Care
    When ashes in the bottom of your fireplace are deep enough to touch the grate, they can impede airflow and should be removed. Shovel ash out of the fireplace carefully, and only dispose of it in a fire-resistant container. Even if the ashes seem to be completely cold, there may still be a lit ember within them that could potentially start a fire. Ashes can stay hot for up to three days. 

  11. Burn Seasoned Hardwoods
    Hardwoods like oak, maple, and ash burn hotter, brighter, and last longer than softwoods like pine, hemlock, or spruce. Woods should be well seasoned so that they don't contain too much moisture. Damp or "green" wood creates more smoke and creosote. 

Contact us today to learn more about staying safe and warm this winter. Our team at Coldwell Banker Bain is dedicated not only to helping our clients find the perfect Portland homes for sale but also to helping them enjoy their new place for a lifetime.

December
21

Interior Design Trends to Watch in 2021

Seattle Interior Design Trends

The year is coming to an end, but for many homeowners, there is no end in sight to the amount of time they'll be spending indoors. The extraordinary increase in work from home and learn from home have turned the house into an office, a school, and a social space for entertaining. As we move into 2021, our brokers understand that a change of scenery might be necessary. Here are a few burgeoning interior design trends for you to consider in 2021.

  1. Warm Color Schemes
    So much time spent indoors has made us all look a little too long at our walls. While some colors like blues seemed bright, some homeowners discovered that these cooler colors are invoking the blues. A change of paint is in order for 2021, with homeowners adopting warmer or neutral colors to create a more inviting space. Colors that stimulate the mind, such as blues, greens, and yellows, may be used only in workspaces like offices.


  2. Low-Cost Chic
    The "chic" style is quite diverse, and it's headed to a home near you. Some will opt for a Shabby Chic or French County Chic style that mixes vintage or antique furniture with contemporary pieces to create an elegant space. Homeowners will be scouring garage sales and flea markets into the New Year to find live-in pieces that are worn with refinement.


  3. Timeless Traditional Style
    There's a reason classic traditionalism is both "classic" and "traditional." It's such a timeless look that it's easy to integrate into any space. More importantly, it's an effective way to try something new without going all-in on a more eccentric décor style, such as the chic or ultra-modern design. The symmetry and harmony that a classic traditional style brings to a room also creates a feeling of order and control to a space.


  4. Sustainable Modern Pieces
    Although home renovation budgets are tighter than ever for some homeowners, many are still committed to sustainable living. 2021 will continue to see sustainable designs with a modern touch. Whether utilizing recycled and repurposed materials or adopting the latest bioplastics, an interior designer will seek to incorporate materials with a low impact on the environment.


  5. Global Inspiration
    Wanderlust is higher than ever, which means we shouldn't be surprised to see a global influence in many interior designs. Natural materials like woods, glass, and stone will come together with earthy, neutral tones to make the space feel more at one with nature. Some homeowners may also integrate regional décor, such as those inspired by wildlife or global cultures.


  6. Industrial Interior Style
    With so many homeowners utilizing their spaces for work and school, the industrial style is becoming increasingly popular. This style prioritizes multipurpose and open spaces through both form and function. Clean, crisp lines define the parameters of the space with multi-use furniture like dining room tables that double as workspaces filling the area.


  7. Modern Rustic Styles
    The rustic style is quite popular in many regions, and we should expect to see this style given a modern touch in 2021. These homey interiors are warm and welcoming for guests and owners alike. Redesigned classical pieces or redefined "traditional" pieces give these spaces a blend of old and new for the homeowner who seeks a style that screams "today."


  8. Creative Storage Spaces
    Chances are high that most homeowners either have too much stuff or not enough space. As we roll into 2021, some homeowners will carry over the minimalist trends from the last two years, but others will instead seek to maximize storage opportunities. Installing shelving or refashioning closet spaces to organize items more efficiently can instantly enhance storage.


  9. Wallpapered Ceilings
    If you're surprised that wallpaper has made a comeback over the years, then you'll be even more so knowing the wallpapering the ceiling is shaping up to be a hot 2021 trend. Though it sounds strange, it actually adds dimension to the room and challenges the design status quo by mixing patterns. It also allows homeowners to inject a little character into their spaces without it dominating all four walls.


  10. Indoor/Outdoor Living
    One interior design trend that bleeds into the exterior, homeowners are opting to maximize their indoor/outdoor living spaces. Using furniture and furnishings typically staged for interiors, homeowners are creating multi-use spaces on their patios and balconies that are comfortable, convenient, and ready for diverse usage.

Do you envision a brand-new home in 2021? Let us help you with your search. Contact us today to schedule a showing of our latest Seattle homes for sale.

November
12

Honesty and Integrity a Valuable Differentiator for Coldwell Banker Bain of Bend Team

Matt Robinson and Grant Ludwick first met in 2008 while serving as volunteers for Young Life, and were immediately struck by the similarities between them. Both had moved to the Central Oregon area in 2006, after Grant had graduated from Seattle Pacific University, and Matt the University of Washington. In addition to their commitment to volunteering, they shared a passion for the Washington Huskies and had both worked for their family businesses in the land and multi-family development sectors. Overall, they found that they shared similar values and perspectives on life and business.

"We feel like we're trendsetters in a way when it comes to the real estate team concept," said Matt. "While real estate teams are becoming more common, they don't always work out if the partnership is unequal, or if values don't align. We started as friends, so we knew each other well and knew that our individual production numbers were very similar each year, so we had confidence that we could succeed as a team."

And succeed they have. The Robinson-Ludwick team is on pace to finish the year with 120 closed transactions and $62,000,000 in volume, numbers that have exponentially increased year over year since they launched in 2013. The team has grown to five brokers and two administrative members.

The impact of a similarity in production numbers can't be overstated, said Grant. "Even before we launched the team, we were annually producing at about one deal apart, or around a $100,000 - $150,000 difference in sales volume," he laughed. "We've structured our partnership, along with a 50-50 expense split, in a way that keeps us incentivized to bring in business and hold each other accountable, and it's a major reason why it works."

By pooling their resources they've been able to do so much more than they could individually, and the team has a unique marketing approach. They have taken out television advertising spots, purchased a 1970 Fiat Minibus (a local car show award winner!), and regularly post their "Tuesday Tidbit" videos on their social media platforms, which range from book reviews to economic trends to local real estate news. But their overall success is primarily a result of a relational approach to all aspects of their business, both within the team and with their clients, which continues to bring them a steady stream of referrals and repeat business.

"We rebranded a couple of years ago and our slogan 'Honest. Real. Estate.' is a straightforward, yet creative way to express how we do business as a team." said Matt. Added Grant, "We are very straightforward with both our buyer and seller clients with what they can expect of this market, even if it is not exactly what they want to hear. It has helped us build a strong reputation and trust in the market."

Given Bend is still a relatively small community, this authentic approach has been vitally important. Current inventory on hand is at about two weeks, so setting expectations, especially with buyers, is critical.

"Compared to other western mountain towns, Bend is incredibly affordable," said Matt. "We both feel that Central Oregon still has great upside potential in the long-term, so we see the market continuing at this pace for a while," added Grant.

Brandon Fairbanks, principal managing broker of the office, raved about the team, "Matt and Grant and their team never cease to amaze me. They are one of the hardest working and most dedicated group of professionals I have had the pleasure to work with. They know how to get business done, putting their clients' needs first."

November
9

Staging Your Home During the Holiday Season

Holiday Season Home Staging

Staging your home is as important as ever when it comes to homes for sale. Staging has a valuable role to play in traditional showings and virtual ones.

A well-staged property has the potential to sell faster and claim a higher closing price. Our brokers use staging as part of our commitment to get our clients great results.

One of the most valuable aspects of staging is that it allows potential buyers to imagine their own future life in the home. Creating the right mood means striking a balance: As the seller, you can't be in the way, but the home must still look welcoming – that is, as if someone lives there.

Never is that balance more vital (or trickier) than during the holiday season.

The Best Ways to Stage Your Home for Selling During the Holidays

Opinions and backgrounds differ, of course, but most people have strong positive feelings around the holiday season. It's a wonderful time to come together in a spirit of giving and joy. With the right approach, you can harness that positivity within your own staged home.

But what's the best way to do it without going overboard?

These proven home staging techniques can help:

  1. Always Start with Cleaning
    No matter what, cleaning is always step one for staging a home. That should include decluttering floors, emptying closets at least halfway, and doing a deep cleaning of carpets and upholstery. That ensures better indoor air and prevents pet odors or allergens from bothering your visiting buyers.
  2. Maximize Your Curb Appeal
    Curb appeal sets expectations for the rest of the home. Make sure the lawn is cut and free of debris as you would in all seasons. Consider emphasizing the pathway up to the door using decorative shrubs, paving stones, or – yes – just a hint of simple lights outlining the way.
  3. Make Your Front Door Welcoming
    Your door is the true beginning of the buyer's journey, so make it count. This is the perfect place for a nice, fresh wreath – go with live plants over plastic – or a decorative bow. A welcome mat is also key, but choose something appropriate for all seasons.
  4. Consider the Temperature
    Think seriously about the time of day and climate as you're getting your home ready. There's nothing quite as comforting as a warm home on a cold day. If you have one, set the fireplace. Warm refreshments, such as holiday cider, can also create an enjoyable atmosphere that reflects well on your home.
  5. Create a Festive Atmosphere
    When it comes to decorations, less may be more – but that doesn't have to mean none! Subtle touches like a tasteful wreath or a bowl of pinecones are always nice to see. And now is the time for one of the most beloved staging tools of all: Fresh holiday cookies baking in the oven.
  6. Match Decorations to Current Décor
    Tinsel, icicles, and tasteful holiday balls are all fair game for decorating a home that's on the market. To maximize flair, be sure the decorations you select either closely match or gently complement your existing décor. If in doubt, always aim to create a soothing environment to "come in from the cold."
  7. Draw the Eye with Strategic Touches
    It's a wise idea to pare down the trimmings before buyers arrive. That heightens the visual impact of what's left and allows you to use elements in more creative ways. For example, a spring of mistletoe might draw the eye to a beautiful arched doorway, or a small display could accentuate the views of a bay window.
  8. Break Out the Simple String Lighting
    Light displays are an iconic part of the holidays, but they can be distracting when buyers are touring a home. Simple string lighting is a good compromise: It provides a little light and serves the same function as tinsel in outlining the things you'd like buyers to take a good look at.
  9. Show Off Your Tree
    Worried about the tree? It can make a terrific impression if it meshes with the space it's in. Be wary of broad-based trees that can take up too much floor space and make the room seem smaller. Decorate tastefully with simple glass ornaments and lights, and keep the present pile discreet.

Spring and summer make up the traditional "high season" for real estate. But just because the weather is cold, it doesn't mean the market can't be hot! Contact us to find out more today.

November
2

Local Art Galleries to Explore in Portland

Portland Art Galleries

Did you know that National Go to an Art Museum Day takes place every year on November 9th? Thousands of art museums around the world participate in this special day, and every year features a different, unique theme. The Portland area has long shown strong support for local artists, with a huge selection of local art galleries that showcase talented artists from Portland and beyond. Now is a great time to visit some of Portland's best art galleries and museums. Our brokers have the details on 6 amazing places to view art around Portland for National Go to an Art Museum Day this year.

  1. Pearsons Art Gallery – 20890 S Hwy. 99E, Portland, OR 97045

    Start your tour of art galleries near Portland homes for sale with a trip to Pearsons Art Gallery, which features a truly unique collection of art that you won't find anywhere else. Pearsons Art Gallery is all about wood carvings, statues, sculptures, centerpieces, and so much more to decorate your home. If you're looking for a custom-made piece of art that you'll be proud to display in your home, this is a great place to visit. There are tons of pieces available pre-made in the gallery, and the owner (and artist) can also create custom pieces to suit your needs.

  2. Village Gallery of Arts – 1060 NW Salzman Rd., Portland, OR 97229

    A Portland non-profit with a commitment to showcasing the work of local artists, the Village Gallery of Arts has been a hub of the Portland art scene for more than 50 years. This is a fun place for any art lover to visit, with fantastic local art on display and a wide variety of community classes available to help you create art of your own. The gallery here features exhibits from Portland-area artists working in various media, with work from more than 100 local artists on display.

  3. Froelick Gallery – 714 NW Davis St., Portland, OR 97209

    You never know what you might find when you visit the Froelick Gallery, and that's part of the fun! Froelick Gallery has been a popular Portland art spot for more than 25 years, with rotating exhibitions from a diverse group of artists. Much of the work you'll see here was created in the Pacific Northwest, with a sprinkling of work from artists in Tokyo, as well. The gallery is open by appointment and accepts walk-in visitors if you happen to arrive when someone is present to let you into the gallery.

  4. Caswell Sculpture – 903 E Historic Columbia River Hwy., Troutdale, OR 97060

    Owned and operated near Troutdale homes for sale by the husband-and-wife team of Rip and Alison Caswell, Caswell Sculpture is a must-see for anyone who loves bronze statues. The Caswells have traveled around the world to find inspiration for their art, and much of their work is based on nature. The gallery also features a fascinating collection of photography and bronze sculptures of people, both famous and obscure. There are even sculptures of university mascots, which you can find both in the gallery and on the grounds of some famous local universities.

  5. Portland Art Museum – 1219 SW Park Ave., Portland, OR 97205

    When you're in the mood for the classic Portland art experience, start your journey at the Portland Art Museum. With more than a century of experience displaying local art, the Portland Art Museum is the oldest art museum in the Pacific Northwest. When you visit, you'll find an extensive collection of new exhibitions, long-term collections, films, and educational programs. Tour the expansive museum at your own leisure, or enjoy a guided tour from one of the friendly, knowledgeable staff members at the museum.

  6. Three Rivers Artist Guild – 613 7th St., Oregon City, OR 97045

    With a commitment to showcasing the work of Oregon City artists, the Three Rivers Artist Guild is your source for great art near Oregon City homes for sale. Three Rivers Artist Guild features exhibit rotations that vary with each month, so there's always something new to see. The strong commitment to local artists means this is an excellent place to see work from emerging artists who haven't had their work displayed in other galleries. Each month features work from 30 to 40 new artists, so be sure to check back often to see all that the Oregon City art scene has to offer.

When you call Portland home, the region's vibrant, legendary local art scene is always just a short trip from your front door. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Portland, OR area.

October
26

7 Storage Ideas To Help Eliminate Clutter in Your Home

Get Rid of Clutter

Raise your hand if your home could use a little organization. Don't worry, most of us have at least one or two areas of our house that are hot spots for collecting clutter. Our brokers know that when space is limited, you need to get creative with your cleaning and organization. Try these seven storage ideas to help you eliminate clutter and better organize your home.

  1. Eliminate Your Junk Drawer
    While it may seem counterintuitive, getting rid of your junk drawer is an excellent way to actually get rid of clutter. Your junk drawer is a haven for clutter, but most of these items can find a home elsewhere. Flashlights, batteries, Scotch tape, and miscellaneous tools should be relocated to other areas. With an entire drawer now empty, you've freed up space for other clutter. For instance, if your junk drawer is in your kitchen, you can now use that extra space to organize items that are cluttering up your kitchen countertops.

  2. Create a Command Center
    Another popular area for clutter is the space where you and your family immediately place your belongings when entering the house. Whether it's a dining room table, kitchen countertop, or living room, this center of clutter can be eliminated by creating a command center. This organized area will be a space to charge your devices and place your keys, mail, or similar items. Many homeowners also place a calendar and notepads in their command center to ask as a central-space for the family to track appointments, manage schedules, and keep track of to-do lists.

  3. Install Closet Organizers
    Did you know you could gain the versatility of a custom-built closet without breaking the bank? There are plenty of ways you can install affordable organizational tools in your closet to help cut down on clutter around your bedroom. Hang an additional clothes rack in the closet, consider adding shelving against the lower wall for shoes, and use bins on the top shelf to contain miscellaneous clothing items you don't often use, such as seasonal pieces. You can also use door hangers on the back of the closet door to hang hats and scarves. By enhancing your closet for maximum storage, you can say goodbye to the clutter of clothing that sits atop your furniture.

  4. Purchase Furniture with Built-In Storage
    One great storage hack to hide miscellaneous clutter is to purchase furniture that has storage built-in. There are many coffee tables and end tables that offer concealed storage spaces. There are even loveseats, couches, and lounge chairs that also have hidden compartments. These hidden storage spaces are perfect for packing away blankets, remotes, coasters, and other items that tend to clutter up coffee tables in the living room.

  5. Use Under the Bed Storage
    Your couch isn't the only piece of furniture that you can use to conceal your clutter. The space beneath your bed is a great place to hide your clutter if you keep it tidy and organized. Purchase short yet wide storage containers that can easily slide underneath your bed. These boxes are great for hiding away items. Since you can potentially fit many storage containers under the bed, it's best to use it for possessions that you won't want to access often. Winter coats, special shoes, holiday décor, and miscellaneous items that just can't seem to find a proper home can be concealed easily under your bed without cluttering up your room.

  6. Don't Neglect Concealed Clutter
    As you're trying to cut down on the visible clutter around your home, you need to remember that the goal is to keep all spaces less messy. Although your pantries and kitchen cabinets are storage spaces, they can easily become cluttered eyesores every time you open the door. One way to easily organize these spaces is to purchase trays, baskets, racks, and lazy Susans can instantly help you keep spices, sauces, snacks, and other food or food prep items organized.

  7. Utilize Luggage & Baggage
    Take a look inside your closet, and you'll notice that you've had extra storage spaces all along! Your seldom used luggage, purses, and other baggage can act as additional storage for clutter. If nothing else, you can use larger bags to conceal smaller bags, thus freeing up closet space for other items to call home.

Are you searching for Portland homes for sale with plenty of storage space? We can help. Contact us today to schedule a private tour.

October
19

Plan Your Visit to Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo

Woodland Park Zoo

Lions, tigers, and bears — oh my! Seattle is home to those species and so many more, thanks to the Woodland Park Zoo. Located in the Phinney Ridge neighborhood of Seattle, the zoo is committed to teaching guests the importance of conservation.

Woodland Park Zoo — 5500 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98103

History of Woodland Park Zoo

Woodland Park Zoo is a beloved Seattle site, a destination that locals and visitors alike cherish. Our brokers included! After over a century of providing men, women, and children of all ages with an educational and immersive wildlife experience, it's hard to believe that once upon a time, this green space was once just a simple park along Seattle's Greenlake. Developed into a traditional English garden in the late 1800s by Englishman Guy Phinney, a large house, rose garden, pump house, and deer park once called this space home.

Seattle's first zoo was housed in at Leschi Park and owned by the Lake Washington Cable Railway. After Phinney's death, the City of Seattle purchased Woodland Park, and the animals were donated as the zoo's first residents when it was founded in 1899. The park was then divided into "Lower" and "Upper" Woodland Park after the construction of Aurora Avenue. It wasn't until 1967 that the first zones of the children's zoo were opened. Since then, Woodland Park Zoo has continued to grow, making room for countless new animals and educational and interactive opportunities!

Woodland Park Zoo Exhibits

So what can you and your family expect during your visit to the Woodland Park Zoo? The real question is, how can you experience everything in just a single day? With more than 1,100 animals from over 300 diverse species, the zoo features 92-acres of diverse natural habitats. Explore these amazing areas and discover the wonders of the animal world right in Seattle's backyard. Exhibits include:

  • African Savanna: Journey into the African Savanna for a view of lion, giraffe, hippos, zebras, ostrich, and monkeys.

  • Ambassador Animals: Meet the stars of the show — the Woodland Park Zoo ambassadors. Mammals, birds, and reptiles are ready to make your acquaintance.

  • Assam Rhino Reserve: One of the most popular exhibits, the Assam Rhino Reserve, also features the Asian Brown Tortoise and Demoiselle Crane to keep the one-horned rhino company.

  • Australasia: Enjoy a bird feeding experience at the Willawong Station after you spot snow leopards, emu, kookaburra, and wallaby.

  • Molbak's Butterfly Garden: Opening up again for the Spring season, Molbak's Butterfly Garden lets over 500 butterflies take flight. The Microsoft Pollinator Patio is open year-round.

  • Humboldt Penguin Exhibit: Don't let the name fool you, this penguin exhibit features Humboldt Penguins native to Chile and Peru.

  • Northern Trail: Hike into the chilly Northern Trail to the Taiga Viewing Shelter and Tundra Center to feast your eyes on Steller's sea eagles, snowy owls, bears, wolf, and elk.

  • Temperate Forest: Venture into the temperate forests, the same types of forests found in our region.

  • Trail of Adaptations: Watch unique nocturnal animals like sloth, meerkat, and Komodo dragons frolic around at night.

  • Tropical Asia: The Trail of Vines and Banyan Wilds showcase Asia's tropical locals like tigers, bears, pigs, otters, and orangutan.

  • Tropical Rainforest: Featuring an Outdoor Tropical Rainforest and Indoor Tropical Rainforest, this area is home to Jaguar Cove. Animals like lemur, gorillas, anacondas, monkeys, ocelots, and tarantulas are waiting to welcome you.  

Whether you're a long-time fan of the Woodland Park Zoo or this is your first visit, your family will love spending a day learning about wildlife from around the world.

The zoo has been welcoming back guests and has made several changes due to COVID-19. Plan your visit and learn about their latest policies on their website. 

If you're looking at Seattle homes for sale, you'll be excited to discover that the Woodland Park Zoo has a great relationship with its surrounding community. Contact us today to tour homes in this neighborhood!

October
12

9 Backsplash Ideas for Your New Kitchen

Backsplash Ideas

If you're looking to add an extra element of style or decoration to your new kitchen, maximizing the appearance of your backsplash is a great way to do it. A beautiful backsplash is an affordable strategy for improving the overall look and feel of the room. Best of all, backsplashes are easy to install yourself. With various materials, styles, patterns, and designs, choosing a new backsplash can be a fun way to increase your home value. The trick is to make sure it complements your kitchen's colors, countertops, and cabinetry. 

While choosing a visually appealing backsplash is important, remember a backsplash's purpose is to protect the wall behind your sinks and counters, which is consistently exposed to food and liquids and changing temperatures. When adding a DIY backsplash, always be sure to select materials that are durable and easy to clean.

If you're in the process of designing a new kitchen, our brokers can help. Below are nine beautiful, protective backsplash ideas that can really help to tie your kitchen design together.

  1. Horizontal Subway Tiles
    Nothing says classic and casual quite like horizontal subway tiles. Bright colored tiles over darker grout can really create a welcoming look. Another added bonus is that the darker grout will also help make stains less apparent.
  2. Diagonal Porcelain Tiles
    Diagonally placed white square tiles can add an extra dimension to a classic look. Porcelain tiles are also affordable and easy to clean. We often see that 4 x 4 or 8 x 8 tiles create the best look. 
  3. Round Penny Tiles
    If you're going for a vintage yet trendy appearance, penny tiles are really making a comeback. If you have white cabinets, try light-colored penny tiles over darker colored grout to really bring out the texture.
  4. Chevron Tiles
    When done properly, Chevron patterns can create a beautiful, unique look. Just be sure not to overdo it -- the key is to make the pattern just subtle enough to be noticeable. Complementary zigzags in matching hues can create an optimal effect. 
  5. Marble Block
    If you're looking for a way to class-up your kitchen, a marble block backsplash can go a long way. While expensive, nothing creates a stunning look quite like marble. A bright marble backsplash in a neutral color kitchen will really give your new kitchen an upscale feel. Best of all, marble is easy to clean. Check out some of the marble block backsplashes on these beautiful Seattle, WA homes for sale.
  6. Beach Cottage
    Want a summer vibe in your house all year long? A beach cottage backsplash is a great way to keep your kitchen bright and vibrant during the rainy Bellevue months. Turquoise sea glass accents over a taupe backdrop can create a peaceful, calming effect on your kitchen. Just make sure you have clean white cabinetry to offset the bright colors. 
  7. Mirrored Tiles
    For a grand, flashy twist to your kitchen, consider creating a tiled mirror backsplash. Because mirrors reflect light, it can also add more depth to your kitchen, making it appear larger and brighter. Mirror tiles are also super easy to clean.
  8. Hexagon Mosaic
    If you're looking for classic beauty, consider a hexagon mosaic. This pattern has been used in kitchens for decades. These eye-catching shapes can be used to create the perfect blend between tiles can create the perfect blend between retro and chic.
  9. Stainless Steel
    Stainless steel backsplashes are a great option if you're looking for a stylish, modern look. They're affordable, easy to install, and best of all, they are incredibly easy to clean.  If you're a heavy-duty cooker, stainless steel backsplashes are a no-brainer. Just make sure you clean it properly, as you don't want to risk scratches or stains.

A beautiful, durable backsplash is a great way to improve your home with minimal effort. For more inspiration, or help finding a new home with a kitchen you'll love, contact us today.

October
5

National Seafood Month: Where to Get Fresh Seafood in Seattle

Seafood in Seattle

What could be better than a day dedicated to enjoying all of your favorite seafood? National Seafood Month, of course! Whether you want to cook your own feast or enjoy a prepared meal with some of the best seafood in the world, you won't find a better city than Seattle to satisfy your seafood cravings. Our brokers are ready to dig into National Seafood Month, and we've got all the details on how to connect with Seattle's legendary seafood scene.

  1. Mutual Fish Company – 2335 Rainier Avenue S, Seattle, WA 98144

    Serving the region since 1947, Mutual Fish Company is your one-stop-shop for fresh seafood of all kinds close to Seattle homes for sale. Mutual Fish Company has been owned and operated by the same family for three generations, with a commitment to quality that you can taste in every bite. They offer fresh-caught fish from across North America, a large selection of live seafood including fresh lobster, and a full line of Asian groceries at the fish market, perfect for adding new flavors to your next meal.

  2. Seattle Fish Company – 4435 California Avenue SW, Seattle, WA 98116

    When you're looking for the catch of the day, Seattle Fish Company has you covered with pickup, delivery, and dine-in service by the grill. No matter what you need for celebrating National Seafood Month, you can find it at Seattle Fish Company. There are specials on fresh seafood every day, with delivery available within the city and beyond. The Seattle Fish Company Grill is open every day for dine-in and takeout, with a mouth-watering selection of freshly prepared meals. Be sure to check out the daily soup specials, which include a smoked salmon chowder that you won't want to miss.

  3. Pike Place Fish Company – 86 Pike Place, Seattle, WA 98101

    Located in the historic Pike Place Market, Pike Place Fish Company has been serving up fresh seafood for more than 90 years. If you're looking to pick up everything you need for your seafood celebration in one place, then you can't top the selection at Pike Place Market. You can order from Pike Place Fish Company for pickup, including a drive-thru, contactless pickup option, or have your food delivered anywhere in Seattle. 

  4. Pure Food Fish Market – 1511 Pike Place, Seattle, WA 98101

    Looking for variety when you shop for seafood, all in one location? Pike Place Market is home to multiple fantastic seafood spots that you can visit in one convenient trip, including Pure Food Fish Market. This market specializes in salmon, halibut, crab, and shellfish and features other fresh catches from around the world. You can also find some great recipes at Pure Food Fish Market, along with all of the ingredients you'll need to make your favorite dishes.

  5. Jack's Fish Spot – 1514 Pike Place, Seattle, WA 98101

    While you're at the market, stop at Jack's Fish Spot to enjoy great dine-in service in a classic seafood setting, or pick up something fresh to take home for your culinary creations. If you're looking for a little help in cooking your seafood, this is a great place to visit. The team at Jack's Fish Spot is happy to tell you how they create their own meals with detailed recipes or provide general advice for which types of flavors work best with your favorite types of seafood.

  6. East Anchor Seafood – 1126 34th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122

    Open every day with fresh seafood arriving each morning, East Anchor Seafood is sure to have what you need to celebrate National Seafood Month in style. This shop offers a selection of specialty groceries, perfect for bringing the best out of your fresh seafood. You can also enjoy a glass of wine, sample local craft beers, and pick up freshly prepared seafood from the chefs at East Anchor Seafood.

  7. Taylor Shellfish Farms – 1521 Melrose Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122

    With more than a century of experience and multiple locations throughout the Seattle area, you can always count on Taylor Shellfish Farms for world-class shellfish close to home. The Melrose location offers delivery, curbside pickup, and dine-in service with limited capacity. They specialize in shellfish – especially fresh oysters. You can also shop online and have fresh seafood delivered directly to your door.

Searching for a home that allows you to enjoy fresh Seattle seafood anytime? We can help. Contact us to buy and sell homes in the Seattle, WA area.

September
16

Empowered and Inspiring: Getting to Know Your Colleagues

Featuring brokers and employees who exemplify their "why," through how they live and work. They have unique and inspiring stories to tell, and have a variety of backgrounds and insights that help CB Bain successfully serve its clients. If you know of someone in the company who should be profiled, let us know.

When Kendall Patterson, a real estate broker with Coldwell Banker Bain of Redmond, posted on Instagram the poignant story of her childhood home in Carnation, WA, it elicited an emotional response from her followers. Inspired to share after reading actress Chrishell Stause's Instagram story of her own experience with homelessness, Kendall's post was favorited by the popular Netflix star, with a supportive comment.

Kendall shared, "I haven't shared this with many people as I grew up embarrassed. Ashamed.

But also I truly learned that if I cleaned things I could make any home feel better. It started off as a dream of a project. I got to help my dad build our home [on a piece of large acreage owned by his father]. In my youth I dreamed of what it could be like. So helping under the 'house' putting in insulation for my dad, I did, in hopes of the grandiose home and finish product I thought we would have. It never materialized. It never got further than plywood and sheet rock and broken hopes and dreams. Two camp trailers lined each side.

One side my room, the other was my sisters and the kitchen and bathroom. Both tiny. But functional I guess. The shed you see had a loft where my dad's room was. And the living room. And that was our home. I day dreamed of the houses we could have had built and wondered when we were going to. That time never came. It was always messy and dirty and I tried my damnedness to tidy and clean plywood floors and a kitchen barely fit for weekend camping trips. My dad was always working and when he wasn't, I think he too grew depressed with the inability to buy or build on his own property, he ramped up the alcohol intake to scary levels.

There were only a couple people I had in my world that knew the severity of our situation. I stayed with friends as much as I could to eat, feel clean, and ultimately feel average.

Kendall's story is one of perseverance and finding success, after growing up in a household with parental abandonment, drug use and addiction, and where poverty was the norm. And now it has come full circle. Kendall will be considered to list the 15 acres surrounding her childhood home following her grandfather's recent death, as well as the five acres on which she lived in a shack given her decades-long relationship with the current owners.

Kendall's childhood has given her a unique perspective on what "home" really means, and a passion for helping those with similar backgrounds purchase their own.

This is why I have fallen in love with Real Estate and why I have always worked SO damn hard as a young mom, business owner, and individual. I REFUSE to go back to that life. I REFUSE to have my children live like that. I believe that our children are how we break these poverty cycles and abuse cycles.

Home ownership is key, in my opinion, to helping families and people out of poverty. Not to say that renting is only for the impoverished, just that owning a home can provide people with opportunity that renting cannot.

I want to help anyone and everyone but my heart is always with those first-time purchasers. I adore the ability to help dreams come true and help change generations of life trajectories.

Kendall credits office PMB Rick Costello's mentorship and CB Bain's training and marketing support as invaluable to her career launch, and notes the desk fee is much less than the rent she paid in her previous work as a hair stylist. And with a new baby, the flexibility of real estate also provides her the ability to be both an entrepreneur and mother.

Rick said, "Kendall is just one of those positive forces of nature, and has been from the beginning when she reached out to me to inquire about joining us. She didn't think her salon/hairstyling background would be of use, but I knew differently. The relationships she had made through that profession, her ability to connect with people, and the business acumen needed to be successful are very relevant to what is needed for a successful real estate career. Since joining us two years ago she has been very productive, a good student and her life experiences have made her tenacious, unflappable and empathetic no matter what comes up in a transaction."

But even with all her success, homeownership has still not become a reality for Kendall herself – while her family is in a home of their own now, it was her husband who was able to qualify to purchase it. While Kendall is thankful for his support, she looks forward to the day that if she wanted to buy a home on her own, she could.

I have been fortunate enough to live in three homes that I couldn't afford to be on the loan or purchase with cash. I could be on title. So even as a Realtor I have yet to be able to make my OWN dream come true. I'll get there. I have big goals. I have drive. And I know I will do this. I will also teach my daughter how to be able to do this. And my sons. I will ensure their understanding of how to earn their money and how to build real wealth. How to be healthy parents, adults and providers.

As so many commented on Kendall's Instagram post, she's an inspiration to us all – and with the kind of grit and determination needed for a successful real estate career. We are proud to have her as part of the CB Bain family and can't wait to see what she does next.

September
14

Historic Sites You Can See Around Portland

Historic Portland Sites

When most people think of Portland, our lively culture, delicious food, and gorgeous Pacific Northwestern backdrop often come to mind. Though the City of Roses is far younger than many cities on the East Coast, Portland still has a rich, fascinating history that is worth exploring. Founded way back in the 1840s, Portland's diverse history is accessible through our many museums, landmarks, memorial sites, and protected areas. If you're searching for a glimpse into Portland's past, our brokers encourage you to visit these interesting historical sites.

  1. Shanghai Tunnels – 120 NW 3rd Ave., Portland, OR 97209
    Portland's Underground, also known as the Shanghai Tunnels are located in Old Town Chinatown. Beneath the buildings, a series of interconnected tunnels running all the way to the waterfront. Sadly, most of the tunnels have collapsed, preventing anyone from uncovering a clearer definition of their intended use. However, these tunnels are often sited through local lore to have been used to smuggle illegal goods from ships to the shore. 

  2. The Pittock Mansion – 3229 NW Pittock Dr., Portland, OR 97210
    The Pittock Mansion
    is a historic house museum that was once the home of The Oregonian owner, Henry Pittock. As he built his financial empire in real estate, banking, railroads, and more, his wife used their wealth to start and support countless organizations benefiting the people of Portland, including the Martha Washington Home and the Ladies Relief Society. The mansion was acquired by the city and restored to act as a museum dedicated to this interesting piece of Portland's early history.

  3. Waterfront Park – 98 SW Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR 97204
    Waterfront Park
    is a relatively new site for the city, with its ideation beginning in the early 1900s. It wasn't until 1974 that ground broke on this park, but it was well worth the wait as its been a popular social spot for Portlanders ever since. This park features many historical landmarks such as the Battleship Oregon Memorial, which was constructed to honor the retired ship that served our country in the late 1800s. The Founder's Stone is also on-site, which acts as a tribute to the city's founders who actually flipped a coin to determine whether the city would be named Portland or Boston. The Japanese American Historical Plaza is also within Waterfront Park, which honors the Japanese Americans of the Northwest who served in the United States military during World War II.

  4. Oregon Holocaust Memorial – 95205 SW Washington Way, Portland, OR 97205
    The Oregon Holocaust Memorial is located outdoors in Washington Park. This memorial was dedicated in 2004 to the many residents of Portland and Washington that have had relatives who died in the camps; their names are engraved on the memorial wall. A soil vault panel, filled with soil and ash from six camps, sits alongside bronze tokens representing the everyday objects left behind as individuals from across Europe were transported to the camps.

  5. Ankeny Plaza – 2 SW Ankeny St, Portland, OR 97204
    Ankeny Plaza
    was one of the first public spaces in Portland and contains a number of historical features. Located in Old Town Chinatown, this plaza is surrounded by buildings built in the mid-1800s and contains the oldest public art sculpture: Skidmore Fountain. Meant to act as a drinking fountain for men, dogs, and horses, this 14-ft bronze piece of art continues to be a public space where Portlanders and their animals can come to cool off.

Are you searching for an older, charming home in Portland that you can call your own? Our team can help! Contact us today to tour our listings of Portland homes for sale.

September
28

Where to Pick Your Own Produce Near Portland

Portland Farms

When you want the best, pick it fresh. That could be the motto at any of the many great farms around Portland where you can pick fresh, locally grown fruit and vegetables with your whole family. Heading to a farm is a great way to enjoy the early fall weather, get out of the house, and stock up on your favorite produce. As the calendar flips to fall, you can expect new and different opportunities at your favorite farms. Our brokers have the details on 5 great farms around Portland where you can pick your own fresh fruit and vegetables.

  1. Douglas Farm – 15330 NW Sauvie Island Rd., Portland, OR 97231
    Many of the most visited farms around Portland homes for sale are located on Sauvie Island, and Douglas Farm is no exception. This farm has been in the same family for five generations, offering an excellent selection of fruit and veggies that you can pick yourself. Reservations may be required, so be sure to check the website before visiting. The farm will provide picking boxes for you to stock up on their farm. Current produce available for picking includes beans, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, and many varieties of cucumbers.

  2. Albeke Farms – 16107 S Wilson Rd., Oregon City, OR 97045
    You can find plenty of great farms near Oregon City homes for sale, too! Albeke Farms, located close to the city, specializes in berries of all types, along with peaches, apples, and a smaller selection of vegetables. This farm is open every day from Thursday through Sunday during the late summer/early fall picking seasons. Call ahead to find out what crops are available for picking, and plan on bringing home plenty of fresh produce. 

  3. The Pumpkin Patch – 16511 NW Gillihan Rd., Portland, OR 97231
    One of the Portland area's largest farms, The Pumpkin Patch offers u-pick produce and so much more. Open for 52 years, this farm is a great spot to visit with the whole family, with a cafe, corn maze, animal barn, and tons of autumn activities. You can cut your own flowers from the beautiful blooms located on the property. Be sure to stop by the market as well, where you can find an excellent selection of freshly prepared farm-to-table food to take home. Their market is stocked up on 50 in-season fruits and vegetables grown on their farm and picked daily. 

  4. Bella Organic – 16205 NW Gillihan Rd., Portland, OR 97231
    If you're searching for a great selection of certified organic produce in Portland, then it's hard to top Bella Organic. This farm offers all of your favorite berries, along with corn, tomatoes, and pumpkins in the early fall. There is also a winery on-site with tastings available, and a corn maze that offers fun for all ages. The farm store and food pavilion are great places to stop and recharge with a fresh, delicious meal in between picking. Looking for fall activities besides locally grown produce? Be sure to check out their haunted corn maze for a memorable October weekend. 

  5. Topaz Farm – 17100 NW Sauvie Island Rd., Portland, OR 97231
    Family run and filled with activities for visitors of all ages, Topaz Farm is a great place to go picking this year. This farm is open every day and offers fresh, delicious outdoor dining on-site in addition to u-pick produce. Kids especially love to meet friendly farm animals and learn about farming from the team at Topaz Farm. Check out their website to learn about what's in season and plan ahead for their family-friendly events coming up during the fall months. 

Fresh, local produce and fantastic food are just part of the package when you call Portland home. Ready to find your next home? Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Portland, OR area.

September
8

Local Glass Blowing Studios in Seattle

Seattle Glass Blowing Art Studios

Seattle is a city that's bustling with a unique creativity that's seen in everything from our architecture and art to our food and literature. So many Seattleites unlock their artistic passions when they discover a new hobby that acts as a perfect outlet for their creativity. If you're searching for a new pastime, our brokers encourage you to give glass blowing a try at one of these local glass blowing studios in the Seattle.

  1. Seattle Glassblowing Studio – 2227 5th Ave., Seattle, WA 98121
    The Seattle Glassblowing Studio is an interactive art gallery where locals and visitors can learn about the glassblowing process, purchase custom made pieces, and even learn how to create their own glasswork. They've recently reopened their classes with limited enrollment to ensure maximum safety. Some lessons can be completed in as little as 15 minutes by glassblowers as young as five years old while other classes and private lessons can take one to three hours and are designed for adults and children aged 11 or older. 

  2. Glasshouse-Studio – 311 Occidental Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98104
    Glasshouse-Studio
    was founded at the beginning of the northwest glass movement in the early 1970s. As the oldest glassblowing studio in the entire northwest, Glasshouse-Studio is the ultimate destination for those who absolutely love the art of glassblowing. We encourage you to tour their fascinating studio, speak with their talented artists, and view a live glassblowing demonstration before taking a piece home.

  3. Pratt Fine Arts Center – 1902 S. Main St., Seattle, WA 98144
    The Pratt Fine Arts Center is one of the best places in the Emerald City to unleash your love of all things art. Among their other offerings, Pratt facilitates interesting classes ranging from introductory workshops for new beginners to Master Artist classes for the trained artist. Glassblowing, glass casting, flameworking, cold working, bead making, kiln glass, and glass fusing classes are all available for adults over 18 or children 16 and over with exceptions. You can take a 3D tour of Pratt's studio on their website to learn about the equipment used and discover what possibilities await your first lesson.

  4. MoltenWorks – 12602 NE 178th St., Suite A, Woodinville, WA 98072
    If you're looking to get out of the city, take a quick trip up to MoltenWorks in Woodinville. Their two studios are now accepting registration for their glass blowing classes. Open studio sessions, Sip 'N Fuse classes, Ornament Workshops, and other workshops are designed for adults while they also have special kids classes for ages seven and above. If you don't feel comfortable attending classes in person, you can pick up one of their at-home glass kits.

  5. Blowing Sands Glass Studio – 5805 14th Ave. NW, Seattle, WA 98107
    Although their glass blowing lessons are currently on hold due to the coronavirus, the pandemic hasn't stopped Blowing Sands Glass Studio from creating masterpieces. Staples of the Ballard Arts Community, Blowing Sands specializes in unique décor including custom lighting fixtures and other pieces designed on commission. Glassblower David Smith brings his quarter-century of experience to every piece, creating a one-of-a-kind work of art that looks wonderful wherever it finds a home. Their gallery is currently closed, but you can shop Blowing Sands' creations online and arrange convenient curbside pickup.

  6. Avalon Glassworks – 2914 SW Avalon Way, Seattle, WA 98126
    A favorite spot for shopping in Luna Park, Avalon Glassworks has been making and selling their own gifts and décor since the early 1990s. Their selection of artwork is inspired by the Northwest landscape, creating unique pieces that encompass the region's natural beauty. If you would prefer to learn more about the glass blowing process without actually getting a hands-on lesson, a stop at Avalon Glassworks will yield enlightening conversations with their creators. Located next to The Spot coffee shop, a stroll through Avalon Glassworks is a must when visiting Luna Park. You can also browse their selection of glassworks on their website.

Would you love a new home to display your glass blowing creations in? Contact us today to tour our spacious Seattle homes for sale.

August
24

5 Things First-Time Buyers Should Know

First time Buyers

Buying a home is still a part of the American dream. And for most of us, it starts as just that—a dream. Most people spend years dreaming about their first home before they actually buy it, and if that's where you find yourself today, then there are some things you should know before moving forward. 

Buying your first home can, of course, be a stressful process, and the more you know going in, the better off you'll be. Our brokers are always here to help. Here's what most first-time homebuyers wish they had known before starting the process: 

  1. You're Not Buying for the Life You Have Today
    It's one thing to buy a house that fits your current lifestyle. It's quite another to buy a house that fits your lifestyle five, ten, or twenty years for now. But a house is one of the biggest purchases you'll ever make, and you must think about it in the long term. Ask yourself some questions about what will your life look like down the road and whether the house you're looking at will be right for it. Are you planning on getting married or having kids? How long do you expect to be at your current job? If you're not confident that your house will still be the right house in a few years, you may want to keep looking. 
  2. It's Okay to Shop Around for a Mortgage
    A lot of first-time homebuyers are so worried about whether or not they'll be able to secure a mortgage that they take the first offer they get. Less than half of today's buyers shop around for a home loan. That's a big mistake, and it's one that could end up costing you a lot of money. Rates offered by lending institutions vary widely, which is one of the reasons why it's important to always talk to multiple lenders. As a general rule, it's best to speak with at least three lenders and a mortgage broker before you make any commitments.
  3. Buy What You Can Afford
    Buy what you can afford might seem like obvious advice, but keep one thing in mind: the amount you can afford isn't necessarily the same as what your mortgage lender thinks you can afford. Many homeowners get pre-approved for more than they end up spending, and that's not a bad thing. While pre-approval for a mortgage is a great step toward determining your budget, it shouldn't be the only one. You need to do your own math to decide how much you can afford. Factor in all your income and expenses, and keep in mind that you should never put yourself in a position where you're spending more than 30% of your income on housing. 
  4. Don't Get Caught up in the Superficial
    When you're in the market for homes for sale, it's important to remember that there's no such thing as a 'perfect' house. That's why it's really important not to fixate too much on imperfections, especially small ones that can be easily fixed. If the house is dirty, the walls are an ugly color, or the fixtures are outdated, these are all superficial problems. Start out by making a list of priorities. Write out all your must-haves and would-like-to-haves so you can evaluate any house you look at based on whether it meets your needs. 
  5. The Right Real Estate Agent Can Make All the Difference
    Some buyers shy away from working with a real estate agent because they're wary about the cost. But it's worth remembering that a good buyer's agent will be working in your best interest. The same can't be said for the listing agent, who is essentially trying to help their client sell their home for as much as possible. Working with a great agent can actually save you money, but that's not the only benefit. They will also help you with all of the more complicated or overwhelming parts of buying a house, from working with your lender and negotiating the price to overseeing inspections and signing the closing paperwork. 

Buying your first home can seem overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. Contact us today to learn more and get started on the road to homeownership in the Portland area. 

August
3

All About the Seattle Japanese Garden

Seattle Japanese Garden

Get out of the house and enjoy the beautiful sites at the reopened Seattle Japanese Garden. This serene space located in Washington Park is the perfect place to relax your body, calm your mind, and let your soul absorb the beauty, wonder, and peacefulness that this park projects. Whether the Seattle Japanese Garden is one of your favorite spots in the Emerald City or if you've only heard about it but have never been, our brokers believe that now is a great time to support this city landmark.

60th Anniversary of the Seattle Japanese Garden

One reason you should visit the Seattle Japanese Garden is that it just celebrated its 60th anniversary on June 5th. Opened in 1960, the Seattle Japanese Garden is recognized as one of the best Japanese-style gardens on the continent. This charming garden features elements of Japan's many diverse landscapes. This special occasion is known as "kanreki", which marks a rebirth or return to childhood. Throughout the year, the Seattle Japanese Garden will commemorate this anniversary with special activities.

The Seattle Japanese Garden is Reopen for Visitors

Seattle Japanese Garden – 1075 Lake Washington Blvd. E., Seattle, WA 98112

  • Hours
    Tuesday – Sunday 10 AM-7 PM during August
    Tuesday – Sunday 10 AM-6 PM during September

  • Admission
    $8, Adults 18-64 
    $4, Ages 6-17, 65+, and College Students
    Free, Ages 0-5

After closing in accordance with local guidelines regarding the COVID-19 outbreak, the Seattle Japanese Garden happily welcomed back its first visitors on July 14th. The Seattle Japanese Garden has made a few temporary changes to ensure the safety of visitors and staff alike.

  • The Seattle Japanese Garden has implemented a new timed ticketing system that requires visitors to purchase their tickets in advance online. These tickets will be purchased for a specific timeslot and cannot be changed or refunded.  

  • Face coverings are required for all guests ages 5 and above.

  • Paths throughout the garden will now be one-way only.

  • Many areas and pathways will be closed until further notice, including the Tateuchi Community Room, the azumaya, various bridges, various platforms, and the Shoseian Teahouse.

  • Tours and tea ceremonies are not offered at this time.

  • You cannot bring in your own food or beverages, with the exception of your own drinking water as water fountains within the Seattle Japanese Garden are closed.

  • Your group size cannot exceed five individuals, including children.

Planning Your Visit to the Seattle Japanese Garden

Although these temporary changes may place limitations on how visitors can engage with the Seattle Japanese Garden, you can still have a wonderful experience even if it's your first visit. 

How to plan your visit:

  • Plan your visit well in advance to ensure that you can secure a ticket for the day you desire.

  • Research the history of the Japanese-style garden and learn about the importance of the Seattle Japanese Garden.

  • Be sure to eat a meal prior to your arrival and consider bringing a bottle of water for each person in your group.

  • When you arrive, grab a brochure at the entrance so your group can complete a self-guided tour of the grounds.

  • Follow all guidelines including wearing your mask at all times and progressing through the garden according to the marked paths.

  • Most importantly, make sure to take a moment to sit and admire the beauty of each varied landscape of Japan certain areas represent.

Types of Plants at the Seattle Japanese Garden

Japan is a country with diverse geography, containing varied landscapes including mountains, islands, the sea, rivers, lakes, forests, and waterfalls. As you stroll the Seattle Japanese Garden, you'll encounter these unique regions of Japan and view some of the flora and fauna that call this country home. Some of the gorgeous species you'll find throughout the Garden include:

  • Japanese forest grass
  • Chinese silver grass
  • Bamboos
  • Miscanthus
  • Cherry trees
  • Japanese spicebush
  • Western red cedar
  • Arnold azalea
  • Osmanthus
  • Japanese camellias
  • Hinoki
  • Water lilies
  • Japanese iris
  • Corylopsis
  • Lily of the Valley shrub
  • Cryptomeria japonica
  • Koto no Ito

The Seattle Japanese Garden is one of our favorite spots in the city. Recently reopened, we encourage you to visit this tranquil park before the summer ends. If you're interested in browsing Seattle homes for sale while you're in the area, feel free to contact us to schedule a tour.

July
27

8 Things to Know Before a Kitchen Remodel

Kitchen Remodel in Portland

Are you thinking about a kitchen remodel this summer? You're not alone! Many of the best homes for sale have newly updated kitchens, making this a great investment. When our brokers are helping potential buyers find their dream home, a great kitchen is almost always one of the most in-demand features. 

Taking the time to create a solid plan and think through the details before you start your remodeling project can help you avoid any post-remodel regrets. Here are a few of the most important things you'll want to consider.

  1. Decide if You're Loving or Listing
    One of the first things you'll want to do is think about whether you're planning to stay in your home for the long term. If you're remodeling in anticipation of selling, you'll approach your project in a completely different way than you will if you're designing your dream kitchen. If you're planning to stay, it makes much more sense to splurge on the things that you've always wanted. Have you been dreaming of a built-in meat ager or a wine cooler? Go for it! However, if you're remodeling to sell, these types of upgrades aren't likely to bring you a great return on your investment. 
  2. Start with Your Budget 
    Starting a major project like this without a budget in place is a recipe for disaster. Chances are, you'll end up spending way more than you anticipated or, even worse, you'll run out of money before your remodel is complete. Don't let this happen to you! Instead, plan out a detailed budget for each phase of your project. Don't forget to add in the costs for appliances, materials, labor, and permits. It's also a good idea to add an extra 10% cushion to cover any unexpected costs that come up. 
  3. Create a Realistic Timeline
    It's also critical to commit to a realistic timeline. The last thing you want is to get into a remodeling project that drags on for months longer than expected. Whether you're hiring a contractor, planning a DIY project, or doing a combination of the two, it's important to set your schedule and make sure you're hitting milestones when you should. To help ensure you stick to the schedule, make sure you already have your materials and appliances before you start. You'll also want to schedule electricians, plumbers, and any other subcontractors ahead of time. Otherwise, one small delay can sideline your entire project. 
  4. Choose Your Appliances Carefully
    Picking out your new appliances is one of the most important (and most fun!) parts of a kitchen remodel. Make sure you don't skimp here. You definitely don't want to put effort into a remodel only to find that you're disappointed with the results. On the other hand, don't go too crazy. It's so easy to get no-interest financing right now that you might be tempted to buy top-of-the-line everything. Splurge where it makes sense and choose simple, high-quality options for the rest. 
  5. Consider Your Cabinets 
    Quality kitchen cabinets are expensive, but it's well worth the investment. In fact, putting cheap cabinets in your kitchen is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. When choosing your cabinets, make sure they're trendy enough to give the remodel a modern look, but not so trendy that they'll go out of style in just a few years. 
  6. Don't Forget Lighting
    The lighting you choose can make or break a kitchen remodel. Most older kitchens make do with a couple of ceiling lights and a small window over the sink. Now is the time to make a change! Consider replacing your windows with larger ones so you can take advantage of natural light. Also consider adding some interesting lighting options like pendant fixtures, under-cabinet LEDs, or even a chandelier. Make sure you add dimmer switches so that you can have plenty of light while you're cooking and then set a more intimate mood for socializing. 
  7. Set Up a Temporary Kitchen
    Living without a fully-functional kitchen is a hassle, especially if you have children. While it's not ideal, you can create a temporary kitchen by putting your refrigerator and microwave in another room during the remodel. If the weather is warm enough, plan to grill outdoors or eat out. 
  8. Make Sure a Remodel is Really Right for You 
    Sometimes, it's best to skip the remodel altogether. If you need major renovations to achieve the look you want, it's often better to simply buy a new home that already has the features you're looking for.

If you're ready to take a look at your options, we're here to help! Contact us today. 

July
6

National Ice Cream Month: Where to Get Ice Cream in Seattle

Seattle Ice Cream

Summer in Seattle is the best time of the year, thanks in part to National Ice Cream Month falling in July! What better way to enjoy the sunshine than to slurp up a few fresh scoops from Seattle's finest ice cream parlors? Our brokers encourage you indulge in your craving and check out these amazingly unique local ice cream shops around town.

  1. Shug's Soda Fountain & Ice Cream – 1525 1st Ave., Seattle, WA 98101
    The soda fountain was the coolest place to grab a malt, a shake, or an ice cream cone back in the day. Shug's Soda Fountain has decided to bring back this classic sweet spot with a modern twist. You could also add a little soda and make a float; we suggest the Shugsicle which is made with orange soda and vanilla ice cream. With make-your-own-sundaes, ice cream cocktails, and beer floats on the menu, Shug's is a sweet place for kids and adults alike.

  2. Full Tilt Ice Cream – 4759 Brooklyn Ave. E., Seattle, WA 98105
    Live music, pinball, arcade games, beer, and ice cream – what more could you want? Full Tilt offers a fun environment for people of all ages to come together and have a great time. They have 16 awesome flavors like Coffee Oreo and Blue Moon, while on the vegan side they offer classic vanilla and chocolate. Join their Pint of the Month Club and you'll get access to 12 months of unique ice cream flavors that are only available to members. Full Tilt could very well be the ultimate place to celebrate National Ice Cream Month.

  3. Sweet Alchemy – 4301 University Way NE., Seattle, WA 98105
    At Sweet Alchemy, their meticulous ice cream makers pride themselves on using only the best ingredients from local farms for their small-batch ice creams and waffle cones. How meticulous are they? Sustainability and organic practices are top priorities and they're committed to only serving the freshest ice cream. Believe it or not, some of the milk used was taken from a local cow just days before it became your sweet treat.

  4. Husky Deli – 4721 California Ave. SW., Seattle, WA 98116
    For almost 100 years, Husky Deli has been providing West Seattle with everything from grocery staples and deli items to fresh sandwiches and delicious ice cream. Husky has you covered if you want to make National Ice Cream Month last for the rest of the year. They have nearly 60 different ice cream flavors between their Husky Regular, Husky Gourmet, Husky Premium, and Husky Girl Scout Cookie varieties. Available by the half-gallon, we have a feeling we'll be stopping by Husky's every week of National Ice Cream Month to try a new flavor.

  5. Parfait Ice Cream – 2034 NW 56th St., Seattle, WA 98107
    Don't let the name fool you – parfait in French means "perfect" and that's the best way to describe the frozen flavors at Parfait Ice Cream. Made from scratch, this farm-to-table creamery grows and creates their own ingredients. They offer eight different signature flavors throughout the year, including classics like Vanilla Bean, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup, and Milk & Cookies. Their dozens of chef-inspired seasonal flavors include Ginger Snap, Pumpkin Spice, Rosemary Almond Brittle, and Lavender Summer Berry. Looking for a dairy-free flavor? Their plant-based flavors include Coffee Candied Almond, Cherry Chip, and six other delicious sorbets. Best of all, they even sell their pints at local Seattle grocery stores so you can give into your sweet tooth every time you make your weekly food run.

  6. Frankie & Jo's – 1411 NW 70th St., Seattle, WA 98117
    Ice cream made from plants? At Frankie & Jo's, you're going to radically shift the way you think about ice cream. Instead of using artificial ingredients, house-made cashew milk, and coconut milks are used as bases while organic sugars, seasonal vegetables, herbs, fruits, and superfoods are added into the milk. The result? Amazing ice cream that makes a positive impact on people, plants, and animals. While their seasonal flavors vary, they have everyday ice cream flavors like Brown Sugar Vanilla, Salty Caramel Ash, Chocolate Tahini Supercookie, everyday date flavors like Date Shake and Chocolate Date, and an everyday sorbet flavor of Beet Strawberry Rose. Try one scoop and you'll realize that plant-based ice cream is a sweet way to end the day.

Would finding a home in the center of Seattle put the cherry on top of your summer? Contact us today and let us show you all of our sweet Seattle homes for sale.

June
22

The Not-So-Surprising Features Buyers Want Now

Features Buyers Want

Spending time in quarantine has changed what buyers are looking for in their next home while making current homeowners reconsider what they want most from their own properties. With the real estate industry still going strong virtually, now is an excellent time to consider what both you and potential buyers want from your home. Our brokers are here to help you maximize the value of your property, with our guide to the not-so-surprising features that buyers want now.

  1. Enhanced Home Offices
    With so many industries shifting to a work from home standard, it's no surprise that improved home offices rank near the top of the priority list for many buyers. Working from home becomes more manageable, efficient, and enjoyable when you have a dedicated space for getting the job done. Turning an extra room into an office, with ample workspace, strong WiFi, and an attractive background for videoconferencing can help your home stand out over other homes for sale.

  2. Bigger Pantries and More Storage
    When you're expecting to potentially be at home for weeks at a time and want to limit trips to the grocery store, food storage space suddenly becomes a much larger priority. A large, dedicated pantry is ideal, but may not be a fit for homes where every extra space is already being used. If you don't have room for a full pantry, adding extra shelving to basements or closets is an easy way to make room for more food to be stored.

  3. Home Gyms and Workout Spaces
    If being able to work from home is the biggest priority for many buyers, being able to work out from home certainly doesn't rank far behind. A full home gym is sure to attract the attention of fitness-conscious buyers, and any workout space is better than none at all. While once a priority mostly for luxury buyers, home gyms are sure to grow in popularity for buyers from every demographic.

  4. Private Spaces for Every Resident
    While open floor plans are still popular, spending so much time at home has given buyers a deeper appreciation for private spaces in the home. When school-aged kids are taking online classes, parents are working from home, and young children are in need of entertainment, life at home can get chaotic. Private spaces allow everyone to take care of what they need to do, without distracting other members of the household. 

  5. Extra Bathrooms
    For families shopping for a new home, having only one or two bathrooms may no longer be enough to get the job done. Adding an extra bathroom can help make the home more hygienic, and ensure that there aren't lines at the bathroom door when everyone is getting ready for the day.

  6. Mudrooms for Home Hygiene
    Hygiene at home has naturally taken on a larger importance recently, and a mudroom helps keep outside germs from entering further into the home. Creating a dedicated space where people can leave shoes, jackets, and other items upon entering the house is an easy way to increase hygiene, and keep your floors a little cleaner in the process.

  7. Enhanced HVAC Systems
    A strong heating/air-conditioning system is a key selling point for any home, and efficiency is especially important when you're spending more time at home. Smart home features like programmable thermostats make it simple to manage the temperature at home, and a central HVAC system allows everyone in the home to be comfortable no matter the temperature outdoors.

  8. Attractive Outdoor Spaces for Relaxation and Recreation
    When so many outdoor entertainment spaces are closed to the public, being able to relax outdoors at home becomes a necessity. An outdoor patio is always an appealing option for relaxation, and outdoor cooking spaces are excellent for making the most of warm, pleasant summer nights. Adding outdoor recreation spaces, like play-set for kids, a small basketball court, or even just an open lawn where people of all ages can play, can enhance the value of your home.

No matter what features you want in your next home, our team is here to help you achieve your goals. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Pacific Northwest.

June
8

Control Weeds in Your Portland Garden with These Tips

Portland Garden tips

National Weed Your Garden Day is observed on June 13 each year to help remind gardeners to spend a few extra minutes combatting weeds. These unwanted plants can take over your Portland garden if you don't keep on top of them, and in addition to crowding out your plants, they'll take much-needed water and nutrients away from the soil.

Our brokers suggest the following ways to combat weeds:

  1. Design Your Garden to Control Weeds
    A well-designed garden can help deter weeds from taking hold in the first place. Start by using mixed ground covers, so you don't have bare soil, which tends to provide a better growing environment for weeds. Choose plants that can be spaced closer together so they'll crowd out weeds, and make sure they're of different heights. This will help shade the soil and keep weeds out.

  2. Use a Layer of Paper 
    Remove any existing weeds and add a layer of paper before topping it with a layer of mulch to help keep sunlight from reaching weed seeds. Spread a layer of newspaper pages (not the glossy ads) about eight inches thick or use a single layer of paper grocery bags over your soil and moisten it, so it stays in place.

  3. Apply Mulch
    After adding a layer of paper in your garden, apply mulch. Straw is usually a good weed-free choice, and it doesn't need to be overapplied. Two to three inches is a good amount to let your plants thrive while deterring weeds.

  4. Deprive Weeds of Water
    Put drip or soaker hoses beneath your mulch to ensure that your plants get enough water while depriving nearby weeds of water. Keep an eye out for perennial weeds like bindweed, however, since they can thrive if they receive drip irrigation.

  5. Use Tools When Needed
    Your hands often work well for pulling up weeds, but you can also get help from a few weeding tools that will give you a little more power. Cutting and scraping tools let you chop stems from their roots, and fishtail or taproot weeders work well for prying roots from soil. And if you're trying to sever young weeds from in between rows of your vegetable garden, try an oscillating hoe. Move its blades back and forth to eradicate weeds. And whichever method you use to remove weeds, make sure to remove the entire root system, since some weeds can grow back if even a tiny piece is left behind.

  6. Use Fertilizer Strategically 
    Spreading fertilizer over your garden beds may help your plants grow, but it can inadvertently do the same thing for weeds. Instead of applying fertilizer to the whole area, target plant foods on the root zones of your plants and only use the amount the package recommends. 

  7. Take Special Care with Young Plants
    If you have newly emerging seedlings, make sure to give them extra protection from weeds for the first four weeks of their lives. Otherwise, they'll have to compete with weeds for space, soil nutrients, and moisture and a time when they're at their most vulnerable, and they'll find it harder to thrive.

  8. Keep Your Lawn Mowed
    Keeping your lawn regularly mowed will help reduce the chances that weeds will invade not only your lawn but also your garden. Pay particular attention to the edges and keep them mowed low.

  9. Weed Regularly
    Weeding isn't something you can occasionally do. Taking just 5 or 10 minutes a day to keep up a weeding routine can make it easier to maintain your garden. It should be a part of your regular gardening routine, so every time you're checking or watering your plants, make sure to keep an eye out for new weed seedlings and remove them before they have a chance to grow any further.

Contact us to learn more about how to win the ongoing battle against weeds in your Portland garden. A beautiful flower or vegetable garden can enhance your enjoyment of your home, and when you're ready to sell, it can make your home stand out in a positive way when compared with other Portland homes for sale.

June
1

Seattle Bakeries to Try for National Doughnut Day

Seattle Bakeries

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially when you're checking out Seattle homes for sale. You need to keep your energy up, and what better way than with the classic combination of a doughnut and coffee?

Seattle's many small bakeries will tempt your taste buds any time of year, but they're even better as we approach National Doughnut Day. Taking place on Friday, June 5, it's the perfect time to stop by for a fresh dozen with curbside service or place an order for delivery.

Yes, you've probably noticed that big national chains usually have deals on National Doughnut Day. For those lucky enough to be here in the Emerald City, however, our brokers say nothing beats a local bakery.

Here are some of Seattle's top doughnut stops:

  1. Raised Donut – 1101 23rd Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122
    Raised Donuts is dedicated to "raising the doughnut bar" with a full selection of classic doughnuts alongside specialty flavors you won't find anywhere else. Mixed, cut, and fried fresh each day, the doughnuts are topped with a glaze made from scratch. Some recent specials include the mango basil doughnut, guava coconut, and the gluten-free Thai tea mochi.
  2. Top Pot Doughnuts – 1206 Madison Street, Seattle, WA 98104
    Top Pot Doughnuts will satisfy your cravings with more than 40 flavors available each and every day. Seasonal choices like the peppermint snowdrift and orange marmalade cake truly stand out here. Whether you order takeout or delivery, you can also savor hand-roasted, small-batch coffees from decaf to the eye-opening "El Presidente."
  3. Mighty-O Donuts – 1400 12th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122
    The Mighty-O Donuts storefront at Capitol Hill is open for business while two other locations are temporarily closed, so stop on by! Call in or set up an online order: You can enjoy the whole menu, such as the seasonal cookies and cream doughnut, raspberry riot, or nutty chocolate. You always have your choice of vanilla cake or chocolate cake as your delicious doughnut base, too.
  4. Family Donut Northgate – 2100 North Northgate Way Suite F, Seattle, WA 98133
    Family Donut Northgate is the taste you've been waiting for! A family-friendly and family-owned bakery with a focus on doughnuts and coffee, it's well-loved in the community. One reason is the fast, friendly service. Another, the unbeatable maple bacon doughnuts. It's active in supporting local first responders and hospitals with doughnuts, too.
  5. General Porpoise Doughnuts – 1020 East Union Street, Seattle, WA 98133
    Like Mighty-O, General Porpoise Doughnuts has a flagship Capitol Hill location ready for your visit. Every General Porpoise doughnut is made using fresh eggs. Seasonal jams, jellies, creams, and custards make sensationally fresh flavors. Creatively crafty concoctions abound, like peanut butter and jelly, date shake, the delectable rose cream, and kid-favorite chocolate marshmallow.
  6. Donut Factory – 4336 Roosevelt Way Northeast, Suite F, Seattle, WA 98105
    Sitting right in the heart of the University District, Donut Factory pumps out confections with "industrial strength" flavor. But don't let the name fool you: These individually handcrafted doughnuts are great to look at and a delight to eat! Fancy doughnuts can be rushed straight to your door, from chocolate rainbow to cinnamon, coconut, and many more.
  7. Half and Half Doughnuts – 516 East Pike Street, Seattle, WA 98122
    Seattle's famous Pike Street is home to many iconic businesses. One of them is Half and Half Donuts, a true taste of Seattle. Now featuring a fun and convenient online ordering system, Half and Half has grab and go doughnuts along with savory pastries, breakfast sandwiches, coffee, and tea. For a true delight, don't miss out on a coffee-caramel filled doughnut.

For expert advice on buying a Seattle home, contact us today.

May
26

What to Look for in a Dog-Friendly Neighborhood

Dog Friendly Neighborhood

Portland, Oregon has been called one of the most pet-friendly cities in America, and it's not hard to see why. With an abundance of pet stores, dog parks, pet-friendly restaurants, and dog walking trails, Portland is a pet owner's dream city. 

Our brokers are proud to live in a city that welcomes all our four-legged friends. If you're looking for your next home in the area, here's what you should look out for to know you're in a pet-friendly neighborhood. 

  1. Trash Cans
    We've all done it, but throwing your dog's poop bag in a neighbor's garbage can while you're out for a walk is a definite faux pas. That's why it's always great to live in a neighborhood with public trash cans on every corner. It's a sure sign that you and your pooch will be happy, and you won't have to be sneaky when you dispose of your dog's waste. 
  2. Dog Parks
    Dogs need places where they can run free, and a sure sign of a welcoming neighborhood is an abundance of dog parks nearby. In particular, look for dog parks that are clean and well-kept, with nicely cut grass and an absence of litter. If possible, visit during a time when the dog park is likely to be busy, and see if it looks like people are cleaning up after their animals and respecting the park. Some of our favorite dog parks in the Portland area include Mt. Tabor Dog Park and the off-leash area at Sellwood Riverfront Park
  3. Sidewalks
    They're easy to take for granted until you need one and don't have it. Sidewalks are essential for daily dog walks, so make sure your neighborhood has them! Bonus points if they're nice and clean, and free of cracks and potholes. 
  4. Services and Amenities
    When you see a lot of pet supply stores, vet offices, dog grooming services, doggie day-cares, and other pet-centric amenities, there's a good chance you're in a great neighborhood for pets. It's best if you can visit neighborhoods in person and explore, but Google Maps is a great tool for evaluating neighborhoods remotely. 
  5. Other Dogs
    Pet-friendly neighborhoods tend to attract people who have pets. So look around. Visit the neighborhood in the morning and evening, and see how many dogs you can see out taking their humans for a walk. In addition to the number of dogs you spot, take note of how healthy they look, and how many different breeds you see. A wide variety of dog breeds usually indicates a dog-savvy human population. 
  6. Dog-Friendly Restaurants
    A sure sign that Fido will feel right at home is an abundance of pet-friendly restaurants in the area. Portland certainly has plenty of them, with spots like Java Hound Coffee Bar, a coffee shop inside a pet shop, where you can enjoy treats for humans and pets alike. Be sure to talk to our team about more pet-friendly restaurants, bars, and cafes near Portland homes for sale. Even in shops where dogs aren't able to come inside, you'll usually see water bowls outside and pet-friendly patios. 
  7. Walking and Jogging Trails
    It's always good to get off the beaten path with Fido, and sometimes you get tired of walking down roads and sidewalks every day. Look for a neighborhood with easy access to plenty of urban hiking trails, bike paths, and greenways. Portland, for example, is home to 152 miles of regional trails that connect all different parts of the city. That's a lot of green space waiting to be sniffed and explored!

Contact us today to learn more about life in Portland, Oregon. As residents of one of the most pet-friendly cities in America, our brokers are committed to helping find the dream home for both you and your furry friends. 

May
11

7 Local Portland Restaurants for Takeout

Portland Takeout

Shelter in place orders may have all of us spending more time at home, but that doesn't mean that you can't still enjoy a great meal from some of your favorite Portland restaurants. With dine-in service off the table for the immediate future, ordering takeout, curbside pickup, or delivery from local restaurants is a great way to keep things fresh at home while supporting your favorite dining spots during a challenging time for small businesses. Ready to skip cooking tonight? Our brokers have you covered, with our guide to Portland restaurants offering takeout.

  1. Miss Delta – 3950 N Mississippi Ave., Portland, OR 97227

    As a long-time favorite located close to Portland homes for sale, you'll find that Miss Delta has everything you need to enjoy a great family meal at home. The restaurant specializes in Southern fare of all types, from jambalaya to po-boys. Miss Delta is currently offering takeout service via curbside pickup every day of the week, with orders placed online or by phone. With classic comfort food and delicious desserts, you're sure to find something to love on the menu. If you can't make it out for takeout, Miss Delta is also offering delivery options.

  2. Ecliptic Brewing – 825 N Cook St., Portland, OR 97227

    When you can't sit down at your favorite Portland pub, why not bring a little piece of the pub home with you? Ecliptic Brewing, known for its truly unique spins on all of your favorite styles of beer, is also a great place to grab a bite. You can still order takeout from the pub every day during lunch and dinner hours, with a menu that will appeal to everyone in your family. 

  3. Andina – 1314 NW Glisan St., Portland, OR 97209

    The kitchen at Andina is still turning out all of the Peruvian flavors that you know and love, with takeout available for dinner seven nights per week. Planning a stay at home date night? Andina is offering a meal deal for two, with your choice of two appetizers and entrees for an affordable price. You can order online, and gift cards are also available with some proceeds going to support restaurant staff who are unable to work at this time.

  4. G-Love – 1615 NW 21st Ave., Portland, OR 97209

    Billed as Portland's first-ever "reverse steakhouse," G-Love is a popular bistro that specializes in vegetarian and vegan fare. The team at G-Love keeps things fresh by partnering with a local farm, located an hour south of Portland, for all its ingredients. With a focus on sustainability, leftover ingredients are even sent back to the farm to be used as compost. You can order an extensive selection of menu items for takeout from G-Love, along with wine bottles and even cocktail kits to go with your meal.

  5. Carne – 2512 NE Broadway St., Portland, OR 97232

    While the popular live music scene at Carne is on hold for the time being, this Latin steakhouse is still offering all of your favorite meals for takeout and delivery. The restaurant is open Tuesday through Saturday during dinner hours, with special deals on meals for two and family meals. With steak, seafood, sangria, and tons of delicious appetizers, you're sure to find something to love on the menu at Carne.

  6. Yonder – 4636 NE 42nd Ave. Suite A, Portland, OR 97218

    Offering a mix of classic Pacific Northwest cuisine infused with the Southern flavors made famous in Charleston, Yonder is currently offering takeout from Tuesday through Saturday every week. The menu is packed with comfort food favorites, including fried chicken, that's as good as you'll anywhere in the country. With online ordering now available, it's easy to order your favorites for dinner anytime.

  7. Top Burmese – 413 NW 21st Ave., Portland, OR 97209

    When you're craving a delicious vegan meal, it's hard to top the selection of authentic Burmese cuisine available at Top Burmese, which is currently offering takeout, curbside pickup, and delivery seven days a week at both of its local restaurants. The menu here is filled with fantastic curries, soups, noodles, and so much more. 

When you call Portland home, you're never far from your next world-class meal from a beloved local restaurant. Contact us to buy and sell homes in the Portland, OR area.

May
4

How to Host a Virtual Game Night in Seattle

Virtual Game Night Seattle

Who's ready for a much-needed game night? Any night can be a virtual game night with a little help from easy-to-use technologies. Our brokers love game nights and thanks to technology there are many ways to host a virtual game night from the comfort of your home. Here's what you'll need for your own virtual game night in Seattle.

Tech Needed for Virtual Game Night

Before you decide which games you and your friends will play virtually, you must understand the different ways in which you can play these games online. There are essentially two ways to play games online — through video chat or through a dedicated game server. Both of these options feature free-to-use and pay-to-play functionalities. Video chat is as simple as it sounds — you'll use a video chatting system to play the game. The other option, a dedicated game server, involves playing a game through a third-party system.

How to Use Video Chatting to Host Game Nights Online

To use video chatting, you'll need a webcam and a video chatting service. There are a variety of video chat services that you can download on your computer, including Zoom, Skype, BlueJeans, and WebEx. All of these have mobile versions as well. Most Apple devices, like iPhones and iPads, also have their own video chatting service known as Facetime.

When you gather your friends, they all must have the same application to play together. For instance, one person who only has Zoom cannot play with another person who only uses Skype. You can play a variety of games via a web conference with or without physical board games. A game like charades or Pictionary can be played without legitimate board games. Even if a few of your party guests do not have a webcam, all of these video chatting apps have text boxes, so those with video can draw or act out while those without can answer via text.

Of course, there are many ways that you can play physical board games from afar. If all players each own a physical copy of the board game, they can play together and mirror the moves of each player. Here are a few favorites that are in many home game cabinets:

  • Monopoly: Imagine it, you and your friends can pause the game one night and easily continue it another night so you can play it down to the last dollar!
  • Clue: The classic who-dun-it is a quick and simple game that never gets old.
  • Risk: Similar to Monopoly, Risk requires time and patience.

How to Use Dedicated Game Servers to Host Game Nights Online

Playing traditional games via video chat can be loads of fun, but playing online with friends is perhaps even more fun through dedicated game servers. Any time you play a game online — via the computer, mobile phone, or gaming system — you're connected to the game's server. There are hundreds of games available to play online through game consoles like PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo DS, and thousands of other games available on the computer. For gaming systems or mobile games, all players must own or download the game. Here are a few of our picks:

  • For game consoles: Fortnight, Jackbox Games, Minecraft, Rocket League, Halo, and Animal Crossing.
  • For mobile phones: Words With Friends, Pokemon Go, and Best Friends Stars.
  • For computers: Ticket to Ride, Decurse, Sea of Thieves, and Stardew Valley.

Tips for a Memorable Virtual Game Night in Seattle

Just because you don't have guests over doesn't mean you shouldn't still create a party atmosphere. Encourage everyone to wear comfortable clothing and enjoy their favorite snacks while you play. Consider keeping your phone on silent so that you can be focused on having fun with your friends.

Another fun "online" game you can play with your family is to pick out your dream home in our listings for Seattle homes for sale. You can even contact us to schedule a virtual viewing!

April
20

9 Tips for Decorating Your Home Office

Decorating Your Home Office

Working from home is certainly a different experience than working in an office, and it brings many of its own challenges. Staying connected, staying motivated, and avoiding distractions can all be difficult when you're working from home. 

It helps to have a home office, a space dedicated to getting your work done every day. With a lot more of us working from home recently, our brokers have some helpful tips about decorating your home office. 

  1. Choose Your Space
    Not every room in your home will work as well as a home office. Ideally, you want to choose a room that's out of the way, far from the regular traffic in your house (especially if you have kids or a partner who also works from home). It's also best to choose a room that isn't also being put to another use. It should be your home office and only your home office.
  2. Let There Be Light
    If possible, try to choose a room for your home office that has a window that lets ample light in. Decorate the window with a light, airy vibe; ditch heavy drapes in favor of flowy curtails that let plenty of light in. Natural light is a great mood and creativity booster, and there's nothing better than having an office with a view!
  3. Expand the Space
    Dark, dingy spaces are not conducive to productivity. You'll get more done in a workspace that feels open. Since most of us aren't going to take down a wall to expand our home offices, the best way to open up the space is to choose a paint color that makes it feel more open. Your best option is a crisp off-white, which will make your office seem nice and airy but won't be too sterile. 
  4. Eliminate Clutter
    If your old desk at work was overflowing with a sea of clutter, consider this an opportunity to reset. Too much clutter makes it hard to concentrate, so take the time to eliminate all the unnecessary litter from your home office. You'll be amazed how much more work you get done! 
  5. Green it Up
    Bring some plants into your home office! They look great, help clean your air, and studies show that they make you happy. It's been proven that house plants improve your mood, reduce stress, and can boost creativity and concentration by up to 15 percent. This is partly because seeing greenery has the psychological effect of making us more calm and relaxed, but also because they release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide. 
  6. Make it Personal
    Your home office is your own space, so make it feel like it's yours! It should reflect your interests, work, and style. Bring in your favorite decor, family photos, kids' drawings, or anything else that makes it feel like your own little kingdom.
  7. Organize for Productivity
    Keep storage space in your home office as simple as possible. A few basic shelves and drawers are usually preferable to complex systems of organization, as long as it makes sense to do so. Feel free to be creative, though, and use the vertical space offered by your walls to your advantage. The idea is to have everything you need for work close at hand, but not to go overboard with cluttered storage.
  8. Keep Technology in Check
    It can be hard to avoid technology when you're working from home, and you can never keep things like your computer, printer, and phone completely out of sight. But you can hide unsightly cords. Use zip-ties to keep cords organized and as out of sight as possible, and try to run them strategically behind furniture.
  9. Make it Comfortable
    The furnishings in your home office should generally be as simple as possible. Just make sure you have what you need, and make it comfortable. This is especially true of your desk chair, which you're sure to be spending a lot of time in.

Contact us today for more tips on how to maximize the potential of your home. While many more of us have been working from home recently, our team still offers the best selection of Portland homes for sale, and we're committed to helping you live life to the fullest, wherever you may be!

April
13

Seattle: Enjoy an Orchestra Performance Anytime

Seattle Orchestra

There's nothing like enjoying a rousing orchestra performance, and you don't have to be at the concert hall to catch an amazing show. Staying home and staying safe doesn't have to mean missing out on listening to talented musicians. Our brokers have searched the globe to find seven orchestras and operas from around the world that are offering free online performances during these times.

  1. Seattle Symphony Orchestra
    Long a popular choice for a night on the town near Seattle homes for sale, the Seattle Symphony Orchestra was one of the first to offer free shows online. Their YouTube channel is packed with clips of songs from the best live performances of the 2020 season and years past, along with quick trips behind the scenes to show what orchestra life is like. If possible, the Seattle Symphony Orchestra will also be streaming live concerts on certain dates, so check back often to see when you might catch a full-length live performance. On the Seattle Symphony Orchestra website, meanwhile, you'll find a huge collection of encore performances, recordings, and "behind the stage" videos to enjoy.

  2. London Symphony Orchestra
    Starting with its first performance in June of 1904, the London Symphony Orchestra has been delighting audiences from across the world. The orchestra has performed countless times for royalty and features new shows regularly at the famed Barbican concert hall. Thanks to the power of the internet, now you don't have to be anywhere near London to see a show. The London Symphony Orchestra features a robust collection of recorded performances, many of which are currently available for free. 

  3. The Metropolitan Opera
    New York's world-famous Metropolitan Opera has been producing incredible performances for more than a century, ever since the first opera house opened on Broadway in 1883. And the music won't be stopping, even with coronavirus precautions in full swing. There will be streams of encore performances every night on the Met website, with a focus on shows from the past 20 years. 

  4. Berlin Philharmonic
    The Berlin Philharmonic has long been ahead of the game with its digital offerings, which include a detailed virtual tour of the Philharmonie Berlin concert venue. While the physical concert hall is closed, the Berlin Philharmonic has committed to bringing the music to you, instead. You can log into the digital concert hall to redeem your free, 30-day pass, and explore all that this storied orchestra has to offer. There are more than 600 concerts available, along with bonus videos, documentaries, and so much more.

  5. Detroit Symphony Orchestra
    If you wish to explore a wide range of different orchestral music, then the Detroit Symphony Orchestra is more than worth a look. Their website features a huge array of recorded performances, with easy sorting options by composer, genre, and orchestra season. Catch up on shows that you missed during prior seasons, relive your favorite performances from the comfort of home, and learn more about your favorite performers with the interview series. 

  6. Opera North
    One of the UK's most famous performing companies, Opera North, has made its stunning performance of Wagner's The Ring Cycle available for free online. Get lost in a story of gods, giants, dragons, and spectacular cities. Along with the performance, the website includes detailed information on each scene to help you learn more about this classic work. The Ring Cycle is a story about gods, but also the relationships between family members. Opera North frames the performance as only they can, and now it's available for the world to see.

  7. Budapest Festival Orchestra
    Overseen by director and founder Ivan Fischer, the Budapest Festival Orchestra has organized an aptly named series of "quarantine Soirees" featuring performances filmed at the organization's Rehearsal Hall. The performances feature music from Bach to Bozza, with a little Mozart in between. There are new live streams available from the Rehearsal Hall nearly every day.

The art, culture, and music of Seattle is always available to be enjoyed. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Seattle, WA area.

April
6

Your Ultimate Checklist for Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning Tips

The weather is warming up and now is the perfect time to open up the windows, evict the dust bunnies, and give the whole house a deep cleaning. Here are a few tips to help make it easier.

  1. Create a Plan
    Before you dive into spring cleaning, it's a good idea to start with a plan. Walk through each room of your home and make a list of things you notice that need attention. Also, think about tasks that you usually skip during your weekly cleaning and add those to your list as well. Once you have a master list, you can decide whether you can recruit the entire family and tackle it in a single day or if you need to create a schedule to get it done over the course of a couple of weeks. It's always important to be flexible, but a general plan will help ensure that everything gets done with minimal stress.  
  1. Gather Tools
    The last thing you want to do is get deep into cleaning mode and find out that you're missing something you need. You can prevent this by gathering up all of your important tools and supplies ahead of time. This includes:
    • HEPA vacuum
    • Steam cleaner or mop (or both)
    • Broom
    • Dusting materials
    • Paper towels
    • Boxes
  1. Declutter
    Decluttering is one of the first things our brokers recommend when people start thinking about putting their homes up for sale. Get a jump on it by making this a part of your spring cleaning chores. As you move from room to room, make sure you have boxes set aside so you can declutter as you clean. Label one box "trash" one "donate" and one "keep." When you reach the room where the "keep" items belong, find a place for them. Then, when you're done with cleaning for the day, throw away the "trash" box and put the "donate" box in your car so you can drop it off at your favorite charity. 
  1. Work from Top to Bottom
    As you clean, make sure you start at the ceiling and work your way down. This way, when dust and debris fall down, you won't end up having to re-clean areas. Begin by knocking down cobwebs from the ceiling, then dust the furniture, and, finally, clean the floors. 
  1. Tackle the Kitchen
    Deep cleaning your kitchen might be the largest task on the list. Start by defrosting your refrigerator and freezer, getting rid of all expired food, scrubbing it down inside and out, and dusting the top. Then go through your cabinets and pantries, throw away outdated spices and food, and organize what's left. Once that's complete, you'll want to clean your oven, microwave, and other appliances, dust the tops of your cabinets, move the trash can and clean the entire area.
  1. Take on the Bathrooms
    You probably give your bathroom a good cleaning each week, but spring cleaning is the time to take care of those neglected tasks. This includes:
    • Cleaning out drawers and getting rid of unneeded or expired cosmetics and personal care items
    • Steam cleaning your mirrors, sinks, countertops, shower, tub, and floors
    • Cleaning all of the kids' bath toys
    • Unclogging drains
    • Changing the shower curtain
  1. Straighten Out the Laundry Room
    The laundry room is often a neglected part of the house. Not only can a quick spring clean give it a nice new look, but it can also help you avoid potential fire hazards. Take this time to move your washer and dryer, clean behind them, and check your dryer vents. This is also a good time to clean out any cabinets or drawers in the laundry room. 
  1. Change Out Your Air Filter
    Last but not least, you'll want to change out the air filter on your HVAC system. This is one of the most important parts of spring cleaning, and it's also commonly overlooked. Taking care of this simple task will help you breathe better and may even bring you some relief from spring allergies. 

If you've been thinking about buying or selling a home in Washington or Oregon, we can help! Contact us today to discuss your goals and get started!

March
31

7 Ways to Support Local Businesses in Seattle

Local Businesses in Seattle

Small businesses do so much to support the communities that they're a part of, and during times like these it's crucial for communities to show the same support in return. With so many small businesses in Seattle forced to change their business models, stop serving customers in person, or drastically limit hours due to coronavirus precautions, your favorite local businesses need your support now more than ever. Even though visiting local businesses in person has become difficult, there's still plenty you can do to help! Our brokers know how important Seattle small businesses are to every neighborhood, and we've put together 7 ways that you can support your favorite local businesses right now.

  1. Support Neighborhood Restaurants by Ordering Takeout or Delivery
    While they currently cannot serve dine-in customers, many restaurants located near Seattle homes for sale are still turning out great food from the kitchen. You just might have to pick it up in a different way than usual. There are a ton of Seattle restaurants still offering delivery, takeout, or drive-thru service, so it's easy to support your favorites while getting access to great promotions in the process. Remember that tips are a major part of the income for many service workers, and tipping can go a long way. Even though you can't dine in, you can still leave a tip when you pick up your food in order to help the staff.

  2. Remember That Online Storefronts Are Always Open
    Retailers are feeling the pinch just as much as restaurants, and supporting your favorite shopping spots is simple even if you can't visit in person. Many local small businesses also offer online shopping and local delivery, so you can order your favorite items without ever leaving home. Even if you're just picking up basic necessities like groceries, ordering online and having them delivered helps you stay safe while supporting the community in the process.

  3. Be Patient and Remember That Small Businesses Are Doing the Best They Can
    Small businesses are doing everything they can to adapt to an ever-changing situation, and staffs are being stretched to their limit. When you do visit a local business or order something online, remember that the business is doing the best it possibly can to serve you. That may require patience because things can take a bit longer than usual, but it's worth it to support small businesses during trying times.

  4. Share on Social to Encourage Others to Shop
    If you're trying to find ways to support small businesses, you likely have friends who would do the same! Make it a point to share on social media when you shop at local small businesses, and point your online connections to businesses who are still serving customers. Many people want to show support but don't know how, so your sharing can make a big difference.

  5. Buy Gift Cards from Your Favorite Local Businesses
    Want to support your favorite businesses, but don't have anything you need to buy right now? Purchasing a gift card is a great way to infuse some cash into small businesses, and show your confidence in the local economy. You can hang on to the gift card for a rainy day, give it away as a gift, or donate it.

  6. Leave Online Reviews to Promote Small Businesses
    Just like with social sharing, online reviews are an extremely important part of the marketing mix for small businesses. So many people rely on reviews as a significant factor when choosing where to shop, so why not help out your favorite Seattle businesses by leaving a positive review online? It only takes a few minutes of your time, it helps other people find the businesses that you love so much, and it's an easy way to show your support.

  7. Avoid Visiting Businesses If You're Not Feeling Well
    While there's plenty you can do to help small businesses, it's just as important to remember what not to do. If you're not feeling well, regardless of whether you've visited a doctor, it's best to stay home, stay safe, and help the community stay safe, too. 

When you're ready to experience the community spirit of Seattle for yourself and find your next home in the city, our team is here to help. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Seattle, WA area.

March
16

5 Greenhouses in the Seattle Area

Greenhouses in Seattle

There's nothing quite like spending a warm, spring day with your hands in the soil, tending to a garden that will bring you joy throughout the coming seasons. Gardening has many health benefits, from reducing stress to burning calories, along with the incredibly satisfying feeling of watching all of your hard work come to life. As our brokers can tell you, a beautiful garden can also be a big help when selling your home, since curb appeal is a key component in making the all-important positive first impression. No matter what draws you back to your garden each year, rest assured that Seattle has greenhouses with everything you need to exercise your green thumb.

  1. Swansons Nursery – 9701 15th Ave. NW, Seattle, WA 98117
    It's never hard to find supplies for your garden close to Seattle homes for sale, thanks to great local greenhouses like Swansons Nursery. The team at Swansons Nursery loves helping gardeners of all experience levels bring out the best in their gardens, with seminars, clubs, classes, or simply friendly advice when you come in to shop. Swansons Kids' Club is perfect for connecting aspiring young gardeners with nature, while the cafe at Swansons offers fresh food from farm to table. Of course, you'll also find a huge selection of plants, gardening supplies, and art for your garden.
  2. West Seattle Nursery – 5275 California Ave. SW, Seattle, WA 98136
    Looking to turn gardening into a family activity? The West Seattle Nursery & Garden Center offers a robust program for gardening with kids, including a monthly gardening club and a large supply of gardening tools that are designed with children in mind. Adults love West Seattle Nursery too, thanks to the friendly, knowledgeable staff and a great selection of rare plants. West Seattle Nursery also offers consulting services for planning your garden, equipment rentals to help with your big gardening projects, tool sharpening to get your equipment ready, and classes to expand your gardening knowledge.
  3. Urban Earth Nursery – 1051 N 35th St., Seattle, WA 98103
    With a diverse selection of plants and a friendly, knowledgeable staff that loves to help gardeners of all experience levels, Urban Earth Nursery is sure to have what you need to bring out the best in your garden this year. If you're aiming to create an urban garden, this greenhouse is second to none. Find a diverse collection of unusual, hard-to-find plants, along with all of the supplies you need to create a beautiful garden in any setting. Originally a nursery dedicated to drought-tolerant plants, Urban Earth Nursery has grown larger but never lost its focus on offering plants that grow well in any climate.
  4. Ravenna Gardens – 2600 NE University Village, Seattle, WA 98105
    Established in 1997 as a friendly, creative neighborhood garden shop, Ravenna Gardens has since grown into one of Seattle's favorite spots for all things gardening. Visiting the shop feels a little bit like stepping into a lush, green jungle, with plants as far as the eye can see and unique garden art around every corner. Ravenna Gardens is focused on plants that thrive in the Northwest and is happy to offer helpful tips to bring the most out of your garden. You'll also find planters, pottery, outdoor furniture, and sculptures to add that perfect finishing touch.
  5. City People's – 2939 E Madison St., Seattle, WA 98112
    No matter the season, City People's Garden Store is sure to have that special something that you've been seeking for your garden. Every season brings a fresh selection of plants at City People's, and the team here is eager to show you all of their time-tested tips for Seattle gardening. There are free gardening workshops for the community nearly every week throughout the year, with useful tips for how to tend to your garden.

Still searching for the right Seattle home where you can create the garden of your dreams? We can help. Contact us to buy and sell real estate throughout Seattle.

February
10

7 Brunch Hotspots Near Portland

Portland Brunch Hotspots

You already know that Portland has a legendary culinary scene, but have you considered brunch? PDX has a brunch hotspot to suit every taste. From the finest French-inspired cuisine to the home-cooked joys of eggs, meat, and potatoes, it's easy to satisfy your brunch cravings close to home in Portland. Our brokers love local meals, and we've got the details on 7 of the best brunch destinations around Portland.

  1. Tasty n Alder – 580 SW 12th Ave., Portland, OR 97205
    make it easy to enjoy all of the delicious brunch destinations on our list, including the lovely Tasty n Alder. In the evening, Tasty n Alder is known as one of Portland's top steakhouses, and the brunch menu more than equals what you'll find at dinnertime. Executive chef John Gorham, who owns a variety of top-rated restaurants around the city, has created a brunch menu that incorporates cooking styles that he has learned while traveling the world. Mix in a huge selection of craft cocktails, and you have the perfect brunch destination close to Portland homes for sale.

  2. Hunnymilk – 1981 W Burnside St., Portland, OR 97209

    If you've ever visited the weekly Hunnymilk brunch pop-up on 28th Ave., then you'll be excited to learn that Portland's favorite pop-up brunch hotspot now has a brick and mortar location! The unique menu at Hunnymilk allows you to pick one sweet dish, one savory dish, and one drink to create a brunch that perfectly suits your mood. There are a variety of vegan and gluten-free options available, with every dish and drink created from fresh, local ingredients.

  3. Mother's Bistro & Bar – 121 SW 3rd Ave., Portland, OR 97204

    Owned and operated by executive chef Lisa Schroeder, Mother's Bistro & Bar is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing brunch with your favorite people. If you're looking for an elegant brunch spot that still offers a laid-back atmosphere, this is the place to be. Mother's serves comfort food, but never skimps on quality. The menu features local pork, beef, and wild salmon, along with European-style ingredients that add a dash of unique flavor to every meal. Mother's also features the Mother of the Month program, which includes special dishes inspired by each month's winner.

  4. Bijou Cafe – 121 SW 3rd Ave., Portland, OR 97204

    Looking for an upscale brunch spot that's big on flavor and unique dishes? Stop by the Bijou Cafe, where everything on the menu is as fresh as it is delicious. Serving delicious meals since 1978, the Bijou Cafe offers a menu packed with French-style cuisine, a style which owner and chef Kathleen Hagberg has honed over decades in the kitchen. Every ingredient is sourced locally when possible, and the menu at Bijou Cafe is always evolving.

  5. Milk Glass Mrkt. – 2150 N Killingsworth St., Portland, OR 97217

    If you'd like to enjoy a craft cocktail or fine glass of wine with your next brunch, be sure to visit the popular Milk Glass Mrkt. for your next late-morning meal. In addition to excellent cocktails, Milk Glass Mrkt. is known for its savory brunches and delicious dessert menu. Stop by for some homemade bread pudding or warm almond butter cake, right after you enjoy a fresh salad, sandwich, or egg plate from the simple, delightful menu at Milk Glass.

  6. Irving Street Kitchen – 701 NW 13th Ave., Portland, OR 97209

    With an extensive drink list and tons of great food fresh from the griddle, Irving Street Kitchen has everything you need to enjoy your next brunch outing. Irving Street Kitchen is a true brunch destination, offering a flavorful mix of your favorite morning and early afternoon meals. Try the famed Irving Street Kitchen sugar and spice donuts, which provide the perfect way to finish off your delicious meal.

  7. Radar PDX – 3951 N Mississippi Ave., Portland, OR 97227

    Famed for its warm, intimate atmosphere and a list of awards a mile long, Radar PDX consistently ranks as one of the top brunch spots in the entire region. While some brunch spots stick to a few select dishes, Radar PDX offers a huge selection of meals with plenty of options to customize your brunch. Mix in a great variety of cocktails, and it's easy to see why this spot is a local favorite.

When you call Portland home, your only concern with finding great food is how to fit in a visit to all of the amazing restaurants around the city. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the area.

January
20

Coldwell Banker Bain CEO Bill Riss Honored as one of the Most Powerful People in Residential Real Estate for 2020

bill rissBill Riss, owner and CEO of Coldwell Banker Bain, a leading provider of real estate brokerage services throughout the Pacific Northwest and a market leader in home sales in 2019*, has been named to the 2020 Swanepoel Power 200, a list of the most powerful people in residential real estate. Riss, owner and CEO of Landover Corporation, a holding company for Coldwell Banker Bain that operates 32 offices and posts $6 billion in annual sales, this year ranks 48th, up two from last year's 50th-place spot.

The Swanepoel Power 200 recognizes the industry's most innovative and influential leaders, key decision-makers, trendsetters and emerging leaders. Honorees are selected based on, among other factors, significance and contribution to the industry, geographic reach, growth potential and more. The ranking criteria can be seen here.

"It's always an honor, and one I don't take for granted, to be recognized as one of the many leaders in our industry, recognizing contributions to work and an industry that I love. But my success has always been a consequence of the combined talents and dedication of the professional brokers I've been privileged to work with," Riss said.

Riss, a Seattle native and University of Washington graduate with a background in mortgage and commercial banking, land development, new construction and brokerage management, is one of the most knowledgeable and resourceful real estate executives in the area.

*According to final 2019 statistics derived from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service data  (NWMLS).

January
17

Coldwell Banker Bain Releases Annual 2019 Pacific Northwest Market Report for Puget Sound, SW Washington and Oregon Regions

Coldwell Banker Bain, a leading provider of real estate brokerage services throughout Washington and Oregon, and a market leader in home sales in 2019,* releases its 2019 annual market report providing a variety of statistics for the sale of homes in neighborhoods and counties throughout the Puget Sound region and SW Washington and Oregon, as well as for segments including luxury and condos. This report reflects activity between Jan 1, 2019 and Dec 31, 2019.**

 

eastside report puget sound report seattle report
EASTSIDE REPORT NORTH SOUND REPORT PUGET SOUND REPORT SEATTLE REPORT
waterfront report south sound sw washington report oregon report
WATERFRONT REPORT SOUTH SOUND REPORT SW WASHINGTON REPORT OREGON REPORT

 

 

*According to final 2019 statistics derived from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service data (NWMLS), Regional Multiple Listing Service (RMLS) and Multiple Listing Service of Central Oregon (MLSCO).

**Information and statistics derived by CB Bain from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS), Regional Multiple Listing Service (RMLS), and Multiple Listing Service of Central Oregon (MLSCO) each quarter. Statistics not compiled or published by the NWMLS, RMLS, or MLSCO.

 

January
20

7 Crossfit Gyms in Seattle to Help You Get Fit

Crossfit Seattle

Does your workout program include SMART goals? Experts agree you have a better chance of reaching your goals if they're specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.

CrossFit is a popular exercise style that checks off all those boxes with a variety of challenging activities leading to overall fitness. Our brokers have the inside scoop on seven top CrossFit gyms around Seattle, where you can get your conditioning on.

  1. CrossFit Hinge - 1412 S. Henderson St., Seattle 98108
    Zach Filer and Adrianna Kara, co-owners of CrossFit Hinge, believe fitness should be accessible to all. Their 206 South non-profit organization provides sliding-scale memberships for adults and free programs for teens, so income isn't a barrier to good health and conditioning. In addition to group classes, private training is available to help you attain your goals. Classes are offered seven days a week.

  2. CrossFit Felix - 2211 5th Ave., Seattle 98121
    Whether you're a serious bodybuilder or weekend warrior, CrossFit Felix has the tools to help you succeed. The convenient downtown location makes it easy to fit in a class before or after work or even on a lunch break. Intimidated by super-buff instructors? In their bios, CrossFit Felix coaches share their least favorite moves, so they become more relatable. Choose from a wide range of individual passes and multi-session packages to fit any schedule and budget.

  3. Foundation CrossFit - 1415 12th Ave., Seattle 98122
    With its beginning in bare-bones classes at Green Lake Park, Foundation CrossFit is a grassroots operation. After moving to a modest facility on Lake City Way, Foundation CrossFit eventually settled in its current location with 6,500-square-feet of space and an extensive collection of state-of-the-art equipment. The unique Mobility/Recovery class is great for easing back into workouts post-injury or developing flexibility to avoid tight, sore muscles. Find out if Foundation CrossFit is for you by attending one of their free Community CrossFit classes that are open to the public.

  4. Ballard CrossFit - 6419 15th Ave. NW, Seattle 98107
    Do you enjoy dancing the night away at the club? Build strength and endurance with a different type of "clubbing" at Ballard CrossFit. Have fun doing handstands, ring work, and rope climbs in the Gymnastics Club or perfect your Olympic lifts in the new Barbell Club, starting in early 2020. Both clubs run six weeks with a fee of $89 for members and $150 for non-members. Practice your new-found skills during open gym time Monday through Saturday. Learn healthy eating habits through Ballard CrossFit's nutrition challenges and 1x1 coaching.

  5. CrossFit Amped - 399 114th Ave. NE, Bellevue 98004
    The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines "amped" as "full of energetic excitement and enthusiasm." That term perfectly expresses the feeling you'll have after a session at CrossFit Amped, just down the street from Bellevue homes for sale. CrossFit Amped is committed to matching you with a fitness program suited to your individual needs and skill level. Sign up for a free beginner's class on Saturdays at 11 a.m. to see how workouts are scaled to fit each student. CrossFit 101 is a three-week series of classes designed to bridge the beginner's class and full-on CrossFit sessions. Choose group classes or private instruction. 

  6. Elliott Bay CrossFit - 2211 3rd Ave., Seattle 98121
    Elliott Bay CrossFit has a mission to foster a close-knit community of dedicated and supportive athletes around Seattle homes for sale. With 30-minute one-on-one On-Ramp sessions, coaches make sure newcomers are safely focused on accurate mechanics before dialing up the intensity. Supplement your CrossFit routine with yoga classes to keep muscles supple while developing mental and spiritual well-being. Take advantage of Elliott Bay's free trial week to get a first-hand look at how they operate. Once you decide to join, select from several options with no long-term commitments required.

  7. CrossFit Deliverance - 4535 Union Bay Place NE, Seattle 98105
    It's never too early to learn good health and fitness habits. On the first Saturday of each month, CrossFit Deliverance offers Family Day when parents and kids can work out together. For only $249, the comprehensive Foundations Series includes everything you need to get a running start. Along with two months of unlimited group classes, you receive one-on-one fitness and nutritional coaching in addition to a customized meal plan.

From the first meeting to closing, we provide the highest level of services for buying or selling a home in Seattle. Contact us for more information.

January
13

Event Spotlight: Portland Seafood and Wine Festival

Portland Seafood Festival

No matter the season, you're never far from fresh, local seafood or a fine glass of locally produced wine when you call Portland home. The Portland Seafood and Wine Festival is an annual celebration of the area's amazing local culinary scene, with food, drink, and fun for the whole family. Our brokers are ready to dig in, and we've got all the details on what to expect from this year's Portland Seafood and Wine Festival.

Dates: January 31 – February 1, 2020

Location: Oregon Convention Center – 777 NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, Portland, OR 97232

The Portland Seafood and Wine Festival is a huge gathering, taking place at the Oregon Convention Center with more than 90,000 square feet of event space. Portland homes for sale offer easy access to countless great restaurants, and this festival is a chance to sample many of the best local spots in one convenient location. A portion of the proceeds from the two-day event goes toward supporting the Oregon Chapter of the National MS Society.

There will be tons of fresh seafood, along with wares from local distilleries, wineries, and craft breweries. The Portland Seafood and Wine Festival is also a family-friendly event, with face painters, balloon artists, and plenty of other fun activities to keep younger visitors entertained.

Seafood Spotlight: Local Restaurants Participating

The Portland Seafood and Wine Festival features nearly 200 local businesses, with something to suit every taste. We'll touch on a few of the top local restaurants and wineries participating in the event.

  • Asiatico Asian Fusion Sushi
    Family owned and operated since opening in 2011, Asiatico Asian Fusion Sushi has been voted best sushi in Lincoln County nearly every year since opening its doors. If you're looking for fresh, local sushi presented in ways you won't find in every sushi restaurant, then this is the place to be.

  • Pacific Crab Company
    The Portland Seafood and Wine Festival takes place in the heart of Dungeness Crab season, and the Pacific Crab Company is sure to have fresh, local crab prepared in just about any way you can imagine. With a no-frills focus on quality and decades of experience preparing fresh Oregon seafood, the Pacific Crab Company is constantly coming up with delicious, new ways to serve all of your seafood favorites.

  • Hapa Food Company
    With founders raised on Oahu and in-depth knowledge of Hawaiian culinary culture, Hapa Food Company will be serving up unique dishes that you'll find at the festival. Armed with a long list of old-fashioned family recipes that have been passed down for generations, Hapa Food Company brings the best of Hawaiian cooking to Oregon.

Wineries to Watch: Wineries Participating

  • Bluebird Hill Cellars
    Established in 2014 by husband and wife team Neil and Sue Shay, Bluebird Hill Cellars is committed to producing outstanding small-batch, hand-crafted wines. The team at Bluebird Hill believes in blending both the art and science of wine-making, creating each wine based on the character of the grapes that their small vineyard produces each year.

  • Denison Cellars
    With a long list of award-winning wines and a constant commitment to quality, Denison Cellars produces some of the best wine in all of Oregon. This winery creates a variety of dark, fruity, flavorful wines, and has received top ratings from many major wine publications. Pinot Noir is the focus here, with winemakers Tim and Denise Wilson drawing inspiration from wineries across the world.

  • Potter's Vineyard
    Winemakers Bill and Sandy Sanchez got the idea to start their winery while on a trip to Italy, then spent the following years learning everything they could about the process of producing top-rated wine. The result is Potter's Vineyard, where the dream of a husband and wife team has become a reality. Potter's Vineyard specializes in producing Oregon Pinot Noir, but branches out into a variety of other styles, as well.

The Portland Seafood and Wine Festival is a perfect example of why the city is such a fantastic place to call home, especially if you love great food. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Portland area.

December
23

5 Ways to Make a New Portland Home a Reality in 2020

Portland Home 2020

Is purchasing a new Portland home at the top of your list of goals for 2020? We don't blame you! Portland is an amazing city to call home, and now is a great time to shop for a home in the area. Setting goals is a great place to start when buying a home, but closing the deal will require action. No matter how much or how little experience you have shopping for homes, having a plan will help. Our brokers are here to help, with five tips for making your dream of a new Portland home a reality in 2020.

  1. Make a List of Wants, Needs, and Dealbreakers
    Portland homes for sale
    feature a ton of variety and having a strong idea of what you want ahead of time will make it much easier to narrow down your options. Create separate lists for what you need to have from your new home, which extra perks you want from the home if possible, and the potential dealbreakers. Then order your list by priority.

    While it will be hard to satisfy every item on your list, knowing your priorities makes it much easier to find the right home. You may find your list of priorities evolving as you visit homes, and that's perfectly normal. Revise your list as you get new information, and use what you learn to hone in on the right choice for your needs.

  2. Start Saving and Set Goals
    No matter which part of the city catches your eye and what type of home you're after, buying a new home requires a significant financial investment. Get ahead of the curve by starting to save right away, and setting aside extra cash from financial windfalls whenever possible. Set savings goals to reach throughout the year and keep progress moving in a positive direction.

    Remember, in addition to a down payment, you'll need cash to cover moving costs, maintenance, and all of the little things that come with buying a new home. Start saving an emergency fund along with saving for your down payment, so you'll be ready for anything.

  3. Clean Up Your Credit
    Securing a mortgage with favorable terms is so much easier when you have a strong credit score, and it's never too early to start cleaning up your credit when shopping for a home. Start by requesting a free copy of your credit report from the three major credit bureaus. Review your reports for any incorrect information, along with any credit issues that require your attention.

    Identify any old debts, take steps to address them, and make all payments on time moving forward. It's also a good idea to avoid opening new lines of credit.

  4. Become a Neighborhood Expert
    Portland is a diverse, vibrant city, and every neighborhood has something unique to offer. To be truly happy with your next home, it helps to pick a neighborhood that you love. Start by researching neighborhoods online, and if possible, visit the most appealing options to get a first-hand feel of what each neighborhood has to offer.

    Consider the services, attractions, and resources that you want close to home, along with the type of atmosphere that you desire from your neighborhood. Certain perks – like an excellent school district – can increase the value of homes in a neighborhood. This may mean a higher cost upfront, but homes in strong school districts also tend to hold their value. 

  5. Find the Right Real Estate Team
    No matter how much experience you have shopping for homes, no doubt finding the right real estate team will make life much easier. Ask around for referrals from trusted sources, and don't be afraid to speak with multiple agents before making your decision. Your real estate agent should be able to provide you with crucial information on local real estate trends, costs, and neighborhoods, along with answers to all of your key questions. Having a local expert on your side streamlines the process and helps ensure you find the right home for the right price.

Whether you're looking to purchase your first home in 2020 or upgrade to a new abode, our experienced real estate team is here to help you achieve your dream. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout Portland.

December
9

Holiday Happenings in the Portland Area

Portland Holiday Events

Whether you've lived in Portland for years or have only visited for a weekend, you already know that the City of Roses is full of fun events throughout the year. The winter season is no different as the city hosts dozens of holiday happenings that will fill your schedule with tidings of great joy. If you want to immerse yourself in holiday cheer, be sure to mark these fun festivities on your calendar throughout December!

  1. The Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition — The Square 701 SW 6th Ave., Portland, OR 97204 | Dec 13
    Do you love singing holiday songs? Then you've got to head to Portland's Living Room for the sixth edition of the yearly Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition. Once held downtown in the 90s, this free event returned to Portland a few years ago and is reestablishing itself as one of the best family-friendly festivities in town. Come down for a listen or warm up your pipes and enter into the contest with your favorite holiday tune!

  2. George Balanchine's The Nutcracker — Keller Auditorium 222 SW Clay St., Portland, OR 97201 | Dec 7 – 26
    One of the most iconic ballets to ever grace the stage, George Balanchine's The Nutcracker, will dance its way into Portland for most of December. Presented by the Oregon Ballet Theatre, twelve performances will take place at the Keller Auditorium, including some performances for those with auditory or visual limitations. A classic story that every theatre lover should attend, buy your tickets to The Nutcracker before they are sold out.

  3. Judy Collins Holidays & Hits — Aladdin Theater 3017 SE Milwaukee Ave., Portland, OR 97202 | Dec 17
    For over half of a century, singer Judy Collins has entertained thousands with her blend of contemporary and folklore songs. She makes her way to the Aladdin Theater this winter for an evening of Holidays and Hits. This all-ages event is sure to get even the most curmudgeonly of Portlanders in the holiday spirit.

  4. A Christmas Carol The Musical — Winningstad Theatre 1111 SW Broadway Ave., Portland, OR 97205 | Dec 5 – 22
    Can you call it Christmas without hearing the story of A Christmas Carol? Our brokers believe that the Charles Dickens classic is a must-see for every man, woman, and child to celebrate during December. The Winningstad Theatre is putting on a production of A Christmas Carol The Musical from early December leading up to Christmas. This refreshing variation of the traditional stage play brings music and song to the timeless story as Ebenezer Scrooge learns a powerful life lesson and the true meaning of Christmas.

  5. Crafty Wonderland Holiday Art + Craft Market — Oregon Convention Center 777 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Portland, OR 97232 | Dec 14 – 15
    Get your holiday shopping list completed at the Oregon Convention Center. The Crafty Wonderland Holiday Art and Craft Market returns with over 250 vendors selling handmade gifts. Jewelry, candles, bath and body care products, stationery, framed art, and so much more are on display. The perfect gift for your friends and family members is waiting for you at this exciting holiday marketplace.   

  6. Comfort & Joy: A Classical Christmas — Oregon Symphony 909 SW Washington, Portland, OR 97205 | Dec 18
    With a week left until Christmas, the Oregon Symphony wants to give you an evening of good cheer that will last into the New Year! The Comfort & Joy: A Classical Christmas special concert brings the community together for a happy celebration of the holiday season. Hear classic Christmas songs and sing along with your seasonal favorites.

With so many fun festivities around town, who wouldn't want to move into one of our fabulous Portland homes for sale? Contact us today to learn everything you need to know about buying and selling homes in the City of Roses!

December
2

Local Shopping in Seattle for the Holiday Season

 

Local Seattle ShoppingThe holidays are just around the corner — have you completed your shopping list yet? Our brokers love visiting the unique locally-owned stores throughout Seattle for one-of-a-kind gifts that our families and friends will cherish for years to come. If you're still searching for the perfect present for your loved ones, stop by one of these shops around Seattle.

  • LUCCA Great Finds — 5332 Ballard Ave NW., Seattle, WA 98107
    We've all got someone on our shopping list that has impeccable taste, and thankfully, LUCCA Great Finds is perfect for brilliantly designed gifts. They have a fabulous selection of home goods, stationery, bath and body care products, candles, and gifts for children. We love their home décor, especially their holiday-themed decorations that range from Christmas to Halloween and everything in between. Need a few holiday cards as well? Lucca Paperworks designs and prints their own greeting cards, which complement their unique offerings spectacularly.

  • Golden Age Collectibles — 1501 Pike Place #401 Lower Level, Seattle, WA 98101
    Calling all superhero fans! The world's oldest comic shop is located right in Seattle! Golden Age Collectibles has everything you need to spoil your child (or your loved one who celebrates their inner child). They've got tons of cool pop culture items like toys, games, photographs, movie scripts, novelties, and, of course, loads of comic books! Fly in and browse their heroic selection. Not sure which item would make the perfect gift? Tell the helpful staff which fantasy, sci-fi or superhero characters your friend or family member loves, and they'll direct you to the best collectibles.

     
  • The Pacific Northwest Shop — 2702 North Proctor St., Tacoma, WA 98407
    The Pacific Northwest Shop has region-specific gifts sure to please. Their locally sourced shop has specialty foods, drinks, clothing, books, DVDs, gift boxes, children's items, and bath and body goods. Unique offerings include glass pieces made by local artisans, gourmet food, huckleberry products, handcrafted Native American jewelry, and the best local coffee you've ever tasted. Whether you're buying for someone locally or shipping across the country, gifts from the Pacific Northwest are sure to please.
     
  • Magic Mouse Toys — 603 1st Ave., Seattle, WA 98104
    Fill a child's holiday with joy and cherish the wide smile they get when opening a gift from Magic Mouse Toys. This 6,000 sqft toy store is a dream come true for children and adults alike. Their two-storied shop is stocked with stuffed toys, books, puzzles, board games, costumes, and collectibles. Each item was hand-selected by their "Professional Children" to fill their Fantasy Emporium with the best toys. Magic Mouse Toys will even gift wrap your purchase for you so you'll be ready to give the gift of childhood to your special someone!

     
  • Red Wagon — 4218-B East Madison St., Seattle, WA 98112
    Do you have a young one of your holiday shopping list that loves toys? Then head over to Red Wagon, the specialty toy store that has kept children in the Emerald City smiling for the last decade. Their selection includes everything from toys and games to books and puzzles. Located in Madison Park, Red Wagon has a gift for kids of all ages! 

     
  • The Endless Knot — 2300 1st Ave., Seattle, WA 98121
    Every woman has a style all their own, and The Endless Knot is here to enhance that style with their contemporary clothing, handmade jewelry, and accessories. Take a trip to Belltown and browse their diverse collections, which include brands like Dex, HashTag, Rebel Designs, See U Soon, Six Crisp Days, and Current Air.

     
  • Butter Home — 1531 Melrose Ave., Seattle, WA 98122
    Looking for a gift that's fun and functional? Butter Home has you covered. This cozy shop has a lovely collection of items that you won't find in corporate chains. From hand-printed paper goods to jewelry handcrafted by talented designers, Butter Home features well-made, thoughtful gifts. You can browse some of their inventory online, but be sure to shop in-store as limited production items are only available in their brick-and-mortar location.

Would you like to spend next year's holiday season in a new house? Contact us today, and we'll show you the best Seattle homes for sale.

November
25

Portland Nonprofits to Support on Giving Tuesday

Portland Area Nonprofits

Our brokers invite you to join us and your Portland neighbors as we recognize and participate in Giving Tuesday on December 3rd. This annual global giving movement was created to celebrate the charitable season by encouraging individuals to donate to causes that impact their communities and the world as a whole. Countless organizations throughout Oregon make our state a better place, and we ask you to consider showing patronage to these fantastic Portland charities on this upcoming Giving Tuesday.

  1. Wheel to Walk Foundation — PO Box 20146, Portland, OR 97294
    Imagine giving children with mobility disabilities the opportunity to get the most out of life with the aid of assistive mobility items and other vital services. The Wheel to Walk Foundation obtains medical equipment and services for kids 20 and younger that insurance will not provide. All donations help these individuals lead a more convenient and accessible life, including everything from taking showers with bath chairs to getting outside activity with adaptive strollers and wheelchairs.

  2. On the Move Community Integration — 4187 SE Division St., Portland, OR 97202
    For those living with disabilities, it can be difficult to live a lifestyle allowing them to frequently interact with their surroundings. On the Move Community Integration helps adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities overcome these challenges by providing them meaningful, healthful access to their community through activities. Their programs include Community Inclusion Programs that engage these adults with the environment. Supported Employment Programs help them prepare for and secure, fulfilling employment. Plus, Personal Enrichment Programs offer one-on-one attention to help build positive relationships and achieve literacy goals. Generous donations of time or money help these adults feel welcomed and embraced by their Portland community.

  3. These Numbers Have Faces — PO Box 13056, Portland, OR 97213
    There are bright minds across the world that unfortunately do not have access to the opportunities they need to change our future. Thankfully, These Numbers Have Faces work to educate and equip Africa's brightest young leaders for successful development. With only 5 percent of Sub-Saharan Africans getting able to attend a university, These Numbers Have Faces provide ongoing support for talented scholars to complete their education. Impact Circles allow donors to fund and advise these youths throughout their university career so they can have hands-on involvement in their on-going success.

  4. Fences for Fido — PO Box 42265, Portland, OR 97242
    Did you know that you can change a dog's life forever in a single afternoon? At Fences for Fido, donors build fences for families to allow their dogs the freedom to run and play outside. In less than a decade, they've unchained nearly 2,000 dogs across Oregon and Washington. Monetary donations help fund these projects, and the organization also accepts hands-on volunteers who would like to build these fences to give a dog the life they deserve.

  5. Breast Friends — 14050 SW Pacific Hwy Suite 201, Tigard, OR 97224
    Breast Friends is a support group for women with cancer, composed of women who have survived or are managing their diagnosis. They're there to ensure that no woman has to fight this disease alone. With group and one-on-one meetings, Breast Friends are there to support not only those diagnosed but their family and friends as well. Cancer is, unfortunately common. Because so many have faced this trauma before, organizations like Breast Friends can provide the emotional support patients need to improve their quality of life.

  6. Potluck in the Park — PO Box 12443, Portland, OR 97212
    Each Sunday, the volunteers of Potluck in the Park work to provide hot meals to hundreds of hungry Portland residents in need. With special events like benefit concerts and Christmas dinners throughout the year, Potluck in the Park is a unique weekly charity event that unites and nourishes the community. Your donations help serve nearly 600 meals each week, ensuring that as many men, women and children as possible go to sleep with full stomachs.

  7. PlayWrite — PO Box 13420, Portland, OR 97213
    Art is a gateway to success, happiness, and stability for many young boys and girls. PlayWrite is a unique nonprofit organization of professional actors and coaches who work with one-on-one youth that may be overcoming obstacles in their lives. Their workshops provide one-to-one interaction as these young minds are taught how to explore themselves in a new way. At the end of each workshop series, the children perform in front of a live audience. Donations support these talented young performers and help cultivate the arts and culture scene of Portland.

We hope that you consider donating to one of these fantastic organizations on Giving Tuesday. If you'd like assistance viewing Portland homes for sale, contact us today!

November
18

HOA Pros and Cons: Know Before You Buy

HOA Pros and Cons

You've browsed the listings for Seattle homes for sale, and you've finally found the house that you want to call home! However, it's in a community with a mandatory Home Owners Association, and now you've got to decide whether or not the pros and cons of an HOA meet your lifestyle. Our brokers understand that an HOA is not for everyone. Even though you may have found your dream home, certain rules and regulations required by the HOA may prevent you from living the way you desire. Let's look at the common pros and cons of HOAs.

Pros of HOAs

  • Homeowner Associations Provide & Maintain Great Amenities
    Do you love swimming on occasion but not enough to keep up with the responsibilities of a swimming pool? Then an HOA might be for you. Along with pools, many HOA neighborhoods feature amenities like clubhouses, tennis courts, basketball courts, event rooms, pet cleanup stations, dog parks, and host events for the community. 

  • Your Home Will Likely Retain Its Value
    Buying a home is an investment that you want to protect. Because of their many rules and guidelines, homes within an HOA maintain a great appearance that makes them desirable to new buyers.

  • They Take Care Of Many Problems
    Imagine never having to mow your lawn because your HOA provides lawn care service. Imagine never having to resolve a dispute with a neighbor because the HOA mediates problems on your behalf. Many HOAs assume responsibilities for homeowners, especially those that may be tedious or unpleasant.

  • HOAs Streamline Your Monthly Bill Payments
    It's not uncommon for HOA fees to include your monthly expenses related to water, electricity, sewage, gas, and recycling or trash removal. Other costs associated with maintenance may also be rolled into the HOA fees, presenting you with fewer bills.

Cons of HOAs

  • HOA Fees Can Be Expensive
    One of the top reasons why homeowners do not want to invest in an HOA neighborhood is because of the high fees associated. No one wants to pay for a pool or gym that they never use. Set fees can also put homeowners in an uncomfortable financial position as they have no option to stop paying these monthly dues. If you do not pay your HOA fee, they can foreclose on your home.

  • HOAs Limit What You Can Do To Your Exterior
    Imagine buying the home of your dreams only to discover that you can't install a fence, paint your front door or plant a garden. Living in an HOA involves a contractual agreement that often prevents you from making changes to your home's exterior.

  • You're Also Limited To What You Can Do
    You may be unable to use amenities or have guests over during certain times of the day or night. The rules set by the HOA must be followed, which means you may have no control over how late you can use the gym or if your children can use the pool without an adult. Although you are paying for these amenities, you still need to abide by usage rules.

  • You May Be Unable To Rent Your Home
    For many homeowners, the option of using it as a rental property in the future is an appealing thought. Unfortunately, some HOAs prevent anyone other than the owner from living in the space. This means that if you ever choose to move, you may have to sell your investment.

  • Not All HOAs Are Top-Notch
    There's always a possibility that the HOA is poorly managed or makes decisions you don't like. The hope is that you and your family are benefiting from your HOA fees. There are some instances in which homeowners feel their HOA is not going above and beyond. Your HOA can also impose assessments on residents when they need extra funding for a specific project. Just like your monthly fee, you're obligated to pay for these assessments if they arise.

Home Owners Associations offer a lot of benefits such as stunning amenities, preserved property values, and convenient services. However, some homeowners believe that the HOA fees, lack of freedom in regards to home renovations, and inability to use this investment as a rental property overshadow the advantages.

Do you want a home in an HOA or would you prefer a house within an open neighborhood? Contact us today, and we'll show you the best Seattle homes for sale with and without HOAs.

November
11

8 Maintenance Tips for Your Portland Waterfront Home

Maintenance Tips for Portland Homes

While the City of Roses has a unique and colorful culture, one of the top reasons buyers consider Portland homes for sale is the proximity to our wonderous green spaces. Dozens of natural areas connect us with the refreshing sights, sounds, and smell of the great outdoors. Our REALTORS® are not surprised that many home buyers are searching for waterfront properties around the city. We've gathered this list of maintenance tips to help you keep your waterfront home safe and spectacular, especially as the seasons change.

  1. Insure Your Property
    Before we delve into routine maintenance, you should know how important the right insurance policy is. No matter how well you maintain your property, unexpected and uncontrollable events such as flooding can cause damage to your property. Talk to your homeowner's insurance provider to ensure that you have the appropriate coverage.

  2. Be Mindful of Humidity
    Humidity levels will change as you move from season to season, which is why it's important to stay aware of excess moisture. High humidity levels in the summer can create mold and mildew, which can continue to spread during the winter. Use a dehumidifier to reduce moisture and remove odors; also consider having a mold evaluation completed on your exterior once a year.

  3. Only Use Resilient Materials Outside
    If you're replacing your windows or constructing a boat ramp, lounging deck, and boathouse, any materials utilized outside should be designed to withstand severe weather. Metals may incur salt buildup or rust while certain woods may rot over time. When building or installing new structures, choose materials rated for variable changes in temperature and moisture levels. On all new and existing structures like decks, windows, and doors, make sure you're cleaning and inspecting their integrity regularly.

  4. Clean and Protect Your Outdoor Items
    Just as your structures can suffer from seasonal changes, your outdoor items can as well. Take care of all patio furniture by covering it when it's not in use and cleaning it regularly. Consider wrapping exterior wires with moisture-proof tape and keeping metal tools in your shed contained in sealable plastic bags to prevent them from rusting.

  5. Consider Pest Control Services
    Waterfront properties are a hotbed for animal activity including rodents, birds, and insects. Some of these creatures can wreak havoc on your home and cause significant damage to your roof, gutters, and other vital exterior elements. Invest in a pest control program that will prevent termites and other destructive animals from harming your property.

  6. Consider Landscaping Services
    Seasonal variations will cause water levels to rise and fall as well as greenery around your home to die out and regrow. To help remove all deadwood or intrusive plants from your property, invest in landscaping services that will preserve your foliage, and prevent intrusive growth.

  7. Weatherize Your Home
    You don't want to wait for winter to arrive before you realize that your home is losing heat. Enlist the help of professionals to evaluate your insulation, seal holes in your caulking, tune-up your HVAC system and assess your fireplace and chimney. By getting these areas of your home inspected before temperatures fall, you can make sure your home stays comfortable as the seasons change.

  8. Secure Your Property in the Winter
    If you only visit your waterfront property in the warmer months, you'll need to keep it secure while you're away. Turn off the gas and water. Unplug all appliances and empty your kitchen of perishable goods. Have your mail forwarded to your other address and let a neighbor know how long you'll be gone. After the home is locked up, you may consider leaving a key with a trusted neighbor so that can help you out should an emergency arise.

If you'd like to find the waterfront property of your dreams, contact us and we'll show you all of our amazing Portland homes for sale on the water.  

November
4

Vegan Restaurants in Seattle for National Vegan Month

Vegan Restaurants in Seattle

November is World Vegan Month — but that doesn't mean it's a vegan-only event! This official global celebration of cruelty-free lifestyle is an excellent opportunity for everyone to learn more about the veganism way of life. People choose a vegan diet to promote the humane treatment of animals, the protection of the environment or for health concerns.

Although vegan dishes do not include meat, dairy, eggs, fish or honey, there's one thing vegan meals are full of — great taste! Our brokers encourage you to celebrate World Vegan Month at one of these fantastic vegan restaurants in Seattle.

  • Wayward Vegan Café — 801 NE. 66th St. Suite C, Seattle, WA 98115
    There's just something comforting about eating at a family-owned diner. Perhaps that's why Wayward Vegan Café has been a beloved part of the Seattle community for fifteen years. Get your fill of breakfast favorites with a vegan twist like the Ex-Benedict or Suns Over Seattle. Stop by for lunch or dinner for a Chico Vegan Melt, Tempeh Reuben or Pacific Phil's Quinoa Extravaganza. Not only are their items vegan, but many are also gluten-free, so those with dietary restrictions will have no trouble finding a delicious option.     

  • Plum Bistro — 1429 12th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122
    Plum Bistro is Capitol Hill's most loved vegan restaurant. Their artful, upscale dishes display the true potential humble vegan ingredients possess. A must for Sunday brunch, Plum Bistro's brunch menu has everything from classic scrambles and French toast to plant milkshakes and breakfast sandwiches. Their lunch and dinner menus are just as fresh and tasty. Be sure to stop by during happy hour for small snack plates and drink specials.

    Head's up. There's more to Plum Bistro than meets the eye. Their main location also features Plum Chopped which functions as a food truck but is designed like a restaurant. They also have a location called Pantry by Plum Bistro at The Armory at Seattle Center, which is more of a casual vegan dining spot. Their delectable Sugar Plum sweetshop is located at both locations. Keep an eye out for the Plum Truck too, as it's often seen cruising around Seattle offering up grab-and-go vegan dishes!

  • Harvest Beat — 1711 N. 45th, Seattle, WA 98103
    If you're looking for an excellent vegan restaurant in Emerald City, Harvest Beat is hard to beat! They use the freshest local ingredients to unite the community of farmers and diners under one roof. They also strive to reduce their carbon footprint in everything they do, producing as little waste as possible. Their creative menu is influenced by whatever ingredients are in season, allowing the chef to plate a delicious meal using the best fruits, vegetables, and grains possible. Stop in for a five-course meal consisting of a soup and salad styled starter, a tantalizing appetizer, filling entrée, and a perfect dessert. They will also pair your meal with the best vegan wines or teas available.

  • Vegan Pizza Pi — 5500 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105
    Finding a good vegan pizza is a top priority for every vegan eater. Thankfully, the oldest vegan pizzeria in the country is located right in Seattle. Vegan Pizza Pi's tasty menu will convince you that meatless, cheeseless pizza is fantastic. Order up their Breadstix or cheese bread starter while you decide how to top your pie. Choose a size, a sauce, and tons of fresh toppings. Many kinds of cheese are dairy-free like their House Made Cashew Ricotta or House Made Tofu Feta. Trust us. Once you bite into a pizza from Vegan Pizza Pi, you'll realize that you can still get authentic pizza taste from modern vegan ingredients.

  • No Bones Beach Club — 5410 17th Ave NW., Seattle, WA 98107
    No Bones Beach Club has one powerful slogan — "Just cause it's vegan, doesn't mean it sucks!" With locations in Seattle, Chicago and Portland, hundreds of satisfied vegans agree that No Bones Beach Club is the real deal when it comes to the best vegan food. Their colorful menu of Bites, Greens & Things, Chomps and Brunchies will make your mouth water. Buffalo Cauliflower Wings and Amazeballs mac 'n' cheese balls are perfect shareables. While the Jackfruit Flautas, Pineapple Mavericks Burger and Beet Battered Avocado Tacos are so good, you'll want to keep them to yourself.

Even if you don't have a vegan diet, there are still choices you can make during World Vegan Month, like trying one of these great vegan restaurants. See a new side to the Seattle community you may not be acquainted with and enjoy delicious, locally-sourced, and cruelty-free ingredients. If you'd also like help shopping Seattle homes for sale, contact us today!

October
7

Seattle Waterfront Fun - Pier 54

Seattle Pier 54

Since 1988 Pier 54 has become one of the top tourist destinations in the Seattle Waterfront. Famously home to the flagship Ivar's restaurant, the pier has become a symbol of Seattle and is a central location for a fun day on the waterfront. There is no doubt that our Brokers like to highlight how vibrant and fun a city Seattle is, and Pier 54 contributes to that atmosphere.

Waterfront Fun Begins at Pier 54 

Pier 54 is a familiar sight for commuters as it is adjacent to the ferry terminal that serves popular destinations such as West Seattle, the Olympic Peninsula, and Vashon Island. This was why it was considered such a prime location for some of Seattle's oldest businesses. These businesses include such Seattle originals as:

  • Ivar's Acres of Clams Seafood Restaurant
  • Ye Olde Curiosity Shop Museum and Gift Shop 
  • Simply Seattle Gift and Souveniers
  • Kidd Valley Burger and Shakes
  • The Frankenfurter Hot Dog Stand

While the eateries do brisk business with commuters waiting for their ferries, these businesses provide a place for visitors to fuel up and get ready for a waterfront walk.

Pier 54 Nearby Attractions

As a gateway to the entire waterfront. Pier 54 is next to some of Seattle's most popular tourist attractions. Pier 55 features a variety of shopping opportunities such as the Seattle T-Shirt Company and Frankly Sweets, but it all revolves around Argosy Cruises. Argosy provides sightseeing trips in the Puget Sound that includes historical tours, shore excursions, and even whale-watching opportunities. After these day trips, many visitors like to refresh themselves at the Eliott Oyster House on Pier 55. 

Alaskan Way Makes the Waterfront Come Alive

As tourists continue down Alaskan Way past the Seneca Street and UnIvarsity Way intersections, the waterfront opens up not only to higher traffic but also in terms of dIvarsity of opportunity. Pier 57 is the heart and soul of the waterfront and possibly the most fun you can have with a view of the Puget Sound. Along with a boarding point for City Sightseeing Seattle tour buses, there are opportunities to see the city from a higher vantage point at Wings over Washington. There is also a full and vibrant arcade called Miner's Landing that includes:

  • The Seattle Great Wheel (Giant Ferris Wheel)
  • Vintage Carousel 
  • Games and Prizes
  • The Crab Pot Restaurant
  • Ice Creamery
  • Pirate's Plunder Novelty Gift Shop 

Make it a Day at the Seattle Aquarium

The massive Seattle Aquarium takes up Piers 59 and 60 and has just as much fun packed into it. A visit to the Seattle Aquarium will allow you to learn more about the beautiful marine life that calls the Pacific Northwest home. Featuring Sea Otters, Octopi, and a beautiful luminous jellyfish exhibit, it is a great place to take the entire family.

Exhibits give little ones the chance to get up close and personal with some of the more gentle creatures of the deep. While bigger kids can marvel at the 120,000-gallon exhibit and 360 degrees underwater dome. All proceeds will go toward education and conservation of the Puget Sound's marine environment. 

A Walk To Remember

This is just scratching the surface of the opportunities for fun and relaxation that the area around the southern piers of Seattle's waterfront provides for visitors to the Emerald City. Just up the hill is the many businesses of the historic Pike's Place Market and the downtown area, offering endless exploration, leisure, and shopping opportunities. For those who want to continue their journey down the waterfront, It is a beautiful walk on a summer day that is often bustling will streetside merchants and performers. On the other side of the waterfront, the Bell Harbor cruise ship terminals await for those who have been inspired to seek an ocean voyage.

The Seattle Waterfront is just one part of the gorgeous city of Seattle. Contact us to start your search for Seattle homes for sale to find the Pacific Northwest home of your dreams.

September
30

Get the Inside Scoop about Living in Oregon City

Oregon City

Located at the confluence of the stunning Willamette and Clackamas Rivers, Oregon City is a beautiful place to call home. The city still celebrates its pioneer spirit and features endless natural scenery to explore close to home. Oregon City is located about 13 miles south of Portland, with a mid-sized population and tons to do for fun. You'll find ample shopping areas in the city, along with delicious dining, fascinating museums, and plenty of outdoor attractions. Our brokers know Oregon City, and we've got the inside scoop on what it's like to call the city home.

  • City Life with a Suburban Feel
    Do you enjoy the perks of an urban lifestyle, but still want a suburban feel from your hometown? Oregon City has all the trappings of a large city, with a modest population of around 35,000 residents. It offers the perfect blend of urban, suburban, and small-town living. It's no surprise that a diverse collection of buyers continually shop for Oregon City homes for sale. Enjoy world-class dining, attractions, and events, without the population density of the biggest cities.

  • Outdoor Beauty at Every Turn
    Like its neighbor to the north, Oregon City is a fantastic place to call home for anyone who loves to explore the outdoors. Visiting Willamette Falls is a must, allowing you to see one of the largest waterfalls by volume in the country first-hand. The 42 foot tall, 1,500 foot wide Willamette Falls are a shining example of the outdoor beauty you'll find all around Oregon City. The city is also home to a vast collection of scenic parks. Take the time to traverse our nature trails, play your favorite sports, spend time on the water, or even take your dog for a walk.

  • Local Museums Bring a Pioneering History to Life
    Did you know that Oregon City was the first city to be incorporated west of the Rocky Mountains? It continues to celebrate the occasion at the annual Heritage Days festival. Don't miss the opportunity to explore local heritage sites and museums during the two-day festival. The End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive and Visitor Information Center is open year-round to elve deep into Oregon City's pioneering history. If you want to live in a city with a history of blazing its own trail, then there are few better places than Oregon City.

  • Delicious Dining and Craft Brews in Oregon City
    If you love locally sourced food, unique restaurants, and a robust craft brewing culture, then Oregon City is a perfect place to settle down. Restaurants in the area often have an international feel, with flavors from around the world. Grab an authentic Scandinavian meal at Ingrid's Scandinavian Food, or head to Pho Thi for all of your favorite Vietnamese flavors. Of course, you'll also find all of your familiar favorites, including some of Oregon's best pizza at Mi Famiglia Wood Oven Pizza.

    The craft brewing scene in Oregon City is just as diverse as the collection of local restaurants, with a variety of breweries, distilleries, and vineyards. Stop by King's Raven Winery to sample an excellent selection of locally crafted wines, and visit the amphitheater during the summer to enjoy drive-in movies with a glass of wine. Oregon City Brewing Company is your source for the best local brews, and great food to go with your beer. Trail Distilling was the city's first distillery and continues to produce award-winning spirits.

  • Shopping, Events, and Attractions in Downtown Oregon City 
    Whether you're looking for food, shopping, family fun, or local events, downtown Oregon City is the place to be. Enjoy a selection of special events throughout the year, from car shows to pub crawls and kid-friendly activities. Shop at a diverse collection of unique, locally owned businesses, where you can always find the perfect gift or item for your home.

  • Access to Two of Oregon's Best Cities
    There's so much to see and do in Oregon City that you'll never have to travel far from home for fun. However, with Portland located only 13 miles to your north, you'll be able to experience the best of both cities whenever you like.

Ready to start shopping for a home of your own, where you can enjoy all that Oregon City has to offer throughout the year? Our team is here to help. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Oregon City, OR area.

September
23

10 Things to Know About Living in Kent Washington

Kent Washington

Just a short drive from Seattle, homebuyers are heading to Kent, to escape the hustle and bustle of its nearby "big sister." Kent ranks at the top of the list of fastest-growing cities in King County. Kent is a dynamic, growing community, with a population of just under 130,000 people and plenty for residents of all ages to do for fun. Living in Kent makes it easy to explore all that King County has to offer. Our brokers know Kent, and we've put together ten things you need to know about life in the city.

  1. A Mix of Small Town Style and Big City Amenities
    Are you searching for a city with all of the perks of urban life but skipping the traffic and population density of larger cities? Kent homes for sale offer an appealing alternative to other nearby cities, with an urban layout and a small-town feel. That's especially evident downtown, where you'll find locally owned businesses that treat regulars like family. Kent also boasts all of the outdoor beauty of scenic, smaller communities with its collection of parks and outdoor spaces that make it easy to connect with nature in the city.

  2. A Piece of Kent Is Still on the Moon Today
    Make that three pieces, to be precise! Kent played a key role in the Apollo missions to the moon, building three of the rovers that astronauts used to explore the lunar surface. All three of those Lunar Rovers remain on the surface of the moon today, providing a constant reminder of what makes Kent special.

  3. The King County Annexation Initiative Helps Kent Grow
    Kent is part of the King County Annexation Initiative, which aims to add unincorporated areas to existing city limits. This program benefits both Kent and the areas annexed by the city. Unincorporated areas gain the benefit of being part of an incorporated city, while the city benefits through growth, new attractions, and new residents.

  4. Get a Great Workout at the Kent Community Center
    Whether you're looking for a workout or the perfect place to host a local event, the Kent Community Center has you covered. The Community Center features ten large meeting spaces, two full-size gyms for basketball, exercise facilities, lockers, showers, and dedicated areas for exercise classes.

  5. Kent's Park System Is Second to None
    In addition to the Community Center, Kent is home to a huge collection of parks to suit every interest. There are more than 75 parks and outdoor facilities in Kent, including playgrounds, public parks, skate parks, trails, green spaces, waterfront areas, and recreation facilities. Many of the local parks host sports leagues and a wide variety of other community events.

  6. International Cuisine and Delicious Local Dining
    When you're looking for great dining, downtown Kent is the place to be. The city is home to a diverse collection of international dining spots, with flavors from around the world. Try an authentic Thai meal at Banyan Tree, sample food from around the globe at Ubuntu Street Cafe, or dive into delicious desserts at Punjab Sweets.

  7. Living in Kent Means Easy Access to Three Great Cities
    You won't have to travel far to find all of the attractions and services you need. Kent is smack dab in the middle between Seattle and Tacoma. So living in Kent makes it easy to explore everything that our corner of Washington has to offer.

  8. Easy Access to Highways and Public Transportation
    In addition to offering a central location, Kent provides easy access to highways and public transportation to get you where you need to go. King County Metro Transit will take you directly to downtown Seattle, and it's easy to commute on your own on Interstate 5 and other major highways. The Sounder Commuter Rail also has stops in Kent, so you have plenty of choices for transportation.

  9. The Downtown Partnership Brings New Attractions to Kent
    Kent's downtown is already a popular gathering place, and the Downtown Partnership helps makes sure that there's always something new to try in the city. The partnership was formed to revitalize downtown Kent and has been doing great work for decades.

  10. Local History Is All around You in Kent
    Kent has a long, unique history dating back more than 200 years, and the Kent Historical Society does a fantastic job of chronicling local history. You can visit the history museum, or stop by the society's booth at the popular Kent Farmers Market.

Are you ready to start shopping for a home that allows you to enjoy all of the things that make life in Kent so unique? Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Kent, WA area.

September
16

The Pearl District is a Portland Treasure

Pearl District Portland

Are you searching for a Portland neighborhood that has it all, from safe family fun to some of the city's best nightlife? The Pearl District is a true Portland treasure, and a favorite spot to visit for residents of all ages. It's home to a huge collection of world-class restaurants, amazing art galleries, one-of-a-kind boutiques, and beautiful parks. The Pearl District is also a fantastic example of Portland's commitment to revitalization, after undergoing a truly amazing transformation over the past 25 years to become one of the hottest spots in the city. Our brokers know Portland, and we've got all the exciting details on what awaits you in the dynamic, vibrant Pearl District.

Calling the Pearl District Home

The Pearl District is one of Portland's most in-demand neighborhoods, and living in the Pearl District certainly comes with more than its share of perks. If you want to live in a place where everything is within walking distance, and you'll always have something new to experience, then the Pearl District is for you. While this corner of the city doesn't have many detached, single-family homes, there are tons of great apartments, condos, townhomes, and other dwellings to choose from in the area. When you live in the Pearl District, Portland's best boutiques, dining spots, and nightlife are all just a short walk from your front door.

Why All of Portland Comes to the Pearl District

Don't worry. The Pearl District is easy to visit even if you decide to shop for Portland homes for sale in another part of the city. It's located just a few blocks from downtown Portland, and public transportation makes it easy to reach the Pearl District anytime. Visitors from throughout the city and beyond flock to the Pearl District to experience all of the shopping, food, outdoor fun, and entertainment the neighborhood offers.

Visit Boutique Shops and Amazing Art Galleries

If you love to shop local, then the Pearl District will be a little slice of heaven. This part of the city is home to some of Portland's best boutique shops. Powell's City of Books, located in the Pearl District, is one of the largest independent bookstores in the world, and a popular stop for residents of all ages. If you love art, stop by on the First Thursday of any month, when the Pearl District's huge collection of world-class art galleries host a popular gallery walk. Whether you're looking for clothing, art, entertainment, antiques, or just about anything else under the sun, you can find it at Pearl District shops.

Delicious Dining and Exciting Nightlife in the Pearl District

Did we mention that the Pearl District is a foodie's dream? The list of top-rated Pearl District restaurants is a mile long, with flavors from around the world. Grab something sweet from Lovejoy Bakers, or head to Irving Street Kitchen for a meal you won't soon forget. If craft brews, great times, and nightlife are more your speed, head to the Brewery Blocks to sample the work of Portland's best craft breweries.

Family Fun in the Pearl District

The Pearl District features fun for all ages, including loads of activities that kids will love. PlayDate PDX is an especially popular spot for children, with a huge indoor playground and plenty for adults to do while kids play. Families also love spending time at the many great parks located in the Pearl District. Jamison Square was one of the first places to be redeveloped in the neighborhood, with public art, beautiful water features, and a fountain where kids can play in the water. Tanner Springs Park features more outdoor beauty to explore, with wetlands, walking trails, and outdoor art. You'll also find a busy schedule of fun, family-friendly special events at parks and public spaces throughout the Pearl District.

A Shining Example of Revitalization in Portland

One of the great things about living in Portland is that the city is always growing, striving, and building toward something better. About 30 years ago, the Pearl District was a largely overlooked corner of the city, home to abandoned warehouses and work yards. After extensive redevelopment, the Pearl was reborn into the amazing center of commerce, dining, culture, and entertainment that residents enjoy today. While the Pearl District has been totally transformed, the work never really ends. That means there's always something new and exciting to experience when you visit the Pearl District.

Are you ready to find a home of your own, close to all of the action and family fun in Portland's Pearl District? Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Portland, OR area.

September
9

Pike Place Market - the Heart of Seattle

Pike's Place

If Seattle is the heart of the Pacific Northwest, Pike Place Market is its soul. This bustling, energetic attraction in the core of the city is virtually its own neighborhood, serving as a top draw for tourists and locals alike. 

What makes Pike Place Market such a must-see spot in one of the country's most vibrant cities? Join our brokers as they take a deep dive into the history, tradition, and appeal of Seattle's iconic marketplace.

History of Pike Place Market

During the early 1900s, Seattle was making the transition from frontier town to an urban center. The rapidly growing population created a strong demand for fresh produce, dairy products, meat, and other food items from nearby farms.

Unscrupulous wholesalers took advantage of the situation, paying farmers next to nothing and selling the goods alongside the downtown waterfront at exorbitant prices. Thanks to a proposal from City Councilman Thomas Revelle, Seattle decided to create a public marketplace where farmers could sell directly to consumers.

The fledgling market, located on newly-named Pike Place, opened for business on August 17, 1907, making it one of the country's oldest continually-operated public farmers' markets. Permanent arcades were constructed to house the vendors along with an eclectic mix of artists, activists, and eccentrics who began to gather regularly.

"Save the Market"

Sadly, the internments of World War II led to most of the Market's occupants being forced away. In 1941, Italian farmer Joe Desimone purchased the arcades and temporarily resurrected the Market, but post-WWII suburban sprawl resulted in a severe business downturn.

The Market was on the docket for demolition in the 1960s until architect Victor Steinbrueck founded a movement to "Save the Market." On November 2, 1971, Seattle voters approved a measure designating Pike Place Market as a nine-acre historic district.

Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority

Today the Market falls under the management of Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority (PDA),  a non-profit public corporation chartered by the city in 1973. In addition to maintaining the Market's physical structures and supporting its businesses, the PDA is charged with providing residential housing and services for low-income people within the district.

As part of PDA's mission, Pike Place Foundation was established in 1982. During its lifetime, the Foundation has granted more than $30 million to support the Market's Senior Center and Food Bank, Childcare and Preschool, Clinic and other neighborhood services.

The Foundation's hallmark is its mascot, Rachel the Piggy Bank, "born" in 1986. This 550-pound life-sized bronze piggy bank, located under the Market's signature sign and clock, is a favorite spot for photo opportunities and donations. Rachel's cousin Billie has held a spot of honor on the Market's waterfront since 2016. Be sure to rub their snouts for good luck!

Notable Market Vendors, Restaurants and Shops

When it comes to shopping at the Market, you can find everything from soup to nuts. Some of the vendors have taken on celebrity status.

  • Coffee legend Starbucks has become synonymous with Seattle, and you can visit the Market location where it all began.
  • Even people who have never been to the Market know about Pike Place Fish Market, aka "where they throw the fish." Nearly every mention of Seattle on national TV includes a shot of the fishmongers tossing customer purchases over to the wrapping counter.
  • Watch the artisans at Beecher's Homemade Cheese, create their award-winning products, including the Flagship variety. Beecher's has become so popular that they opened an outpost in New York City's Flatiron District.
  • Fresh ingredients call for top-quality tools and utensils. Pick up some great new gadgets at the original location of gourmet kitchen store Sur La Table. 
  • Three Girls Bakery is not only the longest continually operating business in the Market, but it's also the first business licensed to a woman in Seattle.
  • In Sleepless in Seattle, Tom Hanks and Rob Reiner famously discuss tiramisu over clams and beer at the Market's Athenian Seafood Restaurant & Bar.
  • Pike Place Chowder's soup is the best on both coasts. The soup won the title of "Best New England Clam Chowder" at Westport, Connecticut's Chowdafest four years in a row.
  • Seattle restaurateur Tom Douglas claimed victory over Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto on Food Network's classic completion show. His empire includes popular Market eateries Etta's, Seatown Market Diner and Rub with Love Shack.

Seattle homes for sale may seem like a dream, but they can easily become your reality. Contact us at Coldwell Banker Bain for experienced help with all your Seattle real estate needs.

August
26

Portland: 10 Gyms and Fitness Centers

Getting Fit in Portland

Portland Fitness Centers & Gyms
Portland is known as one of the most active, healthy cities in the country, with a population that loves a good workout. Many residents ride their bikes to work and spend time exercising in the city's beautiful outdoor spaces. There are also a ton of great gyms and fitness centers in the area, whether you're looking for a traditional workout or a fresh, unique way to stay in shape. Our brokers know the benefits of a local workout, and we've got the details on ten of the best gyms and fitness centers in the Portland area.

Portland Fitness Indoor Cycling

  1. Burncycle – 910 NW 10th Ave., Portland 97209
    With a convenient location in the Pearl District, Burncycle is the place to be when you're looking for an indoor cycling workout. There are a number of locations throughout the city, with the flagship Pearl District location featuring nearly 50 bikes in a 2,300 square foot studio. Embrace the benefits of cycling, and work out with a positive, like-minded group of exercise enthusiasts.

  2. Urban Pilates – 2915 NE Alberta St., Portland 97211
    Get ready to sweat at Urban Pilates, where you can participate in Authentic Pilates workouts designed to the specifications of Joseph Pilates himself. This facility features both equipment and workouts that stay true to the vision of the man who created the program. Enjoy energetic, challenging classes, or sign up for teacher training to become an instructor yourself.

  3. Pulse PDX – 3602 NE Sandy Blvd., Portland 97232
    Sometimes, the best workouts don't feel like a workout at all. That's definitely the case at Pulse PDX, where every workout feels like a night on the town. Pulse specializes in dance-centric workouts, which are held in a dimly lit room, with dance music and lights. It's part workout, part nightclub, and the regulars wouldn't have it any other way.
    Portland Fitness Kickboxing
  4. 9Round Fitness – 21 South State St., Lake Oswego 97034
    Looking for a workout close to Lake Oswego homes for sale? Make time to visit 9Round Fitness, where you can stay fit with engaging kickboxing workouts. 9Round is a great spot for a quick, hard-hitting workout, with classes that are sure to get the blood pumping. Fit in a 30-minute workout, and leave plenty of time to enjoy all that the city has to offer.

  5. Fulcrum Fitness – 3934 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd., Portland 97212
    Are you searching for an inclusive, encouraging gym where everyone is made to feel welcome? Look no further than Fulcrum Fitness, where instructors are truly invested in your health and well-being. Participate in team or small-group training, then enjoy a massage on-site after your workout.
    Portland Fitness Yoga
  6. Fuel – 826 SW 2nd Ave., Portland 97204
    Yoga is an amazing workout for both body and mind, and you'll find no shortage of top-notch yoga facilities in the Portland area. Fuel is one of the best-known yoga spots in the city, with classes ranging from beginner to expert. Get a great workout and build flexibility in an encouraging, community-focused setting.

  7. Firebrand Sports – 500 NW 14th Ave., Portland 97209
    Searching for a workout that covers all the bases, from core strength to cardio? The Lagree fitness programs at Firebrand Sports touch on every aspect of fitness, in a fun, engaging setting. Fireband also offers the challenging Triple-Threat workout, along with Urban Row classes.
    Portland Fitness Pickleball
  8. Hillendale Pickleball – 13216 Roseberry Ave., Oregon City 97045
    If you're looking for a unique workout near Oregon City homes for sale, stop by Hillendale Park to participate in the Hillendale Pickleball Club. There's a pickleball league to enjoy throughout the summer months, along with tons of courts for open play no matter the season. Learn the ropes of a new sport, and get a great workout in the process.

  9. Point Gym and Kitchen – 1115 SE Salmon St., Portland 97214
    Portland homes for sale 
    make it easy to reach many of the destinations on our list, including the popular Point Gym and Kitchen. In addition to providing a diverse variety of workouts and a huge selection of gym equipment, this spot is an excellent place to learn more about healthy eating.
    Portland Fitness Climbing
  10. The Circuit Bouldering Gym NE – 410 NE 17th Ave., Portland 97232
    Climbing is one of the most popular workouts in Portland – both indoors and outside. The Circuit Bouldering Gym, with locations throughout the city, provides the perfect place to climb indoors. With walls ranging from 8 to 17 feet and a huge variety of terrain, this is a great spot for climbers of all skill levels.

Portland Fitness Center & Gyms Running

Living in Portland means that you're never far from a great workout, whether you want to hit the gym or break a sweat in the great outdoors. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Portland, OR area.

August
19

8 Great Places in Seattle for Ice Cream

Seattle Ice Cream Shops
Summer means different things to different people, but there's one thing we all can agree on – it's a great time to eat ice cream. If you happen to be in Seattle looking for the perfect home (and cone to cool you off), then you're in luck. You'll find some of the best ice cream shops in America right down the road from these Seattle homes for sale. Our brokers take a quick look at eight spots you'll hear locals raving about.

Seattle Great Ice Cream Places

  1. Bluebird Ice Cream, 7400 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103
    A Seattle mainstay for small-batch gourmet ice cream and house-brewed sodas, Bluebird Ice Cream is a great place for classic flavors as well unique ice cream concoctions. This locally-focused shop makes a lot of its flavors using ingredients from neighboring businesses, like Theo Chocolate Chunk and Caffé Vita Coffee. Bluebird operates a craft brewery as well, so you have the option of trying some wild beer-flavored experiments like Elysian Stout ice cream, or a float with a scoop of vanilla in a glass of Chocolate Cherry Porter. 

  2. Kurt Farm Shop, 1424 11th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122
    This Capitol Hill gem offers ice cream made with milk from their own Vashon Island cows. The ice cream is churned to perfection, and even the flavors, like Lemon Verbena, Rose Geranium, and Triple Crown Blackberry, come from the farm. Kurt Farm Shop offers cones and pints to go, as well as custom ice cream sandwiches for private parties. 

    Seattle Ice Cream Shops
  3. Frankie & Jo's, 1010 E Union St, Seattle, WA 98101
    Seattle is one of the most vegan-friendly cities in America, so plant-based eaters have a lot of reasons to be happy in our neck of the woods. One of those reasons is Frankie & Jo's, a completely vegan and gluten-free ice cream shop where every bite is just as creamy and satisfying as the real thing. Flavors like Chocolate Tahini Supercookie and Gingered Golden Milk prove that ice cream made from plants is still very, very delicious. Head to Capitol Hill to see for yourself, or check out their second location in Ballard. 

  4. Full Tilt Ice Cream, 4759 Brooklyn Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98105
    Equal parts ice cream shop, craft beer bar, and pinball arcade, Full Tilt Ice Cream delivers a complete party experience for kids and grown-ups alike. Featuring one of the best collections of new and vintage pinball machines in Seattle, Full Tilt also offers a dizzying array of ice cream flavors, from salted caramel to huckleberry. With locations in the U-District as well as Capitol Hill, Columbia City, and Ballard, there's always great ice cream nearby, no matter what part of Seattle you're in. 

  5. Rachel's Ginger Beer, 1530 Post Alley, Seattle, WA 98101
    As you might guess from the name, ice cream isn't the star attraction at this iconic Seattle soda spot, but you haven't lived until you've cooled off with a ginger beer float. The ginger beer has a bit more kick than regular ginger ale, and a dollop of vanilla ice cream perfectly balances it out. Check out the original Rachel's Ginger Beer location in Pike Place Market, or visit their 12th Avenue or University Village locations. 

    Seattle Gelato
  6. Nutty Squirrel Gelato, 7212 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103
    With locations in Phinney Ridge and Maple Valley, Nutty Squirrel Gelato offers a locally-focused take on classic Italian gelato. With ingredients sourced from right here in the Pacific Northwest and a wide assortment of flavors both traditional and trendy, there's always something new to try. Roasted Almond, Sea Salt Caramel and Turkish Coffee are perennial favorites. 

  7. Salt & Straw, 714 E Pike St A, Seattle, WA 98122
    Seattle's local branch of Portland-based ice cream chain, Salt & Straw, offers creamy, gooey ice cream perfection in the form of a sprawling menu packed with all-time favorites and new, weird concoctions are made from local ingredients. Seasonal berry flavors like Goat Cheese Marionberry Habanero and Mayer Lemon-Blueberry are highlights of the summer menu. 

  8. Seattle Cookie Counter, 7415 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103
    Another great case for why vegan ice cream is as good as its dairy-based cousin, Seattle Cookie Counter got its start as a mobile dessert operation, slinging cookies and ice cream cones from the back of a VW bus, before settling down in its permanent Greenwood location. Classic ice cream flavors and rotating seasonal favorites are always on the menu, but we recommend starting with an ice cream and cookie sandwich and washing it back with a drink from the espresso bar. 

Make Seattle Home
Whether you're looking for the perfect ice cream cone or your next dream home, Seattle is a great place to find it. Contact us today to learn more about living life to the fullest in Seattle, WA!

August
12

Home Buying in Portland? Check Out These 10 In-Demand Neighborhoods

Portland In-Demand Neighborhoods
No matter what corner of the city you call home, there's no doubt that Portland is a fantastic place to live. The city is laid back, and filled with attractions. Residents can explore the outdoors at every turn, with a robust network of trails, bike paths, parks, and public spaces. There are so many great Portland neighborhoods to choose from, each with its own attractions, local businesses, and lifestyle. Our brokers have the details on ten of the most in-demand neighborhoods in Portland where you can find your next home.

10 In-Demand Portland Neighborhoods

Sellwood Bridge

  1. Sellwood Moreland
    Located on the southeastern edge of the city, the Sellwood Moreland neighborhood has long been a popular place to shop for a home in Portland. This neighborhood began life as a mill town on the outskirts of the city, before becoming part of Portland as it grew larger. Today, Sellwood Moreland maintains its small-town charm, while offering easy access to all the attractions of the big city and some of the state's top-ranked schools.


    Portland Pearl District

  2. Pearl District
    A shining example of Portland's commitment to urban renewal, the Pearl District has grown from humble beginnings into one of the hottest spots to shop for homes in the city. This neighborhood has transformed over the years and is home to some of the city's most popular restaurants, boutique shops, art galleries, and local businesses. Spend your days shopping, dining, and exploring beautiful outdoor spaces.

  3. Nob Hill
    One of the city's oldest neighborhoods, Nob Hill offers many of the charms of the Pearl District, along with a wide selection of architecture when you're shopping for a home. This neighborhood features tons of long-time local businesses, catering to the diverse demographics of Nob Hill. Explore local dining spots, shops, and more, while living in one of Portland's most in-demand neighborhoods.

  4. Goose Hollow
    Interested in the lifestyle of Downtown Portland, with a more affordable cost of living? The historic Goose Hollow neighborhood is one of the most centrally located spots in the city, with plenty to do close to home. The area features a wide variety of dwellings, from apartments to condos and single-family homes that can fit any budget.

    Portland Convention Center

  5. Lloyd District
    Looking for waterfront living without breaking the bank? The Lloyd District is located just across the river from downtown Portland, with beautiful waterfront views and loads of attractions to explore. This is where you'll find Portland's Convention Center, stadium, and the biggest mall in the city. The area has been extensively redeveloped, with tons of new businesses and dining spots to visit.

  6. Alberta
    Alberta
    is one of the most culturally diverse neighborhoods in the city, with a fun, eclectic set of local businesses that reflect the neighborhood's vibrant mix of residents. The dining scene here features flavors from around the world, and there's always another fun, unique street fair coming up on the local event schedule.

    Portland Waterfront Park

  7. Downtown Portland
    If you want to have it all, look no further than Downtown Portland for your next home. This is naturally among the city's most popular neighborhoods, with a convenient, walkable layout, extensive public transportation, tons of local businesses, and a park system that makes it easy to stay active. Waterfront Park, a popular stop in the neighborhood, features fairs and events all year round, along with plenty of beautiful spots to enjoy some time outdoors.

    Mount Tabor View

  8. Mount Tabor
    With a convenient location and unmatched views, Mount Tabor has long been a desirable spot to settle down. This neighborhood offers some of Portland's most majestic mountain views, along with a popular, 195-acre public park. It's one of the city's older neighborhoods, so this is a great place to shop if you're searching for a charming home built in the early 1900s.

  9. Irvington
    Located on the northeastern side of Portland, Irvington is another fantastic spot to shop if you're searching for a historic home. This corner of the city features some of the largest lots you'll find in Portland, with homes to match. Walk the tree-lined boulevards, visit historic homes, participate in the active community association, and enjoy easy access to Downtown Portland anytime you please.

  10. Buckman
    The fun, funky Buckman neighborhood is known for its unique mix of residents, and diverse collection of homes. Shop for restored Old Portland homes that encapsulate the city's history, with a huge selection of architectural styles. Colonel Summers Park is a popular gathering place in the neighborhood year-round and features a free picnic every year where residents can get to know their neighbors in a fun, family-friendly setting.

    Wilamette Bridge Portland

In Portland, there's a neighborhood to match every shopper and lifestyle, from quiet residential areas to bustling urban centers packed with attractions. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Portland, OR area.

August
5

Redmond Named 'Best Place To Live' In Washington

Redmond Best Place to Live in Washington

Redmond Is Known as the Best Place to Live in Washington

Our brokers have been fielding a growing number of questions about Redmond homes for sale, and there's no surprise why. It is the hottest place to live in the state.

That's the opinion of Niche.com, which put Redmond at the top of its list of best places to live. Redmond is making waves as one of the most desirable cities in Washington.

There's so much to love about Redmond, the biggest question is: Where to start?

Just a short drive east of Seattle, Redmond benefits from an amazing location. It has long been known as the home of Microsoft and Nintendo of America, but that's only the start of what's attracted its 65,000 residents to this "Bicycle Capital of the World."

Let's take a closer look at the secrets of what makes Redmond special:

Redmond Has a Robust High-Tech Employment Scene

Redmond Microsoft
Founded 1975, $110 billion technology giant Microsoft moved to Redmond in 1986 and remains the biggest employer in the city. Its campus on One Microsoft Way stretches over eight million square feet and easily serves more than 40,000 employees at a time.

Many other top brands also call Redmond home. Terex, a manufacturer of materials handling equipment, is the #2 local employer. Professionals can also find opportunities with AT&T, Honeywell, UPS, and – yes – Nintendo of America. Naturally, many more major companies are located in nearby Seattle.

The Best Events and Attractions in Redmond

Redmond Chalkfest

No brief post can do justice to the rich diversity of Redmond, but this will get you started:

  1. Pacific NW Chalkfest – 7525 166th Avenue Northeast, Redmond, WA 98052
    Happening August 16-18 at the Redmond Town Center, the Pacific NW Chalkfest is a free and family-friendly homage to an underestimated art form. National, international, and regional chalk artists will be in attendance to create magnificent pastel masterpieces.
  2. Rockin' on the River – 8703 160th Avenue Northeast, Redmond, WA 98052
    From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursdays, residents and visitors alike can enjoy free concerts on the green of Garden Plaza at Rockin' on the River. Concessions are provided by the Redmond Kiwanis Club. This year will showcase Heart by Heart, The Beatniks, Cherry Cherry, and High Tide.
  3. So Bazaar – 16101 Northeast Redmond Road, Redmond, WA 98052
    Happening on three Thursday evenings in August, So Bazaar transforms the downtown into an imaginative wonderland. Art, music, and food follow the themes of nature: Air, water, and fire. Lots of local vendors will be on hand with crafts and souvenirs.
  4. Microsoft Visitor Center – 15010 Northeast 36th Street, Building 92, Redmond, WA 98052
    The next best thing to working there is taking a tour of the Microsoft Visitor Center. In the tradition of some of the best museums around, it is packed with interactive exhibits. Walk through history with games, technology demos, and a surprisingly tasty assortment of on-site concessions.
  5. Black Raven Brewing Company – 14679 Northeast 95th Street, Redmond, WA 98052
    Black Raven Brewing Company is the most famous of the flavorful crop of craft breweries here in Redmond. A hip and happening taproom offers pints and growlers from an ever-rotating blend of microbrews. Though there's no food on the premises, there's almost always a lunch truck parked outside!
  6. Marymoor Park – 6046 West Lake Sammamish Parkway Northeast, Redmond, WA 98052
    Redmond takes care of its beautiful natural landscape, and you can see the care right here in popular Marymoor Park. A beloved destination for a day out, it sprawls over 640 gorgeous acres. Canine companions are welcome in the dog park. There's also a climbing wall and frequent concerts.

There are Institutions and Amenities You'll Love

Redmond Schools

When it comes to all the things that make up a community, Redmond consistently stands out, especially when compared to cities of similar size. It features top-ranked public schools as well as higher education in the form of the Digipen Institute and Lake Washington Technical College.

Redmond is also well-known for its remarkable level of safety. There's a strong relationship between business, law enforcement, and the community which has made it a top tourist destination as well as a choice for growing families.

Head-Turning Art and Culture

Redmond Arts & Culture

Art, culture and sports run the gamut in Redmond from contemporary galleries to street art. As you journey through the city, you'll find dozens of public art installations. The city maintains a thriving artist-in-residence program and its own poet laureate, too.

Community-centered organizations like the Redmond Historical Society and the Redmond Association of Spoken Word enjoy high participation in the city. There's always something to see and do, whether you prefer to spectate or participate.

Find Your Home in Redmond with Coldwell Banker Bain 

Redmond Washington Home for Sale

You've seen what Redmond has to offer, now discover it for yourself. Our team will help you every step of the way in your search for the perfect Redmond homes for sale. Contact us to learn more.

June
24

How To Buy a Home in Seattle: Team Diva Guides the Way

how to buy a home team diva

For you, buying a house is not just ticking off another box on the list – it's personal. Because owning your own home means you get to decide which colors to paint the wall, how many dogs you get to have (backyard permitting), and which tree you'll build your kid's tree fort in. Having a place of your own isn't just the quintessential American Dream, it's the dream you've kindled For. Ever. But you live in Seattle and have heard the horror stories about too few houses for sale and sky-high prices. Now, you're afraid your dream may never come true.

Well, don't give up. Buying a home in Seattle is a lot like buying a home anywhere else, only different. Yes, the market here is a tight and prices are above the national average but that doesn't mean you're destined to a lifetime of renting. Coldwell Banker Bain's Team Diva know the ins and outs of the local market and what it takes to be successful in landing the home of your dreams. It starts with education, yours, so they've put together a complete guide, A to Z called, appropriately, How to Buy a Home in Seattle. In it you'll discover:

  • How to determine your home-buyer personality
  • How to find the right real estate agent for you
  • Steps to get your financing in order
  • How to make a winning offer
  • What to do when you're under contract (and why it's not the time to buy a car)
  • And more …

Whether you're ready to buy a house or just curious about the process, this comprehensive guide is for you. Never have the steps to buying a home in Seattle been laid out so clearly. See for yourself.

July
15

10 Favorite Food Carts in Portland

10 Portland Food Cart

Portland Food-On-Wheels: 10 Favorite Food Carts

Call us biased, but some of our Brokers think Portland has the tastiest food carts in America. Food carts (aka trucks) are a staple in our local Portland community.  

Depending upon who you talked to, Portland's first food trucks came into the picture as early as 1910 with Joseph Gatto selling from a horse-drawn cart. Fast forward to 2019, and you'll find nearly 600 food carts in our city with the aroma of food enticing hungry passersby to flock to their neighborhood. 

Food carts have a style all their own that adds to the charm of Portland. Food carts are a huge part of our culture in Portland, and their popularity only continues to grow throughout our neighborhoods. Recently, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce study named Portland as one of the five friendliest cities across America for food trucks.  Our city's food-friendly attitude invites new entrepreneurs to build their food cart businesses here and add to our "food-omenon."

If you're searching for Portland homes for sale, you'll want to try out some of our restaurants on wheels.

Our Favorite Portland Food Trucks

Many locals use apps like Food Truck Fiesta, Eat St., and Roaming Hunger to track their favorite trucks. For the most part, each cart has a weekly rotation so you can always find them.

Let's say hello to ten of the top food trucks in the city:

  1. Gracie's Apizza – 8371 North Interstate Avenue, Portland, OR 97217
    Gracie's Apizza is a fusion of New Haven and Portland pizza with genuine wood-fired pies served from an iconic little red van. You can find Gracie's ranging throughout many Portland neighborhoods, from Kenton to Hillsborough. The mozzarella is always made fresh.
  2. Gumba – Northeast Alberta Street and Northeast 23rd Avenue, Portland, OR 97211
    Gumba operates out of an unassuming cart led by local celebrity Jesse Martinez, the former sous chef of elegant Bar Mingo. With partner Robin Brassaw, he creates hand-crafted pasta dishes you have to see to believe. From beef short rib to Pizza Mondays, it runs the gamut of flavors.
  3. Matt's BBQ – 4233 North Mississippi Avenue, Portland, OR 97217
    You'll spot Matt's BBQ in Prost Marketplace, where top food carts hang out. The headliner is a simple yet succulent barbecue, but there are many Tex-Mex meals to choose from. Start with The Whole Shebang for a taste of all the meats and three side dishes.
  4. MF Tasty Food Truck – 3925-3927 North Williams Avenue, Portland, OR 97227
    MF Tasty Food Truck is the brainchild of chef-owner Eric Gitenstein, known for his delectable paella of the week. Cheesy quesadillas, cart-made chorizo, and other beloved Mexican-American bites can be enjoyed to go or under the covered seating area nearby.
  5. Kee's #Loaded Kitchen – 3625 Northeast MLK Jr. Boulevard, Portland, OR 97212
    Kiauna Nelson is an Internet sensation who rose to prominence with Kee's #Loaded Kitchen after teaching herself to cook and earning a business degree. Here, she serves up daily specials fresh. Check out her social media to learn what they are each day.
  6. Hapa PDX Ramen 6035 Northeast Halsey Street, Portland, OR 97213
    Your ramen craving will be cared for with Hapa PDX Ramen, which has brought the savor of Hawaiian-style ramen to Portland. Its G-Special Ramen is not to be missed: It combines pork and chicken broth, sprouts, spinach, pork belly, and a sprinkling of shiitake mushrooms.
  7. Wolf and Bear's – 113 Southeast 28th Avenue, Portland, OR 97214
    With nearly ten years of experience behind it, Wolf and Bear's is lauded as the top Portland food truck for Middle Eastern food. It has two locations in Portland and is known for its extensive vegetarian-friendly menu. Classics like falafel and hummus are always on hand here!
  8. Wild North – 930 Southeast Oak Street, Portland, OR 97214
    Right outside Basecamp Brewing, Wild North serves up wood-fired cuisine from a refurbished Pyro Pizza cart. Local ingredients come together in spectacular ambitious dishes like whiskey lamb bone marrow topped with mushroom gremolata. Don't miss out on the clam chowder.
  9. Viking Soul Food – 4255 Southeast Belmont Street, Portland, OR 97215
    Authentic Scandinavian delights await you at Viking Soul Food! Rounding off nine years of experience, it pairs heaping helpings of meatballs with smoked salmon and hot seafood chowder. Wash everything down with a cold, refreshing lingonberry iced tea.
  10. Burger Stevens – 6238 Southwest Capitol Highway, Portland, OR 97239
    What about the old-fashioned burger? Grab one at Burger Stevens, home of chef Don Salamone – a veteran of multiple Michelin-starred restaurants. His cheeseburger may well be the best in Portland thanks to its Creekstone ground beef.

Portland Food Cart Flavors

The flavors of Portland will tempt your taste buds, and the city's fleet of lunch trucks grows by the day. Why not get started on your road to a Portland home you'll love? To find out more or get started, contact us today. We look forward to helping you.

July
1

July 4 Celebrations in Portland and Seattle

Portland July 4 events

Our Brokers are getting ready to enjoy another spectacular 4th of July around Portland and Seattle. When it comes to Independence Day, our area goes all out: We have some of the most memorable events anywhere in the United States.

No matter whether you've just moved in or you're still looking around, you'll enjoy the warm welcome that these two cities and their surrounding communities can offer. There's something for everyone around the 4th of July. From kids to adults, everyone will be left wide-eyed!

Looking for the best way to enjoy the holiday? We are taking a look at 10 events throughout our Pacific Northwest communities:

Seattle july 4

  1. Seafair Summer Fourth – 2101 North Northlake Way, Seattle, WA 98103
    Situated at Gas Works Park not far from Seattle homes for sale is the Seafair Summer Fourth celebration. This 4th of July favorite is one of the biggest fireworks displays in the area. You'll thrill to a custom musical score while enjoying brews from the beer garden and some of the city's most beloved food trucks. Live entertainment will be on hand, too!

  2. Celebrate Kirkland 4th of July – 440 Central Way, Kirkland, WA 98033
    Hosted by the Kirkland Downtown Association, which ensures a vibrant community and thriving business scene around Kirkland homes for sale, the Kirkland 4th of July is a sight to behold. Kicking off at 4 p.m. on Independence Day, it features a parade and fireworks show. It's touted as the biggest one-day event in Kirkland and is a high point of everyone's year.

  3. Everett's Colors of Freedom Celebration – 10410 19th Southeast #100, Everett, WA 98208
    Everett homes for sale will light up thanks to Everett's Colors of Freedom Celebration. The day-long affair begins with an eye-popping parade through the downtown area at 11 a.m., followed by a festival at famous Legion Park. The evening culminates with fireworks that sparkle over Port Gardner Bay. Organizers encourage you to bring a blanket and picnic!

  4. Point Ruston Independence Day 5K –  North 37th & Vassault Street, Tacoma, WA 98421
    Time for a race! Pass by some of the best Tacoma homes for sale as you participate in the yearly Point Ruston Independence Day 5K. This fast, flat, downhill course will challenge race veterans and give newcomers a taste of our local excitement. Anyone is welcome to participate at any speed, from power walking to running. It starts at 8 a.m. sharp near Vassault Park.

  5. Bellevue Four on the 4th – 10820 Northeast 10th Street Bellevue, WA 98004
    Bellevue Four on the 4th is a fun way to get exercise and meet new friends: Billed as a "dog walk and jog," it allows your canine companions to come with you for a non-competitive 4K event. After the race, there'll be music, a pet costume contest, photo booths, and vendors of all kinds. All participants receive a goodie bag. It's just a few blocks from Bellevue homes for sale.

  6. Waterfront Blues Festival – 98 Southwest Naito Parkway, Portland, OR 97204
    Get a taste of the blues at beloved Tom McCall Waterfront Park, where the Waterfront Blues Festival will be returning for another year. Performances will run for four full days from July 4th to the 7th, ranging across four big stages. There'll be food, merchandise, riverboat rides, and a whole lot more. It's just one more reason to pick Portland homes for sale.

  7. Oregon Z00 - 4001 Southwest Canyon Road, Portland, OR 97221
    The Oregon Zoo will honor Independence Day by offering free admission for military veterans, active military personnel and first responders (active police, firefighters and EMTs), as well as up to four family members who accompany them. Families of deployed military personnel also will be given free admission.  Buying a home in Portland means you will be part of a community that believes in giving back.

  8. 70th Annual Lake Oswego Lions Club July 4th Pancake Breakfast - George Rogers Park, 611 S State St, Lake Oswego, OR 97034
    Kick off your July 4 celebration at 7:00 a.m. at the 70th Annual Lake Oswego Lions Club July 4th Pancake Breakfast.  Your breakfast menu includes all-you-can-eat of the "best pancakes west of the Mississippi," sausage, juice and live music. All proceeds from the event benefit Lions projects in the local community.

  9. Star Spangled Parade and Celebration - Millenium Plaza Park, 200 1st St, Lake Oswego, OR 97034
    Start your 4th of July celebration in Lake Oswego. Begin your day at the Star Spangled Parade by watching festive floats, musical entertainment, vehicles decorated in red, white, and blue and even costumed canines march down A Avenue.  The parade finishes at Millenium Plaza Park where you'll be entertained with live music from Gospel Hooligan, see a Presentation of Colors from local Girl Scouts, and if you're hungry, why not sign up for the pie eating contest.  All the fun will be happening just minutes from Lake Oswego homes for sale.

  10. Portland Craft Beer Festival - Fields Neighborhood Park, 1099 NW Overton St. Portland, OR 97209
    The Fifth Annual Portland Craft Beer Festival starts July 4 at Fields Neighborhood Park.  Travel and Leisure, Matador, and Beer Connoisseur have named Portland, as The Best Beer City in the World.  Portland is home to over 70 craft breweries.  Only Portland-area crafters are featured at the festival featuring beers, plus ciders and wine.

There's nothing else quite like the 4th of July, but there's always something to celebrate when you live around Seattle or Portland. Our local area will wow you with its outstanding arts, culture, and a flourishing economy.

Coldwell Banker Bain makes it easy to find your Pacific Northwest dream home. Contact us to get started.

June
10

Portland Living: 9 Ways to Celebrate Dad on Fathers Day

Portland Oregon Fathers Day
Father's Day is almost here! The Brokers in our Portland Uptown and Portland West offices invite you to give Dad a special day this year by exploring everything Portland has to offer.

Getting around Portland for Father's Dad is especially easy thanks to the city's bike sharing initiative, Biketown. You can get virtually anywhere throughout the downtown area without having to use a car or public transportation. There are 125 bike stations throughout the city.

Let's look at some of the best ways to celebrate dad in Portland this year.

Portland Japanese Garden

  1. Portland Japanese Garden611 Southwest Kingston Ave, Portland, OR 97205
    Portland Japanese Garden is a unique local attraction. Spanning a 5.5-acre space, it has fascinating landscapes and amenities to enjoy. You'll see the iconic waterfall and take in a beautiful mountain view. Plus, there are group classes and lectures to attend. Stop into the teahouse for a sip of traditional Japanese green tea before you go.

  2. Oregon Zoo – 4001 Southwest Canyon Road, Portland, OR 97221
    Forty-six acres of fun await at Oregon Zoo, one of the top zoos in the region. With dozens of animal residents ranging from the bald eagle to the southern sea otter, there's always someone new to meet here. Breathtaking exhibits run the gamut from the African savanna to the chimpanzee enclosure and the ever-popular Polar Passage, home of the polar bears.

    Oregon Museum of Science and Technology
  3. Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) – 1945 Southeast Water Ave, Portland, OR 97214
    OMSI is a leading STEM museum known for its remarkable planetarium. In addition to all kinds of exciting educational programming, there are also musical shows including Laser Pink Floyd and Laser Daft Punk. Dads will love the opportunity to go on the daily submarine tour, which lets you peer through a periscope and climb a bunk in the crew quarters.

  4. Washington Park – 4033 Southwest Canyon Road, Portland, OR 97221
    Washington Park is filled with gardens and museums, a zoo, and even a forest. You could get lost here for a whole week of Father's Days! The free shuttle service beginning in early April makes it easy to get around to all the nearby attractions. On top of the Oregon Zoo, you can visit the World Forestry Center, the Hoyt Arboretum, and the Portland Japanese Garden.

    Portland Saturday Market
  5. Portland Saturday Market – 2 Southwest Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR 97204
    Welcoming guests on Sunday as well, the Portland Saturday Market has been recognized nationwide as the largest open-air arts and crafts market in continuous operation anywhere throughout the United States. There are dozens of different shops to visit. No matter what your dad is into, you're certain to find something he will love here.

  6. Voodoo Doughnut – 22 Southwest 3rd Ave, Portland, OR 97204
    Voodoo Doughnut is a 24-hour cash-only shop you won't want to overlook. It's cheered throughout the city for its incredible flavors. If dad's been watching his waistline, it's an excellent time to celebrate with the likes of Graham Slam, the Bacon Maple Bar, and the famous Portland Cream. There are crowds at lunch, so consider checking it out during off hours.

  7. The Pearl District
    Home to many of Portland's top bars and restaurants, the Pearl District sprawls out across more than 300 acres. Amid dozens of vendors, you'll find unique bits of Portland culture. It's not far from Powell's Book City and some of the best places to have Father's Day dinner. Plus, there are events every single week that cater to a whole spectrum of interests.

    Oaks Amusement Park
  8. Oaks Amusement Park – 98 Southwest Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR 97204
    For a family-friendly Father's Day, you can't go wrong with the Oaks Amusement Park. With its full selection of classic carnival rides, roller skating, and mini-golf, it's a local institution. One of the longest-running parks of its kind anywhere, it offers catered birthday parties and other events. Maybe you'll be celebrating Father's Day with a corn dog and cotton candy!

  9. Portland Underground Tour – 120 NW 3rd Ave, Portland, OR 97209
    Known locally as the Shanghai Tunnels, the Portland Underground Tour is a peek into a lost world that reflects Portland's rich history. With tours available since 1992, the nonprofit behind the action is dedicated to revealing the past in a way that's fun, exciting and informative. Dads and kids alike will enjoy the opportunity to uncover hidden secrets.

Contact us today to start your search for Portland homes for sale.

June
3

10 Best Running Spots In and Around Seattle

Favorite Spots for Running in Seattle
National Running Day is June 5. Our Capitol Hill Brokers and our Seattle Lake Union Brokers want you to have the opportunity to enjoy it Seattle style.

Seattle is well known for a wide range of hiking trails and other opportunities for runners. There are clubs to join and annual races for runners of all skill levels. Whether you are a seasoned 10k athlete or just getting started, the Emerald City is the place for you.

Let's explore some of the best running spots in and around downtown Seattle:

Seattle Washington Park Arboretum

  1. Washington Park Arboretum – 2300 Arboretum Drive East, Seattle, WA 98112
    Washington Park Arboretum offers a veritable maze of well-kept trails in beautiful natural surroundings. These trails are inviting for those who want to partake of the scenery with broad, flat paths. No worrying about hitting a tree root here.

    Seattle Running Lighthouse
  2. Discovery Park Loop Trail – 3801 Discovery Park Boulevard, Seattle, WA 98199
    Discovery Park has more than 500 acres to explore, but the Loop Trail is #1 for hiking. Discovery Park is a 2.8-mile trail that includes a remarkable overlook above the Sound. There's also a side path that can take you around the West Point Lighthouse.

    Seattle Running Green Lake Park
  3. Green Lake Park – 7201 East Green Lake Dr. N, Seattle, WA 98115
    Green Lake Park surrounds the 50,000-year old glacial lake of the same name. The path is nearly three miles long, and it's one of the most popular around. Jogging in the cool of the morning is best since crowds tend to be attracted in the later hours.

  4. Burke-Gilman Trail – Seaview Avenue Northwest, Seattle, WA 98107
    Burke-Gilman Trail is packed with more than 18 miles of jogging. It has a special place in the heart of Seattle marathon runners, who use regularly. It gets joggers acquainted with both Puget Sound and some of Seattle's best neighborhoods.

  5. Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop – 860 Terry Avenue West, Seattle, WA 98104
    Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop is where to go if you're hungry for a 10k. The majority of the trail is paved and carves past the Gas Works and Lake Union Park. You'll catch views of the world famous Space Needle and the downtown area, too.

  6. Interlaken Boulevard – Interlaken Boulevard, Seattle, WA 98112
    Interlaken Boulevard is an oasis of green in the middle of the city. You could almost forget where you are thanks to the swath of green trees on a steep, winding path. Interlaken gains quite a bit of elevation in a short span, making it a brief but challenging jog.

    Seattle Running Seward Park
  7. Seward Park – 5900 Lake Washington Boulevard South, Seattle, WA 98118
    With 300 acres of land right within the city limits of Seattle, Seward Park is situated for a lovely 2.5-mile loop around Lake Washington.

  8. Volunteer Park – 1247 15th Avenue East, Seattle, WA 98112
    A gorgeous park of 48 acres, Volunteer Park gives you your choice of paved or gravel paths as well as open meadows. A climb of 107 steps in the Water Tower brings you to the observation deck, the perfect place to see Mt. Rainier on a sunny afternoon.

  9. Rattlesnake Ledge – Rattlesnake Mountain Scenic Area, 15001 443rd Ave Southeast, North Bend, WA 98045
    Rattlesnake Ledge is a popular, well-maintained trail where you're likely to encounter other hikers. Giving a view into the highest and easternmost of the Issaquah Alps, it is a 4-mile loop that gains an astonishing 1,100 feet. An incredible view rewards those who brave it.

  10. Elliott Bay Trail – Near Elliott Bay Marina, 2601 West Marina Place, Seattle, WA 98199
    Elliott Bay Trail is a 10-mile roundtrip trail giving you a waterfront adventure between Pier 55 and Pier 66. It also sports a bike path. As an urban exploration with some on-road segments, you'll be catching an eyeful of public art plus the Olympic Mountains and the city skyline.

    Seattle Running

Our team will help you run, not walk, to the Seattle home of your dreams. With our expert advice and excellent customer service, you could be settling in before the next big race later this year. Our deep insight into the Seattle market makes a difference. Contact us today to discover the best Seattle homes for sale.

May
27

Heading Outdoors in Vancouver Washington

Vancouver Washington OutdoorsIf you've spoken to any locals while exploring Vancouver homes for sale, you probably already know our city is considered a hotspot for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you enjoy biking, hiking, or relaxing on the beach, there's always something fun to do in Vancouver. 

With the warm weather coming, there's never been a better time to start exploring some of the awesome outdoor adventures Vancouver has to offer. Not sure where to start? We've got you covered! Here are seven of our favorite places to connect with nature and spend a day outdoors. 

Vancouver Outdoors

  1. Burnt Bridge Creek Trail: NW Lakeshore Ave & NW Bernie Dr, Vancouver, WA 98665
    The eight-mile paved Burnt Bridge Creek Trail is a favorite among our Brokers. It offers an excellent view of the Burnt Bridge Creek Greenway and is excellent for biking, jogging, or taking a leisurely stroll. The path offers a variety of different landscapes including heavily wooded areas and grasslands.

    Vancouver Outdoors
  2. Waterfront Park: 695 Waterfront Way Vancouver, WA 98660
    Popular among both visitors and locals, Waterfront Park is one of the highlights of the new mixed-use urban development known as Waterfront Vancouver. The 7.3-acre park runs along the edge of the Columbia River and is connected to Wintler Community Park by the five-mile Columbia River Renaissance Trail.

    Spend some time exploring the walking trails, relax in the open grassy areas, and watching the little ones play on the playground. Parts of the park are still under development, and the water feature opening this spring will be another welcome addition.
  1. Esther Short Park: W. 8th & Columbia Vancouver, WA 98663
    Located right in the heart of downtown Vancouver, Esther Short Park is Washington state's oldest public square and is an excellent spot to spend some time relaxing outdoors. It offers plenty of benches, and seating in the gazebos and on the open lawn.

    Our Brokers recommend visiting the Vancouver Farmer's Market, which is held here on weekends between March and October. If you enjoy live music, you also won't want to miss the park's Summer Concert Series.

    Vancouver Beach
  1. Vancouver Lake Regional Park: 6801 NW Lower River Road Vancouver, WA 98660
    Does your idea of a good time involve relaxing on the beach and enjoying a picnic lunch? Or are you the adventurous type who prefers to windsurf, kayak, canoe, and play sand volleyball? Either way, you'll love spending the day at Vancouver Lake Regional Park. Not only is this a beautiful beach, but it also offers gorgeous views of Mount Saint Helens, Mount Hood, and Mount Adams on clear days. 

  2. Columbia Springs: 12208 SE Evergreen Hwy., Vancouver, WA 98683
    Beautiful and historic Columbia Springs offers educational experiences for both children and adults and an opportunity to get up-close with nature. Located on 100 acres of natural land, visitors are welcome to enjoy the walking trails, practice nature photography, or enjoy a picnic.

    The whole family is sure to love the fish feeding pond, trout hatchery, wildlife viewing decks, trail-side art, and historical displays. Columbia Springs is dog-friendly, so don't hesitate to bring your furry friend. 
  1. Vancouver Land Bridge: WA-14, Vancouver, WA 98661
    Also known as the Confluence Project, the Vancouver Land Bridge is a 40-foot wide pedestrian bridge that links the Columbia waterfront and historic Fort Vancouver. Here you can soak in the elements of Native American and European culture, learn about the indigenous plants that line the trail, and enjoy a stunning view of the Columbia River and surrounding mountains. 

  2. Salmon Creek Regional Park/Klineline Pond: 1112 NE 117th St, Vancouver, WA 98685
    Salmon Creek Regional Park rounds out our list of the best places to enjoy outdoor adventures in Vancouver. This popular, family-friendly destination features a splash pad and a playground for the kids, roped swimming areas at Klineline Pond.

    Pack a cooler and use one of the six public grills to cook up some burgers and hot dogs. There are 36 picnic tables at the park as well as two covered areas that you can reserve for larger parties. 

Vancouver OutdoorsOnce you start exploring all that there is to do in Vancouver, you'll understand why so many people love calling this city home. Are you ready to join them? Contact us today to discuss your home-buying goals and learn how we can help! 

May
6

Explore Portland Using Biketown

Portland Biketown Bike Share
If you preferred means of travel is on two wheels, buying one of our Portland homes for sale just might be for you.  Portland has long been known as a city full of people who care about the environment and love to spend their time outdoors. Thanks to the innovative Biketown Bike Share Program, open-air travel is now easily accessible to all residents! 

Our Portland Uptown Brokers love spending their free time biking around the city, and we're sure you will too!

Haven't heard of Biketown yet? No worries! Here's everything you need to know about how the program works and some tips for where to go on your next cycling adventure. 

Biketown: Giving You More to Explore 

Biketown is a city-wide program that includes 1,000 bikes and 125 area stations. Users can choose to either pay as they go or sign up for an inexpensive monthly or annual membership.

When you're ready to take a bike for a ride, you simply enter your code on the bike lock, hop on, and head out. When you're through with your ride, take the bike back to one of the stations, re-lock it, and you're done! 

Because there are stations all across the city, users can easily combine Biketown, public transit, and walking to get to wherever they need to be. Whether you want to ride to the farmer's market, get in some exercise while checking out Portland homes for sale, or enjoy one of the area's great bike trails, Biketown is the way to go! 

In honor of National Bike Month, we recommend you give Biketown a try and spend a day visiting some of the area's best bike trails. Not sure where to start? Check out this list of our favorites! 

Wilamette River

    1. Willamette River Loop
      With some of the city's best views, the 30-mile Willamette River Loop will take you through Portland's south side and offers views of Lake Oswego and the three bridges crossing the Willamette River. The route is mostly flat, making for a relaxing ride, and there are some great breweries nearby! Want to enjoy some of the same gorgeous views without such a long ride? Opt for the six-mile route along the Willamette Greenway Bike Trail instead. 


      Sellwood Bridge

    2. Sellwood Bridge Loop
      If you're in the mood for an easy, relaxing ride, we recommend the 11-mile Sellwood Bridge Loop.  This ride offers several views of the Willamette River and is mostly on bike paths with just a few street intersections mixed in.  This is a fairly popular path, so expect to see plenty of other bicyclists and pedestrians. Short and sweet, the Sellwood Bridge Loop is the perfect ride to enjoy before heading off for a day of shopping or Sunday brunch with your friends. 


      Portland Bike Trails Mountain View

    3. Mountain View Trail
      Powell Butte Nature Park is a great place for nature enthusiasts to spend the day. With the gorgeous views of Mount Hood, you can't beat the bike ride along the 20-mile paved path known as the Mountain View Trail. There are also several other simple trails, each offering the opportunity to explore the park while enjoying grassy nooks and open fields. 


      Portland Biking Southeast

    4. Southeast Neighborhoods
      Possibly one of the most interesting rides on this list, the 13-mile Southeast Neighborhoods route begins at the iconic Salmon Street Fountain, then winds through some of the best historic neighborhoods in Southeast Portland. The homes here have plenty of charm, and you'll love riding through the tree-lined streets and off-street paths with occasional views of the river.  This route is extremely popular with both bikers and runners, so expect to share the roads with plenty of fellow outdoor enthusiasts. 

    5. Gateway Green
      Arguably one of the city's coolest parks, Gateway Green in East Portland is literally an urban island. Since it's nestled between I-84 and I-106, you'll have to navigate your way along the I-205 multi-use path to get there, but it's well worth it.  The bike trails here are a mountain biker's dream. They include a skills area where you'll find a jump line and pump track, a gravity area, and plenty of single-track trails. 

    6. Portland's West Hills
      When you're ready to take on a true challenge, our Portland West Brokers recommend trying your hand at tackling Portland's West Hills. This thigh-burning climb is only 15-miles long, but it guaranteed to push your limits.  While on the climb, you'll enjoy breathtaking views of both the mountains and downtown Portland. We promise you'll feel exhausted and starving after this ride, so plan to meet some friends at one of the local breweries when you're done! 

Whether you enjoy outdoor adventures, an exceptional dining scene, shopping, or nightlife, you'll find it in Portland. In fact, this is more than just a city, it's truly an experience!

There are so many things to love about living here, and we can't wait to show you around. Contact us today to get started! 

April
15

Mark Your Calendar: Portland Festivals Not to Miss

Portland's Spring & Summer Community Line-Up

Portland Oregon Festivals and Events

Portland hosts a frenzy of festivals from late spring to early fall — so many that you may have trouble keeping track of them all! Don't worry, we've got you covered! Our Portland Uptown Brokers and our Portland West Brokers have come together to help you mark your calendar with the coolest, most diverse festivals each month that you can't afford to miss!

Portland Festivals in May

Portland Cinco De Mayo

  • Portland Cinco de Mayo Fiesta – 1020 SW Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR 97204 | May 3-5
    Vamos to the Portland Cinco de Mayo Festival at Tom McCall Waterfront Park for authentic Mexican food, beverages, live entertainment, carnival rides boxing matches and more! From a tequila tasting booth to an exotic animal exhibit, this weekend festival will be unforgettable!
  • Funklandia – 2845 SE Stark St., Portland, OR 97214 | May 4-5
    Get funky at the first annual Portland Funk Music Festival! Funklandia will feature an all-star James Brown tribute as well as performances from the best regional funk groups in the genre today.

  • McMenamin's UFO Festival – 310 NE Evans St., McMinnville, OR 97128 | May 16-18
    McMenamin's UFO Festival is out of this world! For 20 years, this unique festival has brought a spaceship full of fun to Portland. An Alien Costume Ball, Alien Abduction Dash, guest speakers, movie screenings and more might just make you a believer!

Portland Festivals in June

Portland Midsummer Festival

  • Portland Scandinavian Midsummer Festival – 7805 SE Oaks Pkwy, Portland, OR 97202 | June 8
    Raise the Midsummer Pole with your friends and neighbors at the Midsummer Festival! This summer solstice celebration features delicious Nordic food, live entertainment, family fun and more! Don a flower crown and come dance around the Midsummer Pole!

  • Water Lantern Festival – SE Cesar E. Chavez Blvd. & Stark St., Portland, OR 97214 | June 8
    Float over to Laurelhurst Park for a festival that will light up your night. Water Lantern Festival brings Portland together for food, music, and fun before lighting hundreds of personalized water lanterns and setting them afloat on Firwood Lake.

  • Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts – 368 S. State St., Lake Oswego, OR 97034 |June 21-23
    Located near many Lake Oswego homes for sale, the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts lets you immerse yourself in arts many mediums. View stunning creations, learn about different styles of art, attend demonstrations and get engaged with hands-on art activities.

Portland Festivals in July

Portland July 4

  • Waterfront Blues Festival - 1020 SW Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR 97204 | July 4-7
    Celebrate 4th of July weekend with a little red, white and blues at the Waterfront Blues Festival. Tom McCall Waterfront Park becomes the ultimate destination for four stages of rhythm and blues music. Vendors will fill the space between the stages with food and beverages to keep you grooving all weekend long.

  • Cathedral Park Jazz Festival – N. Edison St. & Pittsburg Ave., Portland, OR 97203 | July 19-20
    Jazz up your summer at the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival. Grab a chair or blanket, head to Cathedral Park and spend two days listening to dynamic music and snacking on tasty treats under the St. Johns bridge.

  • The Just Add Water Festival – 128 NW 11th Ave., Portland, OR 97209 | July 26-28
    The JAW Playwright's Festival at The Armory brings two days of staged readings to the Portland Center Stage. Hear readings of brand-new plays written by your friends and neighbors or settle in for eclectic performances and workshops.

Portland Festivals in August

Portland Vegan Beer and Food

  • Pickathon Music Festival – 16581 SE Hagen Rd., Happy Valley, OR | August 2-4
    Not far from Oregon City homes for sale is Pendarvis Farm, site of the Pickathon Music Festival. Camp out on the farm, hear live performances from over 60 bands, eat amazing food and drink the best coffee, beer, wine and liquor from around Oregon.

  • Pan African Festival – 701 SW 6th Ave., Portland, OR 97205 | August 10
    Experience the culture showcased by the Pan African Festival at Pioneer Courthouse Square. Celebrate the heritage of Pan Africans in Oregon and come together with your community to share food and conversation. This festival helps the Disapora Africans within the state build happy, sustainable futures for their families.

  • VegOut! Portland Vegan Beer & Food Festival 2019 – NE Holladay St. & NE 11th Ave., Portland, OR 97232 | Aug 10-11
    Foodies unite! Over 100 vegan vendors will fill the streets and your stomach! Celebrating all things vegan, VegOut! Will also showcase speakers, live music and vendors selling vegan-friendly crafts, clothing and beauty products. 

Portland Festivals in September

Portland Rose

  • Best of NW Animation Festival – 4122 NW Sandy Blvd., Portland, OR 97212 | Sept 14
    With so many festivals to attend, there's a chance one might pass you by. Thankfully, the NW Animation Festival that takes place during May comes back for another round in September to showcase what the festival audience voted as the best-animated films of the year!

  • Rose City Comic Con – 777 NE MLK Jr. Blvd., Portland, OR 97232 | September 13 – 15
    Portland's premier pop culture event returns to the Convention Center. From comics and cosplay to fantasy and famous guest stars, Rose City Comic Con lets you indulge in the vast realm of pop culture with those who love books, movies, gaming, and sci-fi as much as you do.

Do you still have room on your calendar for more Portland festivals? Contact us today to learn more about all of the events happening between spring and fall around the best Portland homes for sale.

April
8

Moving to Seattle: Everything You Need to Know About The Emerald City

 

Seattle Moving to the Emerald CityIf you're considering moving to Seattle, chances are you are already the envy of your family and friends. Seattle is an icon as an epicenter of local and international culture. You may think you know the Queen City of the Pacific Northwest, but unless you've lived here, there's plenty left to learn.

Sure, you've seen the Seattle skyline in the movies, and you know that a certain coffee company got its start at Pike Place, but there's much more to this city than the Space Needle and Starbucks. Seattle is a diverse metropolitan area that blends skyscrapers, nature, culture, and creativity into an iconic identity that will engage all five of your senses.  Our Brokers love calling Seattle home, and we know that you'll feel right at home here too!

Seattle homes

  • See Seattle
    Spend an afternoon in Seattle and you'll see why so many people from around the world love catting The Emerald City home. As the 18th most populated city in the country, it's expected that housing prices may be higher than you're used to. However, the increase in price is balanced by the absence of a state income tax. As you browse Seattle homes for sale, you'll travel through vibrant neighborhoods featuring one of the best public school systems in the country. We also have world-renowned universities like the University of Washington which is one of the top public universities for research funding.

    Seattle Amazon HQ
    Granted, you're also going to see a lot of traffic in Seattle, but it's for a good reason! Our city is home to global enterprises and award-winning businesses. Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon — these three household names employ Seattle's homeowners. Despite such heavy hitters in the area, Seattle ranks as one of the best cities in the U.S. for entrepreneurs and small businesses. There's one thing you're always going to see in Seattle — opportunity.

    Seattle Outdoors
  • Smell Seattle 
    With so much diversity in Seattle, you'll spend years trying to see and do everything this city has to offer. Our Seattle Capitol Hill Brokers have a fantastic list of the top things to do in Seattle for new homeowners but before you tackle that list, here's some advice from our Seattle Lake Union Brokers: take a deep breath. Seriously! Seattle is a nature lover's paradise. Our sprawling greenspaces balance our urban environment. We have almost 500 parks and natural areas within city limits which includes more than 120 miles of trails. Take a walk in the park or sit by the shoreline of our many lakes and rivers to get a breath of fresh air that'll make you feel amazing!

    Seattle Music Scene
  • Hear Seattle 
    Bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Sound Garden and Alice In Chains — and let's not forget the legendary Jimi Hendrix — have given Seattle quite the soundtrack. While our local music is amazing, we've got more than one way to fill our airwaves. If you keep your ear to the ground, you'll always hear about an exciting event or festival taking place throughout the city. Hear the roar of the crowd at a Sonics or Seahawks game. Listen to talented performers on the stage and screen at our comedy clubs, film festivals, and playhouses. Listen closely, and you can hear Seattle's heartbeat wherever you go.

    Seattle Farmers Market
  • Taste Seattle
    Seattle has serious taste. Coffee, beer, seafood — our tables are always full of delicious dishes. We pride ourselves of integrating fresh, local and organic foods into our diet as much as possible. While you'll want to eat your way through Seattle as fast as possible, new residents should know that we're more than just a dining destination. Our impeccable taste can be seen in everything from our fashion to our artwork. Even our architectural design is many neighborhoods is unique, with wood and steel materials being the focal point of our "Northwestern Style." Seattle embraces style, and you'll see the city's character in everything from our food and clothing to street art and home décor.

    Seattle Public Market
  • Feel Seattle 
    Our Brokers believe that the best way to get a feel for a city is to spend the day exploring. Wander up and down every hill to discover the coolest neighborhoods on the Pacific coast. Stumble into hole-in-the-wall shops to taste our local cuisine, hear our local music and experience everyday life as a Seattleite. Leave the car at home — this city is perfect for walking and biking. Feel the cool breeze coming off the water, the light raindrops that you'll barely notice and the rays of sunshine that seems to brighten up every face in the city.

Seattle isn't meant to be visited; it's meant to be experienced! Life in The Emerald City is a feeling. It's impossible not be moved by the amazing people that make this city special by sharing their culture and talents with their neighbors.

Let us take you around town and show you our best Seattle homes for sale. Contact us today to schedule your first showing in The Emerald City and to find your dream home.

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 Fri 08/12/2022 11:31:24 PM EST) or NWMLS (last updated Sat 08/13/2022 6:56:43 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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